Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Bean Dip!!

A few weeks ago, Chuck Weiss, a local dog-sled team leader came to the museum to present Inuit Dog Sleds and Dogs to our youth. His lovely assistant Bean Dip came along for the ride. The youth are currently working on a reproduction of a Peary/Henson Sledge, and this presentation helped to turn on the light bulb as to the culture and needs of a sledge. Above is a picture of Bean Dip, hugging our Americorps*VISTA volunteer Susan Mudry.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Halloween Paddle Race

Margo in costume.

On Halloween paddler, and friend, Margo Pellegrino put on a race to benefit the museum and its programs.
Quite a few people paddled, and a good time was had by all.

Sign in time.
... And they're off.

All Teachers on Deck:Recap

The North Wind. Our Classroom for the day.

Though the day was cold and drizzly, many teachers came out to learn about Matthew Henson, the Delaware Estuary, and Delaware River Ports History. We had a wonderful tour given by Gloucester City Sail, and All Hands on Deck staff Mindy Voss, and Claire Antonucci. Good Day all around.

Susan Mudry speaks to an audience of area school teachers about the history and exploits of Matthew Henson and his relationship to the Camden Shipyard and Maritime Museum.
Teachers and instructors on board the "North Wind" discuss the harbor environment and prepare for on-board science demonstrations.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Our New Donation Box

Our beautiful new donations box was recently

unveiled at the museum. It was crafted by Frank Foord out of oak and

plexiglass. The workmanship is of such a high quality that it is worthy of

doing duty at the Smithsonian Institution! Hat's off to Frank!! Let's hope

it brings us luck and lots of money for the museum.

Pictured with the donations box are board members (left to right)

Adrienne Walls, Frank Foord, Dick Wolfe, Susan Mudry and George Rowland

Thank You Badger 6

The Skiffs Return

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Gloucester City Sail

To do our All Hands on Deck Program, we'll be using Gloucester City Sail's Schooner:

The "North Wind" is a steel two-masted schooner. The vessel is U.S. Coast Guard registered and inspected to carry up to 49 passengers on board. She is berthed at "Freedom Pier" (the old Coast Guard Station) at the foot of Cumberland Street in Gloucester City, NJ. She is available for charters.

The Mission of Gloucester City Sail:

Gloucester City Sail, Inc. (GCS) is a non-profit agency whose main mission is to serve the youth of the area through a maritime training program. The schooner "North Wind" will serve as the flagship for the city and will be utilized as an educational schoolship. Students from local schools will have the opportunity to learn about the maritime world, with educational and job opportunities.

In addition, the students will learn teamwork, trust and respect for themselves, others and the environment. The GCS program will reach out to youth in the area, especially those less fortunate and under-privileged. The GCS program will also serve adults who are veterans and/or handicapped.


Our new Partner!

All Hands On Deck (AHOD) is the anchor program for a comprehensive, constantly evolving education initiative at the NJ Marine Sciences Consortium/NJ Sea Grant dedicated to ports, harbors and estuaries. 

Originally a field trip program for middle-school students that interpreted the natural and commercial inner-workings of the NY/NJ Harbor Estuary from the deck of a chartered passenger ferry, NJMSC/NJSG’s AHOD program now includes in-school presentations, teacher workshops and a wealth of ports-related lesson plans and other educational materials. 

AHOD trips continue to take students on interactive, fully guided tours of the Harbor Estuary that include presentations and activities that help them explore the economic and ecologic importance of this waterway. 

Explore these pages to learn all about this exciting field trip as well as our entire AHOD program. 

Since 2004, this program has served over 750 New Jersey and New York City students, offering them the opportunity to better understand and appreciate the human and natural dimensions of the NY/NJ Harbor Estuary. In spring 2010, the NJMSC/NJSG looks forward to bringing its AHOD program to Delaware Bay. 

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Next Chapter in Urban Boatworks!

