Youth groups can now reserve spring dates for the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum’s Lighthouse Overnight Adventures program. Dates include select Fridays and Saturdays, Apr. 5 through June 29, with advanced reservations needed.
Under the guidance of a museum educator, adventure participants can travel back in time to explore the life of a late-19th-century lighthouse keeper, all while spending the night in the historic 1879 Hooper Strait Lighthouse, situated on CBMM’s 18-acre campus on the Miles River and St. Michaels Harbor in St. Michaels, Md.
The program shares the stories of the keepers who lived and worked in Chesapeake lighthouses. From lighthouse engineering to the daily task of maintaining the great lamp, the overnight adventure uses games, costumes, and historic objects to explore the Bay’s lighthouses. The experience can also be used toward earning badges for Girls Scouts of America, Boy Scouts of America, and the U.S. Lighthouse Society scout patch program, or just for fun among all groups and their chaperones.
The 1879 Hooper Strait Lighthouse, now standing at CBMM’s Navy Point, was originally built to light the way for boats passing through the shallow, dangerous shoals of Hooper Strait, a thoroughfare for boats bound from the Chesapeake Bay across Tangier Sound to Deal Island, or places along the Nanticoke and Wicomico rivers. The Chesapeake’s iconic “screwpile” lighthouse is built on special iron pilings, which were tipped with a screw that could be turned into the muddy bottom for a depth of 10 feet or more. CBMM’s lighthouse is the second lighthouse constructed at Hooper Strait, with the first one destroyed by ice in 1877.
The adventure program is for children ages 8 to 12 and their chaperones and is $40 per person, with a 12-person minimum, 18-person maximum. The fee includes one overnight stay in the lighthouse with a dedicated museum facilitator, the cost of program activities, two day admission to CBMM’s exhibitions and campus, and a souvenir patch. Groups may choose to add-on a drop-in scenic river cruise aboard the 1920 buyboat Winnie Estelle at the member rate, subject to seasonal availability. Overnights are reserved on a first-come, first-served basis, with a $100 deposit needed. For inquiries or to make a reservation, visit cbmm.org/lighthouseovernights.
Established in 1965, the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum is a world-class maritime museum dedicated to preserving and exploring the history, environment, and people of the entire Chesapeake Bay, with the values of relevancy, authenticity, and stewardship guiding its mission. Charitable gifts to CBMM’s Annual Fund enable CBMM to educate and inspire the next generation of Chesapeake Bay stewards, and can be made online at cbmm.org/donate.