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Field Trip Opportunities for School Groups

Our trip to LCMM was fantastic! The children were very excited about going out on the EScape and viewing the shipwreck. It was definitely the highlight of the trip! We were very impressed with each of the presenter's abilities to interact and communicate with our primary students.

We will be recommending this trip and the LCMM to other teachers in our school.

--- Grades 1/2 Teachers
Vergennes Elementary

On-Water Ecology

Natural History & Geology This program gives students direct hands-on experience observing rock formations, identifying different types of rock, analyzing evidence of changes over time, and becoming familiar with common fossils. Key Activities include:

Human Impact on Lake Champlain This program explores the effects people have on the water and natural ecosystems that live in and around the shores of Lake Champlain. Key Activities include:

Interacting with Wildlife This program focuses on observing, identifying, and understanding the habitat and lifecycles of wildlife that lives in and along the shores of Lake Champlain. Key Activities include:

Invasive Species This program provides opportunities to identify, observe the impact, and contribute to the elimination of invasive species populations in the Champlain Basin waters. Key Activities include:


Maritime Machines

2-hour field trip program held at the Museum’s Basin Harbor site
Grades 4+ (maximum 48 students)

Maritime Machines

Explore the hundreds of machines that are used in the design, construction and operation of boats. Learn about how simple machines are used individually or in combinations to make a boat work. Use a lever to aim a cannon, pulleys to lift cargo, and a windlass to haul heavy loads. Discover why traveling by water is so efficient and the many ways sailors use machines to make their work easier. Identify components of complex systems, calculate mechanical advantage, see how forces can be redirected, and feel their amplicfication. enjoy hands-on exploration of the museum's collection of traditional and modern maritime machines. View our Maritime Machines Educator Resources.



Use an ROV to explore shipwrecks in "real-time"!

You and your students take a boat ride on Basin Harbor Club's EScape, and "dive" with a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) on a shipwreck at the bottom of Lake Champlain! The field trip begins with a short presentation on the history and archaeology of the lake, focused on how archaeologists discover and record the shipwrecks that are found. Students then go aboard the tour boat EScape and head out to the shipwreck, viewing it live with the ROV. The closest wreck for viewing at our Basin Harbor facility is Champlain II, a nineteenth-century steamboat that went aground in 1875. Other sites may be visited if your interests or the weather dictate otherwise. This experience may also be combined with one of our guided programs; it works extremely well with Digging, Diving, and Documenting, the Process of Nautical Archaeology (see description below.) We also recommend combining this program with a Self-Guided visit of our site. Discounted rates available for multiple programs. Download our free Pre- & Post-Visit Lesson Plans.

Read what the King Street Youth Center wrote about us in their blog King Street Voices

$300 per trip. Maximum number of people in overall group, including teachers and chaperones, is 42.


1776: The Revolutionary War in the Champlain Valley

ow of Philadelphia II
Students aboard the replica gunboat Philadelphia II.

2.5-hour field trip program held at the Museum’s Basin Harbor site
Grades 4+ (maximum 48 students)

Digging, Diving, and Documenting: The Process of Nautical Archaeology

LCMM nautical archaeologist records a Lake Champlain shipwreck
Diver recording a shipwreck in Lake Champlain

2.5-hour field trip program held at the Museum’s Basin Harbor site
Grades 4+ (maximum 48 participants)

Discover Lake Champlain’s rich legacy of shipwrecks and the evolving strategies to preserve, document and manage them. In this hands-on multi-disciplinary program, students learn about the techniques and challenges of documenting underwater sites, and discover the importance of artifact location on board the gunboat Philadelphia II. Learn about the equipment used in underwater exploration and the techniques used in our laboratory to conserve artifacts removed from the lake. Students will “dive” in and become underwater archaeologists while documenting a “shipwreck”. This program recreates the process of nautical archaeology as realistically as can be done without going underwater. Download our free Pre- & Post-Visit Lesson Plans.

New! Special Add-On Option - Shipwrecks!
Students "dive" on historic shipwrecks using a remote controlled robot (ROV) operated from a boat at the surface of the lake. This program is offered either in conjunction with Digging, Diving Documenting, or as the stand-alone program Shipwrecks (see description above). Call us at 802-475-2022 for details.

Boats, Boats, Boats

Students try out different boat types

1.5-hour field trip program held at the Museum’s Basin Harbor site
Grades Pre-K–3 (maximum 30 participants)

Download our free Pre- & Post-Visit Lesson Plans.


Canal Schooner Lois McClure

LCMM educator works with students aboard Lois McClure
Students handle lines
aboard the replica schooner Lois McClure.