Friends, UrbanTrekkers BoatWorks is ready to reopen shop at the Camden Shipyard & Maritime Museum (CS&MM) with a new after school program (3:30 - 6:00 PM) for twelve middle schoolers from our Camden ForwardSchool (CFS). We now have the materials/supplies to begin construction of two 15' Skerrys; a real beauty of a wooden sailboat designed by Chesapeake Light Craft. The program will include swimming, sailing and boat building throughout the 2009/10 school year. We have contracted with the Boys & Girls Club for a swimming module and the Cooper River Yacht Club will provide the sailing component to our students. Through this initiative the program brings together four Camden non-profit organizations who are dedicated to building community and improving the lives of our Camden youth; that's exciting for all of us. We plan to get underway the first week in October with swim lessons and begin actual boat building on Monday October 12. Throughout the school year students will learn about the maritime history and the importance the river and ship building have played in Camden's history. We will explore the significance of the city's rivers and their importance to the environment and the future of our region. We will embrace Camden, its history and its resources! Things will look like this; twelve students will be hand picked by the staff of CFS, six boys and six girls from the 6 - 8 grade. From the group of twelve, six students will work on boat building on Monday, all twelve will take part in swim lessons on Tuesday and the other six students will work in the shop on Wednesdays. Both groups of six will work progressively on the same two boats from week to week. The sailing component will take place in the spring of 2010. Two members of the CFS teaching staff will work with us throughout the year. They will oversee the swimming module in the fall and each one will take a day to be with the two boat building teams during the week. This will help the boatwrights to stay on task and schedule from week to week by insuring the students stay focused to your teaching and supervision. We learned from this summer that the tangible and intangible benefits to our kids from this program are huge...another benefit that does not go unnoticed by me is the impact you guys have on the kids. Next week I'll be sending out the boat building calendar and schedule for you to sign up for your boat shop days. Thanks to all...hoist the sails!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Hubbard Sledge


Known as the Hubbard Sledge, this is one of five sledges used by Peary's North Pole party. Designed by Peary, made by Henson, it was given to Thomas Hubbard (Class of 1857), one of Peary's major financial supporters.

Photographs used from Bowdoin College .

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Row,Row,Row your Skiff...

On Aug. 8,2009 the Urban Boatworks had its launch of the 3 skiffs built by the youth at the Camden Shipyard and Maritime Museum. The Courier-Post, a local newspaper, ran an article documenting the launch at Cooper River Yacht Club. There is also a gallery of photos, from which the above was taken.

Some in the community have made comments, via the Courier-Post website:

MikeD0844 said:  Good to see a positive story come out of Camden. To those involved, keep up the good work.

Channel Goodness said: Wonderful piece! One can actually hear the life-lesson that these young men have learned in completing this project. After all, it's been said that "the only place that 'success' comes before 'work' is in the dictionary!" You don't have to know these boys to be proud of them! 

Thank You to the Waterfront South Community, Urban Trekkers and volunteers and Camden Shipyard & Maritime Museum for your dedication and support. 

It's Official

Gov. Corzine signed legislation approving funds for the Garden State Historic Preservation Trust Fund from which we were awarded $750,000 to restore the Chapel and Parish house. We are also currently researching and applying for other grants . The biggest of which will be the CDBG in the fall.

Playing Catch-Up

Hello. In the past month we've had representatives from the museum attend boat launchings, bill signings and went on a Delaware River cruise. Add to that, our "garden", (more like vegetable jungle), is sprouting a slew of broccoli,collard greens, swiss chard, spinach, rosemary,and cabbage . Apparently, we're some of the few farmers who aren't having troubles with the abundance of rain.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Happy Half-Century N/S Savannah!!

On this day 50 years ago,the  N/S Savannah the world's first nuclear-powered cargo ship,was christened by Former  First Lady, Mamie Eisenhower, at the ship's launch at New York Shipbuilding's yard in Camden, NJ. 

(Photo Taken by:copyright 2009 Ivan Safyan Abrams)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

We got it!!

We've been informed that we have been accepted to receive 50K from the Camden County Historic Preservation Program to restore some of the stained glass in the church and to  rebuild the rectory roof. 

