Summer is finally on its way to Lake Champlain, and with it, our Lake Adventure Camps! Here at the museum, we’re all busy preparing fun activities for kids from 7-16. As a maritime museum, boats are our favorite resource, and we use several different types of them in our summer camps.
They might not be pretty, but they certainly are useful. First developed in 1886, motorboats have rapidly become one of the most popular methods of nautical transportation. We use them to teach safe, respectful boating skills and to just have fun on the water!
Canoes are the oldest form of watercraft on Lake Champlain, and have been used by the lake’s first navigators – its Native American inhabitants – for thousands of years. Because canoes allow their pilot to move quietly and near to the surface of the water, the museum uses them for our On-water Ecology programs to get as close as possible to what we’re studying.
3. Rowing gigs
We’re particularly proud of our pilot gigs, built here at the museum by our students in the Champlain Longboats Program. Every year, students of all backgrounds come to the museum to participate in an intensive boat-building program that develops teamwork and self-esteem together with building skills – and ultimately produce a gig for our rowing programs. It’s happening now – Launch Day is May 26! You can read about some of our previous rowing adventures here.
We use the Basin Harbor Club’s tour boat Escape to view the wreck of the Champlain II, one of the last remnants of the age of steam, a bygone era when elegant steamboats traversed Lake Champlain for industry and pleasure. Our campers get to build a ROV (remotely operated vehicle) able to navigate underwater like the ones on our Shipwreck Tours, where we view one of the 300 shipwrecks at the bottom of Lake Champlain without getting wet!
LCMM summer camps allow kids to build, sail, or “learn the ropes” aboard an impressive range of vessels, from a two-foot pond yacht to a Revolutionary War gunboat! The pride of our fleet is the Philadelphia II, a historic replica of the gunboat that sank in action at the Battle of Valcour Island in 1776. Learn more about the Philadelphia’s history and the construction of our replica here.
If you’re enrolled in Messing About With Boats, All Aboard!, or our Boating Safety Course, you can expect to see all these boats and more! Why not sign up today?