Presbyterian Youth Connection Retreat

Feb 23-25, 2024      for Middle and High Schoolers         $120/person


Jesus was not a pushover!  Jesus did some REVOLUTIONARY things like eating with ‘sinners’ and ‘unworthy’ folks in a time when where and with whom you ate and visited was so important.  Jesus called the whole social order into question and called us to turn the world up-side down (or, really, right-side up!).  Let’s talk about it.  And play about it.  And hang out about it….

Your youth group is welcome.  Bring an adult chaperone, and you’re in!

Email to register.

Field School for Homeschool

Select Tuesdays, 10am-Noon

Join us in the forests, fields, and creeks for environmental education classes with our Program Director. Each session will include a lesson, exploration, activities in the field, and field journaling for learning reinforcement.  Recommended grades 3-5. Siblings welcome.

BYO field journal!

Tues. January 23 – Winter Tree ID
Tues. February 13 – Winter Woodland Birds
Tues. March 12 – Survival 101
Tues. April 9 –  Reptiles and Amphibians
Tues. May 14 – Orienteering and Geocaching

$10/participant, one adult free per family, $5/additional adults.
Registration required; space is limited.

Goat Hike and Play Day

Tuesday, March 12    1-4pm

Spring break just got a little cuter!  Each family will walk their own special goat along with the herd through the woods, with stops for nibbles and nature-watching.  We’ll lead the way and provide each group with a fanny pack of goat snacks to keep the goat tails wagging. Staggered hiking groups will allow for plenty of goat cuddle time back at the pen.

As groups finish their walks and cuddles, we’ll offer plenty of extra activities from a campfire with s’mores, nature art, playground time for the kids, open trails, plus meet Doodle the Friendly Noodle…our corn snake ambassador.

Trail walk is approximately .3 miles on rugged terrain.
*Trails cannot accommodate strollers*

All participants should plan to arrive by 1.

$20/person. 3 and under are free.
Space is limited!  All reservations must be made in advance.
Register here:

Trail Maintenance Days

Mondays  Jan 22, Feb 26, March 11

This December 11 we are starting a new trail!  Bring a rake, loppers, or pruners if you have them. We also have some tools available.
Children as young as 8 are welcome to join and help with parent supervision.  These events are perfect volunteer days for your students in need of service hours.
BYO Water Bottle, we’ll provide snacks.


Stargazers U-Night!

Saturday, April 13    7-9:30pm  and  Friday, May 3      7:30-10 pm

All ages and levels are welcome to join us in the Dark Sky fields for stargazing.  We’ll start indoors with a presentation on the impacts and answers for light pollution, then head out to our dark sky fields to view deep space objects through the incredible telescopes of the Memphis Astronomical Society.  BYO binoculars for added fun.

Meet at Chapel for indoor presentation at 6 pm.
Pay what you can, $5 per person suggested donation.  Proceeds support our Dark Sky Project.
RSVP: or call 901—878-1247

Little Explorers

Select Tuesdays, 10-11:30 am

Tues. Feb 20 – Who’s Been Here?: We’ll look for animal signs, tracks, and other traces that give us clues as to who was there and what they were doing!  We’ll use some tools to help us get to know things like markings, holes, tracks, and more.  We’ll create a collage scene of our own to take home.

Tues. March 19 – Baby Buds: Leaves are starting to pop while some trees are putting out flowers.  Let’s take a close look at the different buds and other tree parts, play some fun tree games, and make a tree craft.

Tues. April 30 – Magic Eggs: Egg-citing discoveries about eggs and egg-laying animals await. Meet our special reptile friend. Search for the special eggs around Pinecrest and then create your own recycled paper stuffie to take home.

Tues. May 21 – Water and Earth: It’s getting warm out, so let’s head down to the creek to explore and learn about the water cycle, different soils, and make a cool clay bouquet to take home.

Recommended ages 4-7, sibs welcome.
Stay after to play and picnic.

