|Once Upon a Time Breakaway|
The Great Smoky Mountains
Play….make new friends….learn about different cultures….plunge into a cold mountain creek….swap tall tales around the bonfire….learn to "give and take" with your group members….walk through the woods at night….sing the Native American Morning Song each morning to greet the new day. These are some of the things you will do with your fellow Breakaway adventurers.
Once Upon A Time is an approved host site for Breakaway, a national nonprofit organization linking college students with communities to perform service projects addressing a variety of social, cultural, and environmental needs. We were named 2007 Host Site of the Year and were one of five finalists for 2010 Host Site of the Year.
Our mission focuses on the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Nation, the environment, and rural Appalachia. We cooperate with several area agencies and communities: the Snowbird Cherokee community in Robbinsville, NC, Cherokee National Forest, Sequoyah Museum, and Great Smoky Mountains National Park. A unique aspect of our program is that we offer a variety of service projects during the week. A typical week involves one day in the Snowbird Cherokee community, one day in either Cherokee National Forest or Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and one day homesteading at Once Upon A Time or volunteering at Sequoyah Museum.
We are located on 40 acres in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains, about 30 minutes southeast of Maryville, Tennessee. There are no streetlights or traffic lights here. Maybe your cell phone will work and maybe it won't. But we do have spectacular mountain vistas, abundant wildlife, and good old Appalachian mountain hospitality.
2018 News and Notes
We are blessed to have been able to host alternative break groups again in 2018. We scaled back to one school per week and with the help of our grandchildren and program assistants Wanda DeWaard and Britney Brightwell, a great time was had by all. We added a new site location for Fall breaks in 2018. We will host groups in a cabin at 4,000 ft. on Roan Mountain in Tennessee. Agencies we will work with may include Roan Mountain State Park, Cherokee National Forest, Hampton Creek State Natural Area, and Tennessee Eastman Hiking Club which maintains the Appalachian Trail. There will be a change in the program for 2019. We are reducing our fee to deduct food cost and groups will be responsible for planning and preparing their own meals in their cabin. We thoroughly enjoy working with these young people and the agencies definitely want and need our continued help, so we will keep on keepin’ on.
Video: Ohio State students build hiking trail in Snowbird Cherokee community.
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