GAFW Fall Retreat Tips – 2022

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We are excited that you are joining us for our 19th Annual Georgia ForestWatch Fall Retreat on October 15th at the Lake Winfield Scott open-air pavilion. The Retreat begins at 8:00 am and should be over by 5:30 pm. Registration is required to the attend the Retreat.

Just a few bits of information that will help you have a successful and enjoyable day at the Retreat: 

  • You will need a park pass for each vehicle. You can purchase them onsite for $5.00 or both the Interagency Senior and Access Passes and the Golden Age and Access Passports and the FIND Outdoors pass are accepted. Since parking is limited, you are encouraged to carpool.
  • You attend at your own risk regarding COVID exposure. Masks and vaccination are not required, but we hope you will respect others and protect yourself. All GAFW staff have been vaccinated and boosted.
  • Registration opens at 8:00 a.m., with coffee and snacks available. Our program begins at 9:00, with lunch around 12:00 noon.
  • Bathrooms are close by but do require navigating a few stone steps.
  • Children must be supervised. Twelve and under are admitted free, but please let us know the names of any children who will attend before Monday, September 19, by emailing Children 13 and over should have a paid ticket. 
  • Well-behaved dogs on leashes are welcome, but they must stay with you at all times. You are expected to clean up after your dog.
  • A limited number of kayaks will be available during for anyone wishing to get out on the lake.

Afternoon activities labeled “walk” require signing up when you arrive at Lake Winfield Scott Pavilion (first come, first served). The interactive table and talk are open to all (no signup required). 
Activity | Leader | Organization
 o   Tree ID walk | Jess Riddle | Green Leaf Ecological Consulting
 o   Plants of the Cherokee walk | Mark Warren | Medicine Bow
 o   Birding for Beginners walk | Jack Johnston | Naturalist
 o   Medicinal Plants walk | Patricia Howell | BotanoLogos School of Herbal Studies
 o   What is in the soil? Interactive table | Mac A. Callaham, Jr., PhD | USFS
 o   What happened to our old growth? talk | Cliff Shaw | Retired forester
 o   There will be opportunities to boat on the lake as well. Please dress accordingly. 

  • Unfortunately, Congressman David Scott has declined to attend our retreat. GAFW has extended an invitation for him to join us in 2023 at our 20th anniversary retreat at Red Top Mountain State Park.
  • Remember, Happy Hour is BYOB for alcoholic beverages. We will provide water and soft drinks as well as snacks. Coolers and ice will be available.
  • We need Volunteers in several capacities for one-hour shifts. If you are willing to help at the Retreat, please contact us at
  • Every effort is made to offer Gluten Free, Vegan/Vegetarian options for lunch based on your registration preferences but be prepared with your own snacks just in case.
  • Please bring your own refillable water bottle.
  • Be prepared for variable weather conditions in North Georgia Mountains.
  • Do not forget to bring extra cash or your checkbook (preferred over credit cards) for purchasing raffle tickets, merchandise, etc. 
  • Camp chairs may allow you flexibility in seating options.
  • There are still walk-in tent sites available at Vogel State Park for Friday & Saturday night at $54 for the two nights. If you would like to reserve one, please email us at by Monday, September 19.
  • Need more tickets? Join our wait list. We anticipate the availability of filling a few spaces from the list.

On Tuesday, October 11, 2022, we will send an additional email with final updates on attending the retreat.  

Please bring your flexibility and kindness and be prepared to have a fun learning adventure. As a member of GAFW, we are all here together in support of our mission and the forest. If you have any questions or suggestions for making this retreat the best ever, please let us know at Thank you for your support.