A Grand Adventure
What began as a baseball and softball training facility has been transformed into a training center for life.
Butter and Egg Adventures is a retreat center and aerial adventure park located in Troy. It offers team-building exercises, outdoor recreation, guided aerial tours and overnight retreats for individuals, families and groups of all kinds.
Owners Ron and Susan Pierce met while both were working at Troy University. Now retired, they devote their time to helping families and groups bond.
After Ron retired from Troy University, he decided to teach baseball and softball lessons. His son was playing baseball, so Ron — who had been on the baseball team at Troy University — decided to build a training center that included a batting cage.
Ron continued the baseball and softball lessons for about 14 years, eventually running some summer day camps on the property — baseball lessons in the morning and outdoor recreation activities in the afternoon. “The second year of running the camps, we built a climbing wall and then a zip line,” Ron says.
But, the Pierces soon realized that they needed to choose to either grow the athletic training program or pursue their new venture, a retreat. “We chose the retreat,” Ron says.
Since then, Butter and Egg Adventures has continued to expand. Set on 48 acres, it now offers more than 30 activities for visitors. “Everything just started growing. As the need presented itself, we realized we needed a place to prepare and serve meals and have overnight camps and accommodations, so we added a bunkhouse,” Ron says. The bunkhouse, formerly the training facility, can accommodate 52 guests.
In 2007, after retiring from Troy University, Susan joined the Butter and Egg Adventures staff full time. She felt that her experience in counseling would be beneficial to the variety of groups they would be serving at the retreat center.
Susan also led the way in developing the team-building low ropes challenge course. She received the proper training to operate the course, and Ron used his talent for building to make it a reality.
“It’s really fulfilling to be able to work with groups where so many kids have not had exposure to a lot of challenging outdoor activities,” Susan says. “Some children have never been in a paddleboat or canoe, and they’re afraid because they can’t swim.”
But, that’s what Butter and Egg Adventures is all about — helping enrich lives and building confidence.
”We have a facility that’s very unique to this part of Alabama,” Ron says. He describes Butter and Egg Adventures as a “challenge by choice facility,” meaning guests will not be forced to do something they don’t want to do. “For example, if you’re at the top of the first zipline and you decide you don’t want to do it, we aren’t going to just push you,” he says.
There are 19 zip lines on the property, including a unique one that features a bicycle in the trees. It’s all very secure, as the participant is hooked up in four different places to ensure against a fall.
Experiences can be customized according to a group’s needs. Susan says group types and sizes vary, and the facility is happy to cater to everyone’s needs, whether it’s just two people or large groups.
The Pierces’ daughter, Natalie Carnley, and her husband, Gatlin, are both full-time staff members. “We’re thrilled our daughter wanted to stay in this business,” Ron says. Natalie is the operations manager, and Gatlin works as the site manager. Both have worked at camps and aerial adventure parks in other parts of the country. The remainder of the staff consists of college students.
Natalie Carnley returned home to Troy to help run the retreat center after working at similar facilities around the country.
Butter and Egg Adventures is certainly a unique name, and there’s an interesting story behind it. Butter and Egg Road is the actual location of the business, and it’s a road that existed long before the Pierces settled there. Susan says some locals in the area informed them that in the old days, when the area was mostly farmland, if the farmers were having trouble selling crops, they would line up the length of the road to sell butter and eggs.
“When we first started the baseball and softball camp, we didn’t realize the name would have much staying power, but it did,” Ron says.
One of the most memorable moments the Pierces recall involves a girls basketball team from northern Alabama that came for the team-building program. Those girls went on to win the state championship that season and mentioned the time they spent at Butter and Egg Adventures during a post-game interview. “It’s good to hear that it really did make a difference and that they could apply what they learned here to their lives,” Susan says.
- Team building is an opportunity to get your group together and work through solving problems creatively and effectively.
- Butter and Egg Adventures hosted 13,357 visitors in 2022.
Ron Pierce demonstrates the ax-throwing area.