See her tour schedule for times and locations of Lois McClure's availaibility.
Grades 4+ (maximum 48 students)

Visit the forgotten lives of the canalers as you step aboard their home and business. Using the time capsule Lois McClure, a working replica of an 1862-class canal schooner, students will experience life aboard these unique working watercraft during this dockside program. Tour the cabin (living quarters), cargo hold, forecastle and main deck of the vessel. Discover what types of cargos were carried, crew living conditions, roles of children, hazards of canal boat life and towing and sailing operations. Download our free Pre- & Post-Visit Lesson Plans.



Paddling Ecology—Field Trip

LCMM educator and students take samples of the lake
Educator Matt Witten and students
take samples in the lake.

Using a fleet of 10 canoes and science equipment, students study the ecological conditions of Lake Champlain. Groups receive basic boating instructions, and then travel on the open lake to conduct observations and measurements including collecting and examining plankton samples, catching fish in a net, and testing water quality of the lake. This field trip program is suitable for students grade 5 and up.

4-hours: $20/student (minimum fee $300)
Maximum number of people in overall group is 28, including two required teachers/chaperones.

Rowing Ecology—Field Trip
Row as a team in a rugged, seaworthy 32-foot wooden Pilot Gig and explore one of the ecological and cultural treasures of Vermont—the confluence of Dead Creek and Otter Creek.* This area has for millennia been one of the most productive wildlife habitats in the Champlain Valley. Native Americans fished, hunted, farmed, and settled this site, and signs of their presence can still be seen!

Students will learn the basics of working together safely in a large pulling boat as we venture into several ecosystems including warm-water rivers, marshes, and possibly the deep, clear waters of Lake Champlain. Common sights include great blue herons, osprey, and huge jumping carp! Activities include fish netting and identification with a dichotomous key, and Secchi disk measurements for water clarity.

We have three Pilot Gigs available for use; 6 or 7 students can fit in each of these pulling boats, and there is some flexibility as to the number of accompanying adults.

*While our area of focus is the confluence of Dead Creek and Otter Creek, we also may explore the basin below the thundering Vergennes falls on Otter Creek, or Lake Champlain with its view of the towering Palisades on the New York side. Rowing Ecology is also an option in Burlington Bay.

Fees for 3- to 4-hour program:
Fee is $150 per boat, which can hold up to 8 participants, one of which must be a teacher or chaperone.


Champlain Longboats: Youth Rowing—Field Trip

Students race in the Wakefield Row
Gigs racing in the Burlington Wakefield Row.
Photo Buzz Kuhn

Students come to the museum at Basin Harbor, the Falls at Vergennes on Otter Creek, or Burlington Harbor and learn to row as a team in our magnificent 32’ rowing boats. The primary focus is on team building, while exposing students to the cultural and natural history of the rich regional marine environment. Schools and youth programs can sign up for a one-time half-day session or join us for a full season of rowing, culminating in a regional gathering and race of boats and youth programs.

This field trip program is suitable for students grades 7 and up.

$150 for each group of eight (minimum fee $150). Call for details regarding seasonal rowing.

Design Your Own Visit - Self-Guide
1.5–3 hour field trip program held at the museum’s Basin Harbor site
Grades Pre-K+ (no maximum)

Self-designed visits are an excellent option for those of you with large class sizes or broader learning objectives. Your visit begins with a brief outline of the history of Lake Champlain and the Champlain Valley, as well as an overview of the demonstrations, presentations and exhibits that meet the learning objectives you have defined. Students will tour the museum site in small groups led by their own chaperones, exploring any of the twelve exhibit areas. Some suggested themes are available on our website. This option is also available in combination to any of our guided programs. Ask about how you can custom design your own visit. Download our free Pre- & Post-Visit Lesson Plans.

Boy Scout Archaeology Merit Badge

Scouts from Vermont Troop 624 visit LCMM's Conservation Laboratory to earn their Archaeology Merit Badge
Scouts from Vermont Troop 624 visit LCMM's Conservation Laboratory to earn their Archaeology Merit Badge.
See more photos and read about their visit in our Blog article "Troop 624 Visits LCMM".

Are you a fan of Indiana Jones? Want to learn how to clean iron using electricity? Interested in finding out more about the shipwrecks here on Lake Champlain?  Your Boy Scout Troop can earn their Archaeology Merit Badge right here at LCMM with Conservation Technician and Merit Badge Counselor Alex Lehning. Discover more about the history and archaeology of our region, discuss the various methods used by our nautical archeologists to explore underwater, learn about different treatment methods for artifacts, and even perform your own hands-on conservation project in our state-of-the-art Conservation Lab. Learn more about specific badge requirements.

Boy Scouts and adult leaders are invited to contact us at (802) 475-2022 or for more information about scheduling a visit.


Special Opportunity
See a guided program listed here, but want to take it further? Ask how you can extend the learning opportunities for our educational programs with your groups. Note: extended programs are based on space available and have an additional fee.