When to Arrive
The FGC Gathering begins on Sunday, July 5. All Friends are welcome to arrive July 4 if they wish (additional charges will apply). Some Friends will arrive Friday July 3 to participate in pre-Gathering events. All Junior Gathering volunteers have to attend a mandatory training which begins at 9 am on Sunday July 5. The Gathering will pay Saturday housing fees for Junior Gathering volunteers, but not for their family members or others arriving with them.
We will be using the Asheville Airport (AVL) and will arrange for vans to campus during limited time periods. Read more about airport vans and reserve your van seat no later than June 10.
Buy your airline tickets early! Asheville is a small airport, and we expect prices to increase dramatically as we near the Gathering.
You may also consider using Greenville-Spartanburg (GSP) airport which is about two hours from the Gathering campus and renting a car for the week.
To book your reservation call Amtrak at 1 (800) 872-7245 or contact your local travel agent. FGC discount tickets cannot be booked via the Internet. You need to purchase your ticket by phone or in person to receive the Gathering discount. Click here for information you can hand to a ticket agent. Please be sure to refer to Convention Fare Code X79U-917 when making your reservation. This offer is not valid on the Auto Train and Acela Service. Fare is valid on Amtrak Regional for all departures seven days a week, including the 4th of July. Offer valid with Sleepers, Business Class or First Class seats with payment of the full applicable accommodation charges. The sooner you buy your ticket, the cheaper it is likely to be.
For Gathering attenders, Amtrak offers a 10% discount off the best available rail fare to Greensboro, NC, between June 30 and July 14, 2015. Please note that no additional discount applies. People over 61 or with AARP memberships should ask whether the senior discount is a better price.
Luggage limitations. Only select train stations and routes permit checked luggage. Each passenger is limited to two pieces of carry on luggage (up to 50 lbs each) plus personal items. Amtrak may consider strollers, diaper bags, and car seats as "personal items" permitted in addition to your luggage allowance, but it is not clear if they do. We recommend reading Amtrack Carry-on Baggage and Amtrak Special Items (scroll down to Baby Items) or contacting Amtrak if you have questions.
The Gathering is providing very limited transportation between the Greensboro Amtrak station and WCU, which is 3 1/2 to 4 hours away. Advance reservations on the Gathering Amtrak Bus are required no later than June 10. Read more.
Greyhound serves Asheville, and the vans to the Asheville Airport can also pick up Greyhound passengers during designated hours. Make your reservations for these vans no later than June 10.
Western Carolina University is:
- 50 miles west of Asheville, NC
- 150 miles from Atlanta, GA
- 300 miles from Nashville, TN
- 300 miles from Raleigh, NC
Be green and arrive at the Gathering with a full car! Indicate your interest in carpooling when you register, and FGC will send you information about contacting other carpoolers.
After you have registred, to view the carpool list, you must have the registration confirmation number listed in the e-mail instructions. Once you get to your Registration Summary page, click on upper INFORMATION tab at the top (just under the Gathering logo) and then click on CARPOOL LIST tab on the next line down.