$8/child, one adult helper free.  Ages 2 and under, free.  $5 Additional non-participating guests.
Reservations required.  Space is limited.
Call 901-878-1247 or email to RSVP

Hike and Journal – Spring Scenes

Friday, March 15           1-4pm

Explore the burgeoning colors of spring in the forest with a short hike while engaging your journaling practice.  No experience necessary. Our nature journaling expert will share some awesome techniques for creating beautiful observational memories using words, pictures, and numbers.

BYO journal and supplies.  Anything goes, but you can also request a list of recommended tools.
We will supply additional observational tools.

Ages 7 and up
Register online at

Play in the Pines
Fri. March 15 starting at 5pm – Sat. March 16 at 10:30 am 

Kids bring their favorite adults and spend the night at camp!

Find out about summer camp or just hang out.  Enjoy a night hike, s’mores over the campfire, arts/crafts, games, and nature activities.  Parents will appreciate the info session with Q&A on summer camp details. 

$45/adult and $35/kid
Supper and breakfast plus private lodging and activities are included.

Register Here!  

Hikes with the Biologist – Family Overlook Hike
Sat. March 16        10-Noon

Explore up and over the hills to the Overlook and back.  Find tracks and traces of spring animal activity. Approximately 1 mile.  Wear appropriate footwear and bring water.  This is a perfect hike for little ones.

Pay what you can, $5 suggested donation per person.
RSVP: or call 901-878-1247

Homeschool Hiking Club
Fridays: March 1, April 12, and May 10

Join Richard, our favorite biologist, on hiking adventures all over Pinecrest. Explore and learn about different ecosystems, history, biology, botany, reading the landscape, and more.
All ages welcome.
Be prepared for up to 5 miles of hiking. If this is your first hike, we recommend coming to the Family-Friendly Overlook Hike first on Sat. March 16.
Please wear waterproof hiking boots that cover the ankles.  Trails are rugged. Terrain may include hills, forests, swamps, and grasslands.
$5/person recommended donation.
All proceeds benefit the environmental education mission of Pinecrest.
Send your RSVP to

Summer Camp Preview Day!

Sun. March 25, 2024          3-5pm

Visit Pinecrest to see what summer camp is all about!  Meet the staff, check out the cabins, play on the playground, try a camp craft, explore a trail, and roast a marshmallow.  Our camps serve rising 1st – 12th graders.  Been to camp before?  Come say hi and enjoy a fun day at your favorite getaway.  We’ll even open canteen for merch and treats.

Complete the scavenger hunt and you could win a Pinecrest shirt!  Drawing at 4:30.

Free and open to anyone interested in camp.
Just show up, or RSVP:

Intro to Nature Journaling

Sun. April 7 and Sun. April 14        2-4:30 pm

Immerse yourself in the beauty of spring! Join our journaling expert for a deep dive into the world of nature journaling, which blends words, pictures, and numbers to create beautiful observational memories.  We’ll show you a variety of observational and journaling techniques that will help you develop your personal style.  Each class will be completely different.

BYO journal and any supplies you like.  We’ll also have some supplies on hand.
You can request a list of recommended tools.

$10/person-single class
$15/person-both classes
Ages 7 and up

Register online at (Open soon!)

Natural Resources Career Exploration

Fri. April 26      9:00am-12:30pm

Students in grades 8-12 can experience STEAM-based careers in the outdoors.  Each station will be led by a professional in wildlife biology, stormwater management, environmental education, herpetology, and more.  Hands-on activities give a sense of the important ways we protect and manage our resources.

$15/student, $5/chaperones, teachers free.
Bring a picnic lunch to enjoy after the program.
Register here:
Email with questions.

Tennessee Naturalist Program

2024 FULL!  Thank you!

The mission of the Tennessee Naturalist Program is to teach Tennesseans about our natural world, inspire the desire to learn more, instill an appreciation of responsible environmental stewardship, and channel volunteer efforts toward education of the general public and conservation of Tennessee’s natural resources. Become a Certified Tennessee Naturalist through 40 hours of instruction and 40 hours of volunteer service.  Limited space available.
Classes begin March 4.

Learn more and join the waitlist at
Call 901-878-1247 or email for details.

