Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum Rising Tide After-School Boatbuilding program expands

Due to an increase in attendance, the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum’s Rising Tide After-School Boatbuilding program is expanding from two to four days per week—Tuesday through Friday. Teaching middle school students in grades six to nine basic woodworking, boatbuilding, and related safety skills, the current session runs now through June.

Students in CBMM’s Rising Tide After-School Boatbuilding program learn basic boatbuilding skills in a welcoming, relaxed environment.

“It’s inspiring to watch these young men and women develop skills and embrace learning in new, engaging ways as they progress through the program,” said CBMM Shipwright Educator Matthew Engel, who leads the program. “I’m so happy we’re able to expand this program to be able to reach more students.”

CBMM’s Rising Tide program began in November 2015 as a pilot initiative in collaboration with the YMCA of the Chesapeake. The program began with a six-week after-school boatbuilding session offered to Talbot County sixth-grade students. The ongoing sessions have limited participation, with the YMCA of the Chesapeake generously offering transportation to and from the program from its Easton location for YMCA and non-YMCA members.

To help with CBMM’s Rising Tide expansion, Lauren Gaunt has been hired in a new position as a Seip Family Foundation Rising Tide Program Apprentice. A former shipwright apprentice on CBMM’s 2016-2018 Edna Lockwood log-hull restoration project, Gaunt has taken the position after developing an interest in shipwright education. Her boatbuilding interests began while studying art at Michigan’s Kalamazoo College, and later as an intern at the San Diego Maritime Museum.

Running from March through early June, students in CBMM’s Rising Tide After-School Boatbuilding Program are offered the opportunity to apply all they learn on woodworking in the boatyard to build a boat under the guidance of CBMM’s shipwrights and volunteers. These classes include on-the-water sessions in boater safety and proper handling, along with learning navigational skills. The finished skiff will remain waterside at CBMM for the students to take out on the Miles River on subsequent visits.

In addition to the after-school program, CBMM also offers Rising Tide summer camp, a full-day, hands-on program for students entering grades six to nine, where campers create, explore, and have fun through Chesapeake Bay-focused activities. Each week includes woodworking and boatbuilding, on-the-water adventures, and ecological excursions. Summer camp sessions begin June 19-23; registration is required to [email protected]

“We are very grateful for the growing philanthropic support necessary to fund this program, to help make a huge difference in the lives of our youth,” said CBMM President Kristen Greenaway. “By expanding to four days per week, we can provide even more students with valuable support in mathematics, engineering, team building, and project management, not to mention their confidence as skills become mastered.”

CBMM’s Rising Tide program is made possible through the generous, lead support of the Wallace Genetic Foundation and Seip Family Foundation. Major support is also provided by Sandy and Bruce Hammonds, the Bryan Brothers Building Dreams for Youth Foundation, and the Dock Street Foundation. Additional generous support is provided by the Arthur H. Kudner Jr. Fund of the Mid-Shore Community Foundation, Penny and John Albertine, Martha and Alfred Sikes, Ellen and Richard Bodorff, and Wiley Rein LLP.

New students wishing to participate in the program are encouraged to contact [email protected]

For more information about CBMM’s Rising Tide program, visit