Build your own kayak, master traditional sailing, or row strong
About Teen Expeditions
Adventurous teenagers ages 13-16 are invited to join us for overnight expeditions on Lake Champlain. All our expeditions combine exercise and teamwork; paddling, rowing, or sailing; camping and wilderness skills; and explorations into lake ecology, culture, and history.
Participants will work with staff to develop maritime and team-building skills. All expeditions will travel on water by day and camp outside every night.
Our trip leaders are trained in trip leading, wilderness skills, and first aid. All expeditions have two trip leaders to ensure safety and a truly unforgettable experience.
Teen Expeditions in 2020
We currently offer three different overnight multi-day expeditions:
June 17-July 19:
Kayak building + expedition
A truly unique experience, Champlain Discovery is a combination of day camp and on-water expedition. Ten participants first spend three weeks in a day camp at the Museum building their own kayak with boat builders before embarking on a 10-day Lake Champlain voyage of discovery from Whitehall, NY to Burlington, VT.
July 11-July 18:
Traditional sailing expedition
Participants in the Sail Champlain expedition set out as a crew in the museum’s traditional wooden sail boats to navigate over Lake Champlain on an eight-day expeditions, exploring the wonders of Lake Champlain and discovering a new campsite each night. This adventure involves both sailing and rowing depending on the wind.
July 23-July 30:
Open-water rowing expedition
Participants in Expedition Champlain quickly become expert rowers with fellow crew members as they row together in our traditional wooden pilot gigs (32’ rowing boats) on Lake Champlain for an eight-day expedition, exploring the wonders of Lake Champlain during the day and camping each night.
Requirements & What to Expect
All applicants to teen expeditions must be 13 to 16 years old and have an interest in (or previous experience with) outdoor overnight trips.
We ask that all expedition participants should be prepared for a truly outdoor experience over the course of multiple days. Our expeditions take place rain or shine – in the event of high winds or lightning, groups will stay on shore. Each day we will work as a team as we travel by water (kayaking, sailing, or rowing) and every night we will camp outside. Participants will live outside for the entirety of the expedition, sleeping in tents, preparing meals, and exploring.
You should be prepared to pitch in and work with your fellow expedition-mates to set up camp, cook, clean up, break down camp, and rally each other along the way. We practice low-impact camping and there is little to no running water or bathroom access along the way.
We ask that all participants come prepared for this unique experience, very active days, and the great outdoors. Expeditions are a once-in-a-lifetime experience where 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.
How to Apply
When you are ready to apply, simply use the Apply button on this page or any expedition page to start your application. All applications must include a Statement of Interest written by the prospective teen expedition participant about why they are interested in their expedition of choice.
Applications generally take 15-25 minutes to complete. Make sure you have all the following information ready to complete your application:
- Prospective participant’s information
- A Statement of Interest written by the prospective participant
- Parent/Guardian information
- Emergency contact
- Prospective participant’s medical information
- Financial aid information (optional)
This essential information is kept private and will not ever be shared.