PUT-IN-BAY – The US Brig Niagara will be in port for Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial’s Youth Maritime Explorers Camp, in conjunction with Put-in-Bay’s Maritime Celebration on Saturday, June 17, from 11 am to 4 pm.
The day-long program includes learning to unfurl sails on Niagara’s portable “Royal Yard,” learning to make a Turkshead knot sailor bracelet and learning boating safety. “This is such an exciting program for our youth,” said park Superintendent Barbara Fearon. “We’ve tried to incorporate as many elements of life on the water as possible.”
The Brig Niagara is in port for the weekend and will offer tours of the vessel Saturday and Sunday, and a 5-hour day sail on Friday.
About 60 scouts and members of Nehemiah Charter School in Sandusky will attend the Youth Maritime Explorer’s Camp as part of a grant through the National Park Service. The children and their adult chaperones will ride the Jet Express from Sandusky; enjoy camp, lunch and a tour aboard the US Brig Niagara.
Many activities take place in the park’s Peace Garden adjacent to the National Park’s Visitor Center on Toledo Avenue. Put-in-Bay Volunteer Fire Department will display their ice rescue air boat a,nd the United States Coast Guard Marblehead Station is planning to bring one of its vessels to Fox’s Dock near where the Niagara will be docked.
The Coast Guard’s Auxiliary will give information on boating safety and islanders will display their winter ice fishing equipment, ice boats and other vessels. “We’re hoping to confirm Amphicars, a wood Lyman vessel, and an original Ironclad from Put-in-Bay for the Peace garden area,” Superintendent Fearon said. “Our mission is to offer as many educational opportunities as we can for the explorers each year.”
Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial’s longboat, handcrafted for the 2013 Bicentennial of the Battle of Lake Erie celebration, will also be on display. Kids will learn how to tie their own Turkshead knot sailor bracelet, carve a boat out of a bar of soap, and color maritime images and make their own Signal Flag necklace.
Two Rangers will perform sea chanteys and Bob Reynolds, grandson of the founder of Matthews Boat Company, will give two presentations on Saturday at 11 am and 3 pm and on Sunday at 11 am and 1 pm in the theater at the Visitor Center.
Back to the Wild will bring rescued animals and will be located on the front porch and inside the Visitor Center. The Ohio State University will have a program on snakes and our friendly mayflies, and a Park Ranger will give an environmental program, also inside the Visitor Center.
Park Rangers will have a Living History display that includes the park’s carronade, a short gun similar to the ones fired off the Brig Niagara and her sister ships during the Battle of Lake Erie, on the range near the memorial column. This is also one of the park’s Carronade Weekends so Rangers will fire the carronade and give black powder demonstrations throughout the day.
The Youth Maritime Explorers Camp is free and open to the general public.
About Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial. The park was established to honor those who fought and died in the Battle of Lake Erie during the War of 1812 and to celebrate the long-lasting peace between the United States, Great Britain, and Canada. The Memorial, a Doric column, rising 352 feet over Lake Erie is situated 5 miles from the longest undefended border in the world. For more information about Perry’s Victory visit www.nps.gov/pevi, Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial on Facebook, Twitter @PerrysVIPM, instagram @perrysvictorynps, or call 419-285-2184.