Students sitting on a wooden bridge

Smoky Mountains Adventure


  • What Rockwood Families are Saying

    "Both of my kids have LOVED the Smoky Mountains Adventure trip. It takes them days to relay all the stories they have to share! From the bus ride to the games to the hikes to the wildlife education, they soak up every minute of it. I appreciate the independence it allows for the kids. The connection to and appreciation for the natural environment this trip fosters is priceless!"

    — Carey T., Rockwood Parent

    Current fifth-grade Rockwood students will venture into the Great Smoky Mountains National Park for an adventure-packed, science-based four-day trip. Explore the wilderness, search for wildlife, learn about the environment, and develop leadership skills!

    During our adventure, students will hike to a mountain waterfall while developing science skills along the way, collect and release specimens in different habitats to compare their characteristics, and embark on an all-day hike exploring a unique mountain ecosystem. Adventures and discovery continue in the evening during a night hike to learn about nocturnal adaptations, and friendships are formed during good old-fashioned campfire programs!

    Each trip is planned and led by our Parkway-Rockwood Community Ed staff and chaperoned by Rockwood School District teachers, administrators, and staff. Many of our chaperones have participated in the Smoky Mountains Adventure in the past and enjoy leading students on this unique experience each school year!

    2022 Trip Dates by School

    1. March 4-7, 2022 (departs evening of March 3 from Fairway Elementary): Ballwin, Fairway, Green Pines
    2. March 11-14, 2022 (departs evening of March 10 from Kehrs Mill Elementary): Ellisville, Kehrs Mill, Westridge
    3. April 8-11, 2022 (departs evening of April 7 from Uthoff Valley Elementary): Bowles, Kellison, Stanton, Uthoff Valley
    4. April 29-May 2, 2022 (departs evening of April 28 from Chesterfield Elementary): Babler, Chesterfield, Pond
    5. May 13-16, 2022 (departs evening of May 12 from Blevins Elementary): Blevins, Eureka, Geggie
    6. May 20-23, 2022 (departs evening of May 19 from Wild Horse Elementary): Ridge Meadows, Wild Horse, Woerther
    .We will continue to monitor the pandemic situation over the coming year and will make changes to trip plans if needed. If the trip needs to be canceled, a full refund will be given.


    The trip cost is $650. A $200 deposit is due at the time of registration with two installments of $225 each due January 7 and February 4. Limited fee assistance is available to those who qualify on a first-come, first-served basis until the funds are exhausted. Contact, or call or text 636-891-6644 for more fee assistance information.

    Note: The fee for the trip is set to meet the district requirement that all trips are self-funded and fees cover the cost for all expenses.


    The Smoky Mountains Adventure is open to all fifth-grade students currently enrolled at a Rockwood School District Elementary school. Registrations must be submitted by the parent or legal guardian for the child.

    Registration will take place through a random draw lottery. The lottery sign up period begins December 6 and will run continuously through Sunday, December 12 at 11:59 p.m.

    • You may only register for your child's assigned school trip. You may not register for another school's trip.
    • You only need to register one time for each child.
    • All those registering for the lottery will have an equal chance to be drawn for the trip, regardless of when they register between now and Sunday.

    On Monday, December 13, the system will randomly draw from those who have registered for the lottery and will assign students to trips:

    • If you are chosen in the lottery, you will receive an email by Monday, December 13 at 4 p.m. confirming your registration. The payment option you choose when registering for the lottery (deposit only or full payment) will be charged to the payment method you have on file.
    • If you are not chosen in the lottery, you will receive an email by Monday, December 13 at 4 p.m. letting you know you were not selected, but will be automatically be moved to the waitlist and will be contacted if/when a space becomes available.

    In order to register online, you will need to create an account in the online registration system (if you do not already have one). In addition, your child must be added to your account prior to registering him/her for the trip program.

    If your school’s trip sells out, you may sign up for a waitlist through the online registration system (your deposit will not be processed while you are on the waitlist). If no space opens on your school’s trip, there may be an opportunity to be placed on another Rockwood elementary school’s trip (depending on space availability). There is no guarantee that all students will be placed on a trip.

    Register for the random draw lottery.

    Travel and Lodging Accommodations

    We will travel by charter coach to the Tremont Institute inside Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Our accommodations at Tremont Institute include dormitory style housing, a full service cafeteria, outdoor classroom facilities and indoor lab space. Students will be housed and supervised in single gender dorms which are equipped with heat, restrooms and showers. Meals are student friendly with healthy options and are served family style in the cafeteria. Many allergies and dietary restrictions can be accommodated. Please note any allergy or dietary restrictions at the time of registration or call 636-458-3048 for more information. Learn more about the Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont (GSMIT).

    Packing List

    View a list of recommended items your child should pack to ensure their succeess on the trip.

    Class Instruction

    Tremont instructors partner with Rockwood teachers to lead students through classes that explore the unique environment of the Smokies, develop leadership skills, and build teamwork amongst students. The staff at Tremont have a passion for sharing their knowledge with our students!

    Departure Information

    Students should arrive at the departure location for check-in between 8:15–9:15 p.m. on Thursday evening of their trip (see trip dates above). Upon arrival, leave your luggage in the car and proceed inside to complete the check-in process. Boarding (motor coaches) will start at 9 p.m. and chaperones will supervise the loading of luggage and students (parents are not allowed on the bus). Buses are scheduled to depart at 9:30 p.m.

    Return Information

    Buses are scheduled to return to the departure location at 5:30 p.m. on Monday afternoon. This is an approximate arrival time; actual arrival time will depend upon several factors, including traffic. On the return day, up-to-date return time will be posted on our Twitter feed and Facebook page. Students will remain on the bus until a parent (or designated person) checks out their student with a trip chaperone.

    Accommodations for Students with Disabilities

    Reasonable accommodations will be made to afford students with disabilities an equal opportunity to participate. If a parent believes that his/her child will need accommodations, a form will need to be completed to initiate planning. To obtain a copy of the form, please contact Chloe Kersten, our Inclusion Specialist, at 636-891-6639 or

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How many students can you take on a trip? If the trip sells out, will there be a wait list?

  • How much does the trip cost? What is the payment process?

  • How are buses, activity groups and sleeping/dorm spaces assigned?

  • Will siblings/twins be grouped together on trips?

  • How are students supervised during the trip?

  • Who chaperones the trips? Can parents go?

  • Can my child bring a cell phone on the trip?

  • What happens if a child is sick/injured during the trip?

  • What are the participation criteria and behavior guidelines for my child to attend the trip?

  • My child has special needs and may require accommodations. Who do I contact to discuss possible support?

  • What is the cancellation policy?

  • What happens if my child gets sick at the facility? (COVID or Non-COVID illness)?

  • What are the COVID-related health and safety guidelines?

  • Where can I find additional information?