Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont

From urban wilderness to regional wilderness, the Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont offers a unique residential experience in the Smokies.

As their website puts it, “Tremont is a non-profit residential environmental education center that provides in-depth experiences through education programs that celebrate ecological and cultural diversity, foster stewardship, and nurture appreciation of Great Smoky Mountains National Park.”

Mabel Ijams and Camp Margaret Townsend

Ijams and GSMIT also enjoy a shared history. H.P. Ijams’ brother Ed was the superintendent of the Townsend Lumber Mill who married Mabel Townsend, daughter of Col. W.B. Townsend  in 1905. The small town of Townsend on the edge of Great Smoky Mountains National Park was named after the Colonel who owned thousands of acres in the Smokies and was the first lumber merchant to sell to the park in the 1920s.

Both Mabel and Alice Ijams were Ambassadors for the Knoxville Girl Scout Council and were instrumental in establishing Camp Margaret Townsend, a signature summer camp for Girl Scouts that operated from 1925-1959. Today, GSMIT is located on this very spot.

Opportunities for High School Students at Tremont

Maryville College is launching a new, one-of-a-kind summer program for high school students to earn college credit. The “Great Smokies Experience” is an outdoor summer program at Tremont. Learn more about this new program at and