On June 6 and 7, 2015 LCMM Deputy Director Erick Tichonuk, Ecology Programs Director Elizabeth Lee and History and Archeology Youth Programs Instructor Paige Brochu worked with Boy Scout Troop 539 to create a map of Otter Creek.
The goal was to map points of historical interest, archaeological sites and notable wildlife.
We traveled by longboat from the Falls in Vergennes to Lake Champlain. Longboats are 32’ traditional pilot gigs built at the Maritime Museum by high school students. Each rower pulls one of six oars—teamwork is essential to make progress and the boys quickly got the hang of it. The scouts are strong and the day went quickly despite a strong north wind against us. Some of the sites mapped included the Brickyard, osprey nests, the outlet of Dead Creek, multiple beaver lodges, the Dugway and Fort Cassin.
Troop 539 spent the second day comparing 17th century navigation skills and tools with state-of-the-art, satellite-based mapping skills. The troop learned about astrolabes and ferreting used by Samuel Champlain and then created a map in ArcGIS, the same software used in professional disciplines for all types of data mapping.
This project supports the development of recreational activities by and for young explorers. Mapping and site interpretation promote curiosity, utilize valuable technological skills and make for a fun, outdoor experience. View the map and explore for yourself!
Want to add sites to enhance this map? Want to know how you or your your group can learn the same skills? Contact Elizabeth Lee, Ecology Programs Director, 802-475-2022.
Grateful acknowledgment is given to the Lake Champlain Basin Program and the Champlain Valley National Heritage Partnership for funding exciting historical and ecological opportunities for area youth.
This project was funded by an agreement awarded by the Great Lakes Fishery Commission to the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission in partnership with the Lake Champlain Basin Program. NEIWPCC manages LCBP's personnel, contract, grant, and budget tasks and provides input on the program's activities through a partnership with the LCBP Steering Committee. The viewpoints expressed here do not necessarily represent those of NEIWPCC, the LCBP Steering Committee, or GLFC, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or causes constitute endorsement or recommendation for use.