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Important Registration Information

  • Registration is not yet open for 2018, but be sure to check back. If you wish to receive a notification email or text message when registration opens you can sign up here.
  • Registration for both the conference and events will be online. This will include registration for events for Posts, Crews, Troops, Teams, and Ships.
  • Online registration will also include registration for the late night events such as Ripley’s, WonderWorks and Zip Gatlinburg. Looking for more information on these late night events?
  • All Adults and Youth must register for the conference.
  • Payment may be made via Visa, MasterCard, or Discover, or by check made payable to “Northeast Georgia Council.”
  • Shooting events are open to registered Venturers, Sea Scouts, Boy Scouts, and Explorers who have either completed NRA certification or who have attended the appropriate safety briefing at Winterfest. 
  • Boy Scouts ARE NOT allowed to participate in Pistol Shooting. Pistol Shooting is only open to registered Explorers/Venturers.


Please check back for the 2018 Events Guides…

Make sure to mark your calendars for next year where your unit will experience an exciting weekend of competition unmatched by any other event in the United States!

Sign up to be notified of Event Guide Updates as they are published! Winterfest Updates Notification Signup This service is through Remind and you can sign up with either your email address or a phone number if you prefer a text message. We will also send out a notification when registration opens.

Below is the 2017 Events Guide. We intentionally “over program” Winterfest so your youth cannot do everything that is offered. This keeps the interest level high among youth across multiple years – our goal is for your youth to participate several years in a row!

We look forward to having you at Winterfest next year.  Contact us at the Northeast Georgia Council if you have additional questions.

What are the Winterfest Shows?

Winterfest has two main shows. The Friday night show begins with a concert featuring a local band and finishes with an opening outlining the weekend activities. The Saturday night show is a variety show that features youth talent and a multimedia highlight of the weekend’s events. The Saturday show closes with an awards ceremony recognizing participants and winners of over seventy competitions.

How are the Winterfest shows produced?

While much of both shows is organized prior to the event, most of the production of the Saturday night show occurs throughout Friday and during Saturday events. A team of volunteer photographers and videographers capture hundreds of photos and video clips from all the activities. An editing team works Saturday afternoon to produce ten minutes of video and photo slideshow to be presented that evening.

Tryouts for youth talent are held Friday night, and several finalists are selected to perform during the show. Our staging, lighting, and sound teams work with the finalists Saturday morning to seamlessly incorporate the talent acts into the show. Winterfest is distinct from many conferences and presentations as the media production takes place during the conference, requiring extensive planning and a large volunteer production crew.


Download the 2018 Winterfest Advisor’s Guide (includes box lunch menus, waivers, and physical readiness sheets)

Included in this guide is much of the information you will need for your unit to have a great experience at the largest Venturing/Exploring event in the United States. This year’s guide includes the box lunch menus as well as the waivers and physical readiness sheets that were needed for some Exploring events. Hotel information can be found in the Hotel Guide listed below.

Looking for information on the late night events like Ripleys and WonderWorks? Check out this page.


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 9-11, 2018.

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 for both the conference and all events will be done online this year.  See the Registration Page for more information.

What time does check-in open?
Check-in will open on Friday, February 9, 2018 at 9:00 a.m.

Are there any extra fees this year?
Payments for registration may be made via Visa, MasterCard, Discover, or by check made payable to “Northeast Georgia Council.”  If you are paying your registration fee with a credit card please note there will be a convenience fee of $2 per transaction.  In addition, a $9 activity fee will be assessed for shooting sports participants (excluding archery and air rifle), to help off-set the cost of ammunition.

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.

Do I need a swim test to participate in aquatic events?

Can my parents watch the competition in the convention center without wristbands?
No, all youth and adults will be issued wristbands. For the safety of the youth involved, wristbands will be required for access to all events, competition, and transportation. Visitor wristbands are available at a reduced rate 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. 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-order. 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?
Drinks and snacks only. The convention center asks that you do not bring full meals or a multitude of food inside. You can order a lunch for Saturday from the convention center.

Where do I find out my results for the competition?
Results will be posted after events have completed and results are tallied.  Check the Winterfest Facebook and Twitter sites frequently where results will be posted as they become available.

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 the Mass Casualty event for Fire, EMS, and Law Enforcement Explorers. These are detailed in the Event Guides.

There are also several activity options through our partners including: Ripley’s After Dark, Skiing at Ober Gatlinburg, and WonderWorks, and there is always the Dance. You are not required to attend any of these events.  Unfortunately, Zip Gatlinburg is closed temporarily due to the fires. They plan to reopen in the spring and will return as a late night partner for Winterfest 2018.

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 receive a wristband.

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 posted on the website. Also we will monitor road conditions and will keep you updated 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.

Icon File Name Comment  
2017-Winterfest-Event-Guide-Master.pdf 2017 Winterfest Event Guide  
2018-Advisors-Guide-Winterfest-1.pdf 2018 Advisor Guide