Due to the great interest in the Spring Chainsaw Retreat, we have reached the limit on available housing. We celebrate the number of people participating in the retreat and apologize to those of you we are not able to accommodate.

TBM Disaster Relief Spring Chainsaw Retreat will provide training opportunities for training in the advanced skills useful in our DR ministry. This retreat is open to volunteers across the state who are serious in learning those skills. As in the past, Monday will primarily be a travel day with the retreat actually beginning with the evening meal that day. Everyone attending the retreat must register via this web page, and everyone who registers will be charged a $20 registration fee.

2024 Chainsaw Retreat
Camp Buckner Retreat & Conference Center
3835 FM 2342, Burnet, Texas
April 1-5
Cost: $20

Because some classes have size limits and they filled quickly last year, we are planning to add some sessions and combining them with other training to allow training in more than one specialty. These are listed in the registration process. Each person registering must select a Training Track.

When you register for a track below you are registering for the retreat. One registration.

(Specialty Training class descriptions can be seen lower on this page.)

Click on ONE track below to register.
You may register for only ONE.

Track A1: Basic Climbing (limit 12)
Track A2: Climbing Ground Support (limit 6)
Track B: Heavy Equipment (Skid Loader)
Track C1: Rigging plus Roofs & Ladders (limit 10)
Track C2: Rigging plus Temporary Roof (limit 10)
Track D1: Roofs & Ladders plus Rigging (limit 10)
Track D2: Temporary Roof plus Rigging (limit 10)
Track E: Man Lift
Track F: Advanced Chainsaw (or Camp Chainsaw)
Track G: Basic Chainsaw
Track H: Chaplain Training (Wednesday through Friday)

When you finish your track, you (everyone) will be assigned to Camp Chainsaw.

Lodging will be at Camp Buckner and is included in cost of the retreat. TBM will provide a bed and mattress. Each attendee should bring sheets, pillow, blankets or sleeping bags, and toiletries. (Men and women have separate group sleeping arrangements.)

Meals are also provided for the cost of the retreat.

Specialty Training Descriptions

Advanced Chainsaw Training

Camp clean up and associated tree work.

Basic Chainsaw Training

Target audience: Texans on Mission DR volunteers wanting chainsaw training to work with the DR Chainsaw ministry.

Basic skills on how to safely operate chainsaws while helping survivors after a disaster. Basic tree felling and bucking techniques will also be reviewed/introduced. This is a full-day course with classroom training followed by hands-on training with a chainsaw. Students should come dressed for field operations — long pants, preferably long sleeve work shirt, work shoes or boots (tennis shoes and sneakers not permitted); no shorts or sandals. Chainsaws and safety equipment will be provided. All attendees will receive a manual. Pre-registration online is required.

Basic Climbing, Ground Support and Rescue (Retreat)

This is the Basic Climbing class, Ground Support with the Rescue module added. The Climbing class will be limited to 12 students. The Ground Support is limited to six students. Everyone attending the Ground Support class will be trained in everything the climber gets but will NOT get off the ground. That will make them a GREAT Ground Support person for a climber.

The Rescue Class will be all day on Friday and is included in the climbing/rescue registration.


  • Current Texans on Mission DR credentials
  • Texans on Mission Basic Chainsaw Training
  • Recommendation from students Chainsaw Blue Cap per the BASIC CLIMBING RECOMMENDATION form*

(form currently available from David Meyer, davidmeyertx@verizon.net)     

*Recommendation form MUST be turned into David Meyer 7 days before the class

Heavy Equipment Training

Target Audience: Texans on Mission DR volunteers needing certification in Heavy Equipment operation.

This course is an overview of policies and procedures for those wishing to volunteer with a Heavy Equipment Unit. Safety procedures are an important part of this course. After the classroom presentation, there will be a "hands on" section in which the student will be allowed to operate available equipment. Pre-registration online is required.

Man Lift Training

This is the Basic Man Lift class with the Rescue module added. Participants must have current Texans on Mission DR credentials and have completed the Basic Chainsaw Training class. Students must have demonstrated their ability to use a chainsaw, (i.e. can buck, limb, and drop a tree with minimal or no Blue Cap intervention). 

Approximately one week before the class starts, students registered for the Man Lift class will be sent a link by Wendell Romans what will contain training for the knots you must know before you get to class.

Rescue Training

Target Audience: All chainsaw Blue Caps and their designated Lead Person(s), any chainsaw trained person interested in climber rescue training.



The Texans on Mission Rigging Class teaches safe rigging techniques using ropes, slings and hardware working with ground crews and climbers to skillfully and safely remove limbs, dismantle trees and create mechanical advantage. Students are provided classroom and hands-on instruction, practicing safety for workers, care of equipment and property. Each student will receive a textbook, which is included in the registration fee.

Roofs and Ladders

This class discusses and practices safety techniques which must be considered when working off the ground, both on ladders or on rooftops. It is particularly helpful for volunteers on chainsaw teams.

Temporary Roof Training

Target Audience: Texans on Mission DR volunteers interested in tarping roofs damaged by a disaster, including providing ground support.

This training provides an overview of the ministry’s mission, as well as basic techniques, procedures and safety concerns in tarping a roof after a disaster. While some volunteers need to work on the roof, there is also a need for trained volunteers to serve on the ground crew. There is no charge to the volunteer for this training. Pre-registration online is required.