SMAC - (866) 876 - CAMP
SMAC - (866) 876 - CAMP

History

A simple dream becomes a legacy with every generation as passionate about tradition as the first

Opened in 2002, Smoky Mountain Adventure Camp (SMAC) was owned and operated by husband and wife team George (or as campers, and sometimes even his children call him: Mr G!) and Susan Spier. Both had successful careers at the time, George as a Quality Engineering Manager at Lockheed Martin and Susan as a lifelong teacher and school administrator in Georgia.

Their love of the outdoors and involvement in the community naturally led to them leading camping and adventure activities near their cabin in the Great Smoky Mountain area for church, scout and school groups looking to immerse themselves in all the natural splendor that Mother Nature has to offer.

With the experience their careers had lent them and their humble volunteer beginnings, the dream of Smoky Mountain Adventure Camp was born. Now the legacy of SMAC is being passed on to the next generation. Josh, Justin and Katie Beth, (including their families of course!), who spent the summers of their young adult life at SMAC, are equally as passionate about the outdoors and eager to continue the traditions that SMAC has become known for.

Katie Beth, the “original” SMAC counselor and a teacher herself, brings years of educational experience to the program, using her knowledge to lead energetic in-camp activities and other inspiring team building activities. Justin an experienced White-Water River guide, and Josh who along with Justin actually missed the first year of SMAC while thru-hiking the 2,100+ mile Appalachian Trail, use thier expierences to plan and lead backpacking and paddling treks for any group – whether they have little interest and no experience, or plenty of both!

All three Spier children work together to provide an exhilarating summer camp experience that focuses on creating a love and appreciation of Mother Earth, while simultaneously providing kids of all ages with fun filled adventures they’ll never forget.

Values

Safe but fun adventure-based activities that boost confidence, promote cooperation and instill a true love of the outdoors

We value every young person who becomes a member of the SMAC family and are dedicated to providing a safe but fun learning adventure for our youth. With the greatest of respect for the environment, we believe the Great Smoky Mountains and the surrounding areas are the ideal setting for an adventure camp.

Here, we are able to mesh adventure-based learning with a deeper understanding of nature, while instilling a healthy appreciation of the great outdoors. We do this by removing the barriers that separate us from our environment, thereby creating a passion for and an understanding that we can comfortably coexist with nature.

The ecological systems in the area give us the means and opportunity to foster a real understanding of the many relationships between ourselves and the environment, helping the children who attend our summer camp to become ecologically aware through hiking, camping, rafting, and paddling.

Group decision making outside of the family environment is new to some of our young campers and so we encourage team building and collaboration within each camper group. For this reason we’re dedicated to building long lasting friendships, while providing a flexible structure that promotes success.

Counselors adapt their leadership role to suit the independence level of the campers. At times, they will participate as another camper, helping their group to achieve certain goals. In other instances, they will simply provide additional leadership and occasional assistance designed to increase teamwork.

We value the individuality of each young person in our midst and are completely aware of how valuable each one is. Each and every camper has their own strengths to bring to the group. It is awesome to watch them discover this fact for themselves! Watching our young charges’ confidence soar makes us incredibly happy and is something we always strive for!

Activities

Safe, fun-filled adventures that will have kids absorbing knowledge and appreciating nature without even realizing it

Hiking and Backpacking

Short hikes to remote places that not everyone gets to see is the best way to enjoy the Smokies and the surrounding areas. SMAC campers take part in several hikes that take them to beautiful waterfalls, reveal stunning vistas and even see some wildlife. All while hiking some of the best trails that the Smokies have to offer!

Many will get to take this experience to the next level when they venture out on multi-night backpacking trips. These excursions take them to parts of the Smokies that are even more remote and beautiful!

Canoe and Kayak

Nearly all of the campers will get to enjoy our much loved Canoe Kayak Day, which is a fun-filled day spent taking part in a range of water based activities. Those in the Excursion II, Trail Blazer and Ultimate groups will get to go on an overnight canoe trip in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Tubing

Another incredibly fun water adventure that campers get to experience is River Tubing. During this activity they’ll get to float down a gorgeous Smoky Mountain river while they enjoy the stunning scenery and fresh mountain water of the Smokies. They’ll even get to brave a few mild rapids!

Climbing and Rappelling

With a man-made 60-ft tower and a natural 40-ft rock face in the nearby national forest to choose from, campers are given multiple opportunities to grow and test their climbing and rappelling skills.

Horseback riding

Campers get the opportunity to explore the Cades Cove area of the Smoky Mountain National Park in the company of an experienced guide, while riding gentle horses accustomed to carrying children with little experience on horseback. Or those who spend their lives in the saddle!

Ice Skating

As a final farewell (and to get the kids ready for winter!), all our campers spend their final night at SMAC ice skating at the Ober Gatlinburg ice rink.

Caving

All our campers get to explore a wild (and very muddy) cave nearby, with some getting to spend the night in the Lost Sea Caverns.

White Water Rafting

Often the last and definitely one of the favorite adventures for our campers is the white water rafting trip on the Pigeon River. Located just minutes away from SMAC base camp, this intermediate white water river features 3 exhilarating Class IV rapids that the kids love to navigate!

Staff

A qualified team of counselors as dedicated to the spirit of the outdoors and the traditions of supportive adventure learning as the founding family

Here at Smoky Mountain Adventure Camp, it is our responsibility, and our honor, to select the best and most qualified counselors to work with and watch over our family of campers. While many counselors are former campers themselves, each is rigorously trained by our camp leaders and specialized outfitters.

The counselors that consistently exhibit a love of adventure, display strong leadership skills, and have the maturity to ensure the safety of our campers while providing them with loads of fun are the ones we value above all others. Many counselors become lifelong members of the SMAC family, often returning for several years. In fact, some of our most popular counselors have been watching over and guiding our summer time charges for over ten years!

Counselors arrive several days before campers in order to take part in training sessions that can include CPR, First Aid, rock climbing, water safety, wilderness skills and leadership training. Every counselor is expected to work together, build strong and trusting friendships, and ensure that all our campers are well supervised while they have fun!

While there are both male and female senior counselors, all counselors interact with the campers and strive to build trusting relationships with them. Staying in the cabins with the campers and participating in all the activities, games and songs the children do ensures that the counselors and their charges are afforded every opportunity to bond!

All campfire programs and in-camp activities such as archery, low-ropes and team building courses are always led by counselors who have extensive training in each activity. And of course, counselors are always prepared with first aid kits, bug spray, extra water bottles, and all those other little things that kids tend to forget!

Because our counselors are close friends and have often been a part of the Smoky Mountain Adventure Camp family for years, they cannot wait to come back! This gives us the freedom to be very selective and give careful consideration to the young adults we choose to work with your children. We ALWAYS hire only the best, most positive, and most dependable adventurists we can find!