Connecticut River Museum - History

The Connecticut River Museum explores the history and environment of the Connecticut River's 410 miles. Located in the Lower Connecticut River Valley, the museum is dedicated to collecting and protecting historical documents and artifacts of the region. Each year, the museum teaches youth groups about the Connecticut River and its people through exhibits and educational programs. Exhibits focus on Dutch settlers, the War of 1812, famous River residents, and more. Groups can explore the galleries to discover dug-out canoes, the first submarine, and the 1814 British Raid on Essex or head outside to sail on a historic vessel. 
Contact Info
Address: 67 Main St., Essex, CT 06426. Middlesex County. 
Tel: 860-767-8269. 
Hrs: Tues.-Sun. 10AM-5PM.
Programs at the museum allow camp groups to use art, artifacts, and historical documents and even the river itself to understand important historical events. Camp groups can learn to sail a historic vessel, try to build a cardboard boat that holds a person, find out about archaeology, learn how museums create exhibits, and more. 
Contact Info
Name: Suzanne Burns, Education Director
Phone: 860-767-8269
Trip Info 
Grade Level: All grades.
Group Size: 75 maximum.
Activity Type: Day Trips, Guided Tours, Self-Guided Activities, Guided Activities.
Recomm. Length of Visit: 1-3 hours.
Recomm. Ratio of Campers to Staff: Varies.
Registration: Phone, Email. 
Food Options: N/A.
Cost: Fee. 

Museums Fun Facts

Museums are collections - of artifacts, paintings, etc. Talk about what types of collections campers have at home – be they stamps, baseball cards, or other items.

Use this comparison to frame some activities: talk about how museum collections came to be. Who collected and gathered the items on display? Compare this to how campers gathered their own collections at home. Also talk about (both with campers and museum staff) how the exhibits at the museum are arranged – such as the lighting and temperature for a certain exhibit.

Have campers set up a “Trip Museum” back at camp, consisting of items they’ve obtained on field trips; think of it as a group show and tell, where everyone participates and contributes to the collection.