Tennessee Chapter Spring Retreat 

May 3-5 @ Fall Creek Falls State Park 



The Cherokee Group cordially invites you to the Tennessee Chapter’s Spring Retreat at beautiful Fall Creek Falls State Park. Enjoy the company of other environmentalists during the peak of spring wildflower season! Be a part of the fellowship, hikes, fireplace chats, and meetings. Don’t miss a special Saturday lunchtime program on our region's forests, a silent auction that evening, and the informal social gathering that follows. Join others who share your love and respect for the environment. This retreat will focus on fun, connecting, outdoor adventures, and interesting programs. An Outdoor Leaders Training course will be offered if there is sufficient interest. No Chapter executive committee meeting will be held. 

Family Friendly

We particularly encourage families to bring children of all ages to introduce them to the wonderful natural landscape of Fall Creek Falls State Park! Weather permitting, on Saturday evening we will have a bonfire where kids (of all ages) can make s’mores. Yummy! 

Special Activity

Resilience: After the Eruption - Using a Game to Understand:  Ecosystem Management

Resilience: After The Eruption computer game screen

Have you wondered how strategies are developed to manage landscapes to meet ecological, economic, and social goals? Parker Maynard, a graduate student at the University of Tennessee, has designed a computer game to foster learning about ecosystem management strategies. Participants at the May retreat are invited to play the game and evaluate what they have learned. Parker’s game called Resilience: After The Eruption synthesizes what has been learned about resource management following the eruption of Mount St. Helens. Lessons from playing the game can be applied to recovery after other disturbances to natural systems. Playing the game will help Parker develop a manuscript for submission to the International Journal of Serious Games. If you would like to participate and it is convenient, please bring your PC or Mac laptop to the retreat for a unique experience.


To be announced at the Retreat. A Mammoth March event is also happening at the Park on Saturday with an estimated 1200 participants on a specific route (disclosed two weeks prior). As this will pose a challenge to enjoyable trail time, alternative routes/locations are being evaluated and will be presented. On the bright side, it will be a good Sierra Club exposure opportunity to a large number of nature lovers! Come prepared with good boots/shoes, portable hydration, and weather gear - rain, sun protection, or clothing for potential cool/hot weather.


Full registration includes the cost of two breakfasts (Saturday & Sunday) and Saturday supper, all prepared and served in the Group Lodge kitchen. Please consider participating in the Lunch-and-Learn session at the Group Lodge at lunchtime Saturday, May 4th (12:30-1:30pm). Bring food for your lunch and use the lodge kitchen for any preparation you need. If you do not plan to attend the Lunch-and-Learn, other options include the hotel dining room and the park general store. There is ample space in the lodge refrigerators and freezers for your personal food and drinks. A personal drinking cup is a good idea, but you do not need a mess kit or utensils. Dishes, cutlery, and cups are provided from the lodge kitchen. Adult beverages are allowed for consumption within the Group Lodge. 


Newton Ford Bunk Lodge (formerly Group Lodge #1) is centrally located 35 miles southwest of Crossville and 44 miles southeast of Cookeville. Venue information and directions are available at https://tnstateparks.com/parks/fall-creek-falls. The Lodge has separate bunkhouse wings for males and females. Bring linens or a sleeping bag, pillow, towels, and toiletries. If bunkhouse living is not for you, rent a park cabin or room at the hotel (Lodge at Fall Creek Falls)*, or reserve a campsite for a tent or RV. *Vacancy is likely limited as rooms and cabins book up seasons in advance.

Fall Creek Falls State Park

Fall Creek Falls State Park (FCF) has spectacular water features. In 1937, when the federal government began purchasing land for the park, much of it was badly eroded. The Works Project Administration (WPA) and Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) began conservation programs to restore the ecosystem. After the National Park Service determined the land was too small for a National Park, it was transferred to the State in 1944 and became a state park. The park was recently expanded to over 30,000 acres, with many waterfalls and cascades, gorges, caves, and extensive forests including exceptional stands of virgin timber. In 2022, the new Lodge at Fall Creek Falls hotel opened to replace an older lodge that was razed in 2019. 

Retreat Costs

  • Early Birds: Register by April 25 (lodging, 2 breakfasts, Saturday dinner): Adult $60; After April 27 register for $70 
  • First Chapter Retreat? Receive a special price (lodging, 2 breakfasts, Saturday dinner): Adult $40 
  • Student (lodging, 2 breakfasts, Saturday dinner): $30 
  • Sunday Only (registration, breakfast, no lodging) — $10; (no lodging or breakfast): $5 

Pay at the retreat by cash or check (no credit cards).

Register here:  Spring 2024 Retreat Registration

Contact Dave Hoot (sierra.tn.cherokee@gmail.com or 423-503-9482) with any questions.