In other news...

The boys who are building their first skiff, went out on the water this past Saturday. They were taken onto the Gazella, and down into the hull. Here are a few pics.

Also, a group of Rutgers-Camden students came by for a visit.

Matthew Henson Inspires Composer

The saga of Matthew Henson has inspired many writers, but now his story has inspired South Jersey composer Dick Wolfe to produce the Mathew Henson Suite. The Henson Suite is a group of songs about Henson's life and times. Titles range from "Cabin Boy" and "A Sailor's Working Song" to "The Good Ship Kite". One of the first songs about Henson composed by Wolfe, titled "Matthew Henson" was performed by local school children on April 6th 2009 at the dedication ceremony for the Matthew Henson statue that graces our museum. Wolfe, a noted musical composer, producer and arranger, has worked with Nat King Cole and other musical giants, and now looks forward to seeing all the Henson songs performed at the museum in the near future.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The Giving Tree(s)

We've been notified that we have gotten approved  to plant trees in conjunction with South Jersey Port Corp and New Jersey Tree Foundation. The trees will be planted along Broadway between Newton Creek, and Morgan Boulevard.

Scout Troop 3574

We are preparing for activities with our troop. These include a nature walk, a River Sharks game and bbq, among others. If you would like to join our boy scout troop or it's sister Girl Scout troop call us at 856.964.7447.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Wooden Boat Show

This past Saturday, the museum showed off it's skiff (wooden row boat), and presented to the public, the Urban Boat Works Program. The public was very receptive and excited for us. Among other programs presented at the boat show were the Philadelphia Canoe Club, Academy of Aquatic Sciences, the US Coast Guard Auxiliary , and multiple showings by the Independence Seaport Museum. A few wooden sail boats were available for viewing, and a few brave souls sailed on the Delaware, with barely any free board. Overall, it was a good day. Now, if mother nature brought the sun out, more people would've shown up. But those who did had fun, as did I.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Won't you be our neighbor?

The Waterfront South Neighborhood is fortunate to have the Heart of Camden community development group spearheading plans for the revitalization of this historic neighborhood. Guiding recent development activities is the Waterfront South Neighborhood Redevelopment Plan funded by the N.J. Department of Community Affairs. This dynamic and imaginative plan was developed by H.of C. with ample citizen input. It calls for new and rehabilitated housing, parks, a communty center, a new theater, new businesses and now with the coming of light rail service to the community, this community will become a transit-oriented village, so beloved by urban planners and ecologists because of their low carbon footprint.  Also featured in this neighborhood plan is our maritime museum which will provide a strong institutional anchor on Broadway,  and a valuable educational and recreational resource for Camden school children and their families.


Thursday, June 18, 2009

We're going to be at Penns Landing!! Come and See our Skiff!

This Sat. June 20th the museum is going to be showing off the skiff, built by a team from Urban Trekkers. The boat will be used as an example for a group of high school students who will be building their own skiff this summer.

The Wooden Boat show will be held near the Admiral Dewey Ship, at the rear of the Independence Seaport Museum from 12-4. See you there!

Symposium on the Feasibility of a Maritime Museum in South Camden

On March 31st Emeritus Professors Michael Lang and John Giannotti gave a presentation to Rutgers faculty about the Camden Shipyard and Maritime Museum and the new Henson statue, designed by Giannotti, that graces its front yard. The presentation stressed the museum’s relationship to extensive community development activities sponsored by the Heart of Camden Inc. in the Waterfront South neighborhood. This event was co-sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Regional Center for the Humanities at Rutgers-Camden (MARCH) and the Science Preparation Alliance of Rutgers and Camden (SPARC).