Blue Ghost Firefly Festival

2024 TBD

Don’t miss the very short window when you can see the Blue Ghost Firefly (Phausis reticulata), first officially recognized in the Midsouth at Pinecrest just a few years ago!  These tiny fireflies seem to glow a beautiful long-lasting blue light along the edges of the forests and only appear as glowing adults for the first week of May. This event is an exciting family night out to discover the magical, glowing nocturnal world of the Midsouth.

Please arrive between 6-6:30 pm to settle in at the Chapel for a firefly presentation.

 We’ll begin with a firefly presentation in the Chapel before heading out for a variety of activities from firefly observations, a sunset hike, astronomy, sensory demonstrations, UV discoveries, a campfire and more!
Pay what you can. Suggested $10 donation per person.
Proceeds benefit Pinecrest’s environmental education programming.
Email with questions.
-If using bug spray, please do not handle fireflies (mosquito headnets and long loose clothing are highly recommended in lieu of bug spray).
-Wear sturdy shoes or boots.  Sandals and shorts are not appropriate for the tall grass and uneven ground in the fields.
-Dim, red, or blue flashlights work best for observation in low-light conditions.
-This event is rain or shine, unless weather conditions are severe.
-Any last minute updates will be posted on Facebook.

CampFood and Cocktails

2024 TBD    4-6 pm

Our big fundraiser party!  Join Pinecrest friends new and old while enjoying yummy foods, drinks, campfires, a silent auction, music, and more at Shady Grove Presbyterian Church, 5530 Shady Grove Rd in Memphis.

Learn more about the event, ticketing, and volunteer opportunities at the CampFood and Cocktails page by clicking here!

Plenty in the Pines

2024 TBD      11:30-1:00

Here’s to plenty of gratitude and plenty of turkey! Join us for a homemade meal, then enjoy our bonfires, hayrides, and rocking chairs.

RSVP by November 9 or 901.878.1247

Adults $25, Kids ages 4-9 $15, Kids under 4 Free

Snappy Sync Firefly Hike

Saturday, June 3      8-10pm

Did you know west Tennessee has several species of synchronous fireflies? Come see the Snappy Syncs, Photuris frontalis, light up the wooded hillslopes at Pinecrest in an electrifying display. We’ll make our way to the Overlook as we listen to the owls and chuck-wills-widows. If we have a clear night we’ll see thousands of stars and take dark sky readings. Get hands-on and explore special wildlife areas that may yield more beautiful nocturnal wildlife finds.
We’ll hike as the sun sets, so bring a flashlight or headlamp (the best ones are low lumens plus a red or blue light filter). Loose long sleeves and a mosquito head net provide good protection without excessive bug spray that can harm the wildlife we want to see.
This event is open to all but limited to the first 25 people. Please no pets.
Pay what you can, suggested $10 donation to support our environmental education programs.
Arrive between 7:30-8, hike departs promptly at 8.
Register here:
Call 901-878-1247 for more information.

Open-Gate Days


Play on the playground, splash in the creek, explore the woods, try a scavenger hunt, shop our merch, and picnic in the sunshine.  Check out our Amphibian Pond Party on Thursday in our event listings (RSVP).
Dogs on leash welcome. Please clean up after your pet.  Please no dogs at educational programs.
If you feel sick, please remain home.
Suggested donation $5/person
Call 901-878-1247 or e-mail for more info.

Christmas Camp

December 2024 TBD

27 magical hours at Pinecrest!  We’ll sing, dance, play, make stuff, go hiking, have a bonfire and s’mores, drink hot chocolate… all the things AND your favorite summer camp counselors will be here, too!  Bring a friend!
Open to Grades 3-8.

$130 if you complete your registration and pay in full before November 1!

$150 if registering or paying after October 31.

Registration open now!

Cinnamon Roll Out 2024

Thank you to everyone who ordered!  Pick up TBD at Shady Grove Presbyterian Church from 11:30-12:30.
Contact us if you need to make other arrangements: or 901.878.1247

Copyright 2017-2020 Pinecrest Camp and Retreat Center, Inc.  All rights reserved.