Girls Only!

Vergennes Middle School Girls Summer Rowing Adventure
Vergennes Girls out on Lake Champlain for the Girls Only Summer Rowing Adventure

This summer, six Vergennes Middle School Girls teamed up with Vermont Teacher of the Year Jen Lawson and LCMM Champlain Longboats trip leader Jessica Frank on a four-day outdoor rowing adventure on Lake Champlain. They started in pilot gigs (six- and eight-oared boats built by high school students in our Champlain Longboats program) below the site of the Crown Point Bridge, camped at DAR State Park, Barn Rock Harbor, Kingsland Bay State Park and finished this challenging adventure at LCMM’s North Harbor.  We congratulate all six participants for their hard work and perseverance. But don’t just take our word for it…

Keyanah Smith,  Grade 9, Vergennes Resident:
It really wasn’t that bad, it was kind of fun, but the food has gotta go. I never would think I could row that much or go to the bathroom outside.

Brook Kilburn, Grade 9, Vergennes Resident
Um, it was disgusting to drink lake water with the tablets in it. Jumping off the side boat was fun. We all didn’t like each other in the beginning but by the end we had bonded. And we even saw a shooting star.

Vergennes Girls on Lake Champlain
Vergennes Girls practice boating skills with Lake Champlain Maritime Museum staff


Emily Weber, Grade 8, Ferrisburgh, VT:
I really enjoyed the trip. It was really fun and I got to know people that I didn’t know from my school. It also encouraged me to try another sport and this year I am on the school’s rowing team. I didn’t think I could last for the whole trip because I thought my arms were too weak but they are okay and I still have my arms today.

Tea’  Kiefer, 8th Grade, Addison, VT:
I really enjoyed meeting all the other girls that went because even though they went to the same school as me I did not know them. I never really thought I could row that much and I learned how to row because I had never rowed a boat like the long boats before. It was a good first experience because I had never slept in a tent before much less go to the bathroom outside.

3 thoughts on “Girls Only!”

  1. Congratulations Ladies. You have learned what a team effort is, and also you are
    capable of anything you want to try. My hats off to you all ,and of course your leader
    who had the intelligence to get you an opportunity to practice Comradery . This , you will remember for the rest of your life. I know, I too had that opportunity but
    as a n Infantryman in WW ll .Bless you all. and good luck in all of your endeavors.
    Stan Czelusniak

    1. Thanks Stan,

      Your insightful comments are well appreciated. We work to give students an opportunity to develop healthy relationships and push their limits and hopefully learn that they are capable of accomplishing things that they thought were unattainable. In my experience rowing the Pilot Gigs is one of the most effective team-building activities going.

      Thanks again for your comments

      Nick Patch
      Director of Outdoor Education, Lake Champlain Maritime Museum

  2. Life’s lesson, girls!! Nothing like close quarters, a common goal and few amenities to make one realize how good we’ve got it. Now just think how much fun it would be to row with the same people for three months in hot weather in the same clothes and never taking a bath or brushing your teeth!! Your ancestors did, and they survived too.

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