2019 Leader Registration Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage

Welcome to Wildflower Pilgrimage Leadership RSVP and Registration

Please read carefully and follow steps provided.

When: This year's pilgrimage begins at 8AM on Wednesday, April 24 and ends at 6PM on Saturday, April 27.  Some leaders will arrive Tuesday evening to lead some programs Wednesday morning (mostly our retirees!), but most leaders arrive the Wednesday evening and the first provided meal is that evening at about 5:30PM.  Some leaders come in a little earlier than what they register for to take some personal time and see what organisms are up and about or to scout out their particular venues.  Your lodging will also be ready for you as early as Tuesday evening, or the evening before the morning of your first program.  Wednesday evening is a great opportunity to settle in, gain your bearings, and begin to network and talk more with leaders that you are partnering with on programs.  In fact, I plan to try to put together very informal “mixer” on Wednesday evening so new leaders can talk with experienced ones.  About half the leaders choose to go home on Saturday evening, after the event, but you may stay and have breakfast on Sunday morning.  Checkout is relaxed and on Sunday morning by about 10-11AM.

What is expected of you: As a leader, you will be expected to lead one or two programs per day for between 8-15 pilgrims.  We will work with you to be sure you are leading hikes for which you are qualified and will have fun doing.  All programs will have at least two leaders to service 20-25 pilgrims.  Programs are all held within the GSMNP at various trails, pavilions, or other facilities within the Park.  You have the option to drive to your program location, carpool with your coleader, or take the transportation provided by the Pilgrimage (if transportation is provided for that program).  We encourage leaders to carpool or take our transportation to save on parking.  Last, it is important to know that we ask that you do not cancel on us except for the most serious of reasons.  It is very, very difficult to find replacements for you!  Needless to say, we also expect that you will be able to navigate to and be at your trailhead or other meeting place about 10-15 minutes before your program starts so you can start rounding up pilgrims.

What you get:  The Pilgrimage charges pilgrims a registration fee and the bulk of these funds are used to cover the costs of leader housing and meals at Arrowmont School for Arts and Crafts, in Gatlinburg, TN.  Leaders are allowed to bring one guest, e.g., spouse or partner.  They may also bring non-adult children at no cost.  Adult children, or for example a friend or parent, may count as the one guest.  Additional guests brought by leaders, e.g., adult children, may come, but the costs of their meals and lodging will need to be covered by the leader (meals are about $12 each and additional lodging $65).  Arrowmont has a limited number of dormatories and we need to dedicate these to cover all of the ~100 leaders and their others.  Three meals a day are also provided to leaders, their other, and non-adult children.  Breakfast and dinner are cafeteria-style at Arrowmont and hearty paperbag lunches will be ready for you to pick up either as you leave after breakfast or if you come back to Arrowmont at lunchtime (they are typically put away by about 2:00PM).  Very good vegetarian options are available at all meals and we can accommodate allergies, if we know about them ahead of time.  Last, it has been the policy of the Pilgrimage for many years that your family, spouse, or other can either tag along with you on your event or simply show up at any of the other events during the Pilgrimage (as long as they are not a burden on organized transportation).  We would also ask that if for some odd reason a program is overpopulated (solidly over 25 pilgrims), then maybe your others can find another program to attend and not push that program far beyond its capacity – it would be unfair to the leaders as well as beyond what the Park is allowing.

The Process:  Please mark your calendars now.  Sometime in the fall we will send a formal invitation to all of the leaders.  It will feel to you like a meeting registration platform.  During this, you will select the days that you will be available to lead and also the number of meals per day you and your other(s) will require.  We will use your availability to build the 2019 Brochure and Program and to assign all leaders to their hikes.  We will send out leader assignments sometime in March.  In order for us to make the budget, we need for leaders to be able to provide about 1.5 programs for each day of meals and night of lodging that we will cover for you – we will do all of the math here, we are just letting you know that if you come to town, we’ll need to put you to some [fun] work, but we will also try to work in some time off.  

NOTE: It is very important you (1) fill out this registration form accurately and (2) do not change your information after the Leader Registration period is over, on January 15th 2019.  Up until the Leader Registration Period is over you can log back in and make adjustments to your registration.  If emergencies arise and you are forced to make changes after the Leader Registration period is over, please contact Shannon Gordon, (wildflowerpilgrimage@sebiologists.org / 912-604-4847) or Joey Shaw.


  • Registration: Complete the Registration form, below, to volunteer to participate in this year’s Pilgrimage.  Detailed communication will follow confirming all information once our final Program is confirmed and our needs for 2019 are understood.
  • Guest / Children Registration: Please enter the name of ALL guests, including children of any age.  Registration is how all badges are generated, how our financial obligations are met and considered, and how we ensure all of you will have what you need.
  • Housing:  We will make reservations for you at Arrowmont, based on the information you provide in this form. You will receive confirmation of housing prior to arrival.
  • Meals:  We will have meals provided for you and your guest(s), based on the information you provide here.  Please indicate how many meals per day for each meal period you and your guest(s) will require.  
  • Email address: If you have one email address for multiple leaders (e.g., spouses or partners sharing an address), then please enter additional leader as guest and make note of it in comments under, "Leader General" section of registration.

As before, you will be responsible for costs associated with additional family members or guests.  Reservations and payment for extra guests must be made in advance to Arrowmont School and ARE NOT TO BE INCLUDED ON THE PILGRIMAGE ACCOMMODATIONS FORM.  Contact Cynthia Bellacome (E-mail: cbellacome@arrowmont.org; Mail: P. O. Box 567, Gatlinburg, TN 37738; Phone: 865-436-5860, Ext. 23; Fax: 865–430-4101) at Arrowmont Business office Monday – Friday about space available and rates for guests.

Thank you for your continued support of the Pilgrimage and we look forward to another successful year.

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Invitee Information