BSA Winterfest - FAQs

What is Winterfest?
Winterfest is the largest gathering in the United States catering to Venturers, Explorers and takes place annually in Gatlinburg, TN. Our event is the largest scout assembly that specifically targets co-ed youth ages 14-21, and allows them to participate in a variety of competitive and social activities throughout the weekend.

When is Winterfest?
February 8-10, 2019

Who can attend Winterfest?
Winterfest is open to all currently registered Boy Scouts ages 14 and over, Venturers, Sea Scouts, Explorers, and their adult leaders.

What is the street address of the convention center?
234 Historic Nature Trail, Gatlinburg, TN

How do I register my unit for Winterfest?
Registration should open in October and we will notify units through Remind, Facebook and this website.

What time does check-in open?
Check-in will open on Friday, February 8, 2019 at 9:00 a.m.

Are there any extra fees?
A $9 activity fee will be assessed for outdoor range shooting sports participants (excluding archery and air rifle). All meals and lodging are at the unit's expense.

How can I become a vendor or sponsor?
Winterfest is still looking for additional sponsors and vendors. Please see our Vendor page for more information.

Can I carry my firearm?
The local sheriff’s office has asked that, unless you are in complete uniform, that you do not carry your firearm.

Is there transportation to the remote events?
Yes, there is free transportation provided to all Winterfest sites. It will begin at 7:30 Saturday morning and run through 5:30 PM. To gain access to the buses you must show your Winterfest wristband which you will receive at check-in.

Do I need a swim test to participate in aquatic events?
No.

Can my parents watch the competition in the convention center?
We love to have parents come and watch. They will need to purchase a visitor wristband which can be done for as little as $10 pre-purchase prior to mid January.  For the safety of the youth involved, wristbands will be required for access to all events, competition, and transportation. Visitor wristbands are available on our registration site.

Is there parking near the convention center?
There is drop-off parking at the convention center, and minimal paid parking lots near the convention center. Parking passes are available on a limited basis for $15 pre-order through our registration system. This will allow you access to park in a parking lot near the convention center. If there are passes left, they will be sold for $20 at the event. However, we expect those will sell out with pre-orders. Please note that vehicles with more than a 15-person capacity will not be allowed in the parking lot.

Do I really have to be in my room by 1 AM?
Yes, it is part of the Winterfest Code of Conduct found here.

How do I participate in the talent show?
Tryouts will be Friday night in Hall 1 of the Convention Center, the judging body will notify you if you will perform on Saturday night at the closing show.

Can I bring food into the convention center?
We encourage everyone to bring a refillable water bottler. Water refill stations will be available. The convention center asks that no outside food be brought in. Proof of the Pudding will be operating oncession stands with various lunch entrees. You can pre-purchase food from them for a reduced rate by submitting an order prior to February 3. The order form is in the Advisor Guide and on the Advisor tab on our website. 

Where do I find out my results for the competition?
Results will be posted on this site as they beome available, typically a few days after the event. We will also announce the positng on Facebook. 

Competition doesn’t start until Saturday.  What can I do on Friday night?
This year there will be a few events that are taking place on Friday night including the Honor Guard Competition, STEM Events, and possibly a few events for Law Enforcement Explorers. These are detailed in the Event Guides.

There are also several activity options through our partners including: Ripley’s, WonderWorks, and Zip Gatlinburg. We will also have an opening show followed by a dance. These are all optional events but we encourage you to attend.

Can I use my local training certificate instead of going to the NRA briefing?
If you have a valid and current NRA certification you may opt out of attending the briefing; however, you MUST bring that certification to the safety briefing area for it to be reviewed. If accepted, you will be provided a wristband for the outdoor range.

Can I carry my mock weapon outside of the convention center?
The Gatlinburg Sheriff’s Office asks that you do not, for the safety of you and their officers.

What happens if it snows and the pass over the mountain is closed?
Alternative routes are available. We encourage you to follow the National Park Service on Twitter so that you can stay informed. We will also monitor road conditions and will post what we find out through Facebook and Twitter.

If I change my mind about coming to Winterfest, can I get my money back?
Sorry, unfortunately the Winterfest fee is non-refundable.