Teen Expeditions & Kayak Building

Calling all teens ages 13–16 looking for a fun, outdoor challenge: join us for an unforgettable experience this summer! Learn how to build your own kayak; navigate on Lake Champlain by paddle, sail, or oar; and make new friends in our Teen Expedition programs.

While on an overnight expedition, you will travel on water by day and camp outside each night with a team of peers and trip leaders. Or join our three-week kayak building program to make your very own custom kayak, and then take it on an expedition! Our teen programs will challenge you, expand your comfort zone, and give you confidence and life skills that will serve you for a lifetime. All our teen programs are pay-what-you-can. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us at expeditions@lcmm.org.

When you are ready, use any of the “Register Now” buttons to sign up for your program of choice. If you wish to register for multiple expeditions or teen programs or register more than one child, you must complete a registration form for each. If the expedition you would like to register for is full, you will be redirected to the waitlist or you can access it directly here: 2023 Expeditions Waitlist.

Read about what to expect on our outdoor expeditions.

Read about our safety measures, cancellation policies, and pay-what-you-can tuition.

2023 Teen Expeditions & Kayak Building

Kayak Building

June 19–July 7, 2023 (no session on July 4)
Ages 13–16
$2,500 Pay-What-You-Can Tuition includes the kayak

Learn wood working and boat building this summer and build your very own kayak! Over the course of three weeks (Mondays-Fridays), build an expedition-ready sea kayak. Working alongside our expert boat builders, you will learn important techniques, become the master of essential woodworking tools, and understand what is needed to keep a wooden boat afloat. And, of course, you get to keep the kayak!

Want to know more about the kayak? We will be building Chesapeake Light Craft Chesapeake 17 LTs. These kayaks can be used in our teen kayaking expedition, Champlain Discovery. Separate registration is required for the expedition, details are below.

Champlain Discovery: Kayak Expedition

July 9–July 23, 2023
Ages 13–16
$2,950 Pay-What-You-Can Tuition

A 15-day expedition from Whitehall, NY to Canada by kayak! Our longest-running and fan-favorite expedition, this experience is perfect for you if you’re interested in kayaking, navigation, and a long backcountry camping trip. Participants can either use one of the Museum’s expedition-ready kayaks or build their own custom kayak as part of our Kayak Building program (separate registration required to join Kayak Building, see above). Learn more about Champlain Discovery.

Expedition Champlain: Rowing Expedition

July 30–August 6, 2023
Ages 13–17
$1,475 Pay-What-You-Can

An 8-day rowing expedition on Lake Champlain! Working as a crew, we will row to destinations around the lake in the Museum’s 32’ pilot gigs, which are wooden rowing gigs built in our boat shop. This expedition is perfect for you if you’re looking to explore the lake, become a skilled rower, learn wilderness skills, and find a true team of friends. Learn more about Expedition Champlain.

Sail Champlain: Whaleboat Expedition

August 13–August 20, 2023
Ages 13–16
$1,475 Pay-What-You-Can

An 8-day whaleboat expedition, combining sailing and rowing over Lake Champlain! A whaleboat is a traditional wooden sailing/rowing boat designed in the 1800s. Together as a crew, we will navigate the Museum’s two whaleboats, built in our boat shop, to destinations around the lake and set up camp each night. If you want to learn traditional sailing and rowing skills, as well as wilderness skills and lake navigation, this expedition is the right choice! Learn more about Sail Champlain.

The Outdoor Expedition Experience

What’s it like on an expedition? It’s the true outdoors! Our expeditions are an immersive outdoor experience and they run no matter the weather. In the event of high winds or lightning groups will stay on shore, otherwise each day the group of participants and trip leaders will work as a team traveling by water during the day and camping outside each night.

We practice low-impact camping and there is little to no running water or bathroom access along the way. The entirety of the expedition is spent outside including, sleeping in tents, preparing meals, and exploring the shores of Lake Champlain. Each expedition member must pitch in and work with the crew to set up camp, cook, clean up, break down camp, and rally each other along the way.

We ask that all participants come prepared and excited for this unique experience. Expeditions can be physically and mentally challenging but the rewards of overcoming those challenges together are worth it. Expeditions on Lake Champlain are truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. You will bond with a group of friends, discover your own inner strength, and connect on a deeper level with the lake and the natural world. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us at expeditions@lcmm.org.

Health & Safety

We are all looking forward to safe expeditions in 2023! Our team makes every effort to ensure a safe, positive, and enriching experience for all participants. Our expedition trip leaders are trained in facilitating outdoor experiences, technical outdoor and water skills, first aid, and risk management to promptly respond in the unlikely event that an incident occurs. To ensure everyone’s safety, we ask that all expedition families review and agree to our Camps & Expeditions Participation Policies and Waiver of Liability when you register for an expedition.

Expedition participants and their families, along with Lake Champlain Maritime Museum staff, are expected to follow all local, state, and national health and safety protocols regarding COVID-19. Due to the extended and repeat close contact of the Museum’s expeditions, full vaccination of the participant is required to protect the safety of everyone participating in these programs. Those with proof of a medical exemption may participate with proof of a negative COVID test within three days of the expedition start date. Specific information will be provided once the participant has completed registration.

Cancellations & Refunds

We understand life changes and sometimes you must cancel plans. If you cancel your expedition registration 14 or more days prior to the first day of the program, you will receive a full refund of your total amount paid. If you need to cancel your registration after the 14 day mark, please keep in mind you may not receive a full refund. Before you register, we ask you to review our full participation policies: Camp & Expedition Participation Policies.

Pay-What-You-Can Tuition

We fundamentally believe that cost should not be a barrier for anyone to have a wonderful summer on Lake Champlain. With that in mind, all expeditions and camps at Lake Champlain Maritime Museum are Pay-What-You-Can! When reviewing this year’s teen programs, you will see the Standard Tuition for each program, which goes towards staff time, safety equipment, and the gear and supplies we need for these experiences.

When you register, in the final payment section, you will again see the standard tuition for your selected program. You will then be able to pay any amount towards tuition. Please pay what works best for your family and, if you can, help us make summer camps and expeditions available to all. No matter what you pay, you will be registered.

If you are not attending a camp or expedition but you would like to support our pay-what-you-can programs, please consider making a donation.