Students learn how to build a kayak in the boat shop

Building Kayaks for Adventure with Two Roads Academy

By Nick Patch, Champlain Longboats Director

This past November, the Museum’s Champlain Longboats program embarked on an exciting new initiative with Two Roads Academy, a privately operated alternative education program based in Williston that works with public school students, to create a once-in-a-lifetime kayak experience for students.

Students and staff from Two Roads Academy  come to the Museum’s boat shop 1-2 times per month to work with Museum staff boat builders Charlie Beyer, Nick Patch, and Lucy Holmes to build four Chesapeake Light Craft sea kayaks. Wood chips have been flying and we are on target to complete these kayaks on time. The boats will be completed in May and then the students (and staff) will spend five days exploring Lake Champlain in their very own kayaks, guided by one of our experience kayak trip leaders.

This program is modeled on Champlain Discovery, one of our summer expedition programs for teens age 13-16 that has been ongoing at the Museum for the past 25 years. Teens join us at the museum for three weeks to build their own sea kayak before taking them on a 10-day Lake Champlain adventure in the boat they built. The program runs from June to July: https://www.lcmm.org/camps/expeditions/champlain-discovery/

There is nothing quite so engaging as knowing that you will be depending on the  boat you are building to carry you on an amazing Lake Champlain wilderness adventure

Kayaks paddle during a sunrise