Rutgers faculty and students have been involved in various aspects of this museum during its formative years, with several current faculty members serving on its Board of Trustees. Lang, a retired Professor of Urban Studies and Public Administration, serves as the museum’s director. Additional support has been extended by the School of Business, as well as professors, staff and  students in the Graduate Criminal Justice Program, the Rand Institute and the Urban Studies Program.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Henson Presentation at Independence Seaport Museum

Susan Mudry, our Youth Outreach Coordinator, was a featured presenter at a large educational workshop for Philadelphia school teachers held in May at the Independence Seaport Museum at Penn's Landing in Philadelphia. Her presentation was on the life and times of Matthew Henson, the mariner who is honored by a statue at our museum. This represents the third time a represenative of the museum has been invited to offer a presentation about Henson to Philadelphia’s school teachers at the Independence Seaport Museum. In addition, the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers invited a representative from our museum to speak on Henson at their annual convention last year.  The event at the Independence Seaport Museum was coordinated by Bill Ward, the museum’s Director of Education.


Delaware River Day was held on Sunday, May 24, 2009. Delaware River Day was a FREE event with fun and interactive activities such as free kayaking, life jacket fitting, fashion shows featuring the latest in water related gear, and demonstrations, musical entertainment, free face painting for the kids, fishing, and vessel tours. Delaware River Day includes participating maritime organizations from PennsylvaniaNew Jersey and Delaware and is the only event of its kind in the area this season.  There was great interest in our wooden boat building workshop and our boy scout troop. Ms. Susan Mudry represented the Camden Shipyard and Maritime Museum at this event.

We have been awarded a grant from the New Jersey Historic Trust

Church Of Our Saviour

Garden State Historic Preservation Trust Fund

Capital Preservation Grant, Level II

Grant Award: $750,000 (2008)

Grant Recipient: Camden Shipyard and Maritime Museum

County: Camden

Municipality: Camden

The Church of Our Saviour is noted in the National Register nomination as “an excellent example of small-scale Gothic architecture designed by noted Philadelphia architect George W. Hewitt in 1880.”  The church campus includes a 1892 parish hall and 1912 rectory. The church historically served a congregation linked to the nearby shipbuilding and maritime industries. The buildings fell into a deteriorated condition after the Episcopal Diocese abandoned the buildings. The applicant and a local community development organization purchased the complex in 2007. 

The Trust grant will help fund structural stabilization, exterior restoration, and interior rehabilitation of the former church and parish hall for use as a maritime museum and community space.


Oral History Project

We are very pleased to announce that Dr. Tom Carroll has begun to develop an oral history project at the museum. This project will produce an archive of oral histories of the men and women who were part of Camden’s glorious maritime past. Dr. Carroll is an experienced professional in the field of oral history and is currently working on a  project related to the nuclear powered ship Savannah that was built at the New York Shipbuilding Corporation yards in Camden and is a listed national historic site. In conjunction with his current project with the museum, he will focus on people in the community who lived in Waterfront South and/or worked in the various maritime industries in the Camden region. He has already interviewed Joseph A. Balzano, CEO of the South Jersey Port Corporation and President of our Board of Trustees. The resultant oral histories will be archived at the museum and made available to visitors. Selected interviews may be made available on our website in the future. We are pleased to welcome Dr. Carroll and we are very excited about this important new project.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Camdens Shipbuilding Heritage

The Barnegat Lightship is the last remaining Light Ship built by New York Ship Co. It's duty was to help create a path that large ships and liners would take to enter a port or harbor. Much like a runway guides plane to a terminal. Neither snow, nor sleet, rain or wind could keep a light ship from doing its duty to sailors. The Barnegat currently is moored at a safe berth in north Camden, a reminder of Camden's glorious ship building past. 

Service to Country!

This Spring the museum has housed two Americorps*NCCC teams, and has an Americorps*VISTA working as its Youth Development Director. These young people have decided to serve their country domestically. They serve in the some of the most depressed areas of our nation, while making the poverty level in wages and earning the community's respect. NCCC's vow to get thing done for America; VISTAs have sworn to uphold the Constitution from all enemies foreign and domestic, and to work towards eliminating poverty in our nations inner cities, Appalachia, and other rural communities.  If you are bestowed the honor of working with or housing these youth, take them out for a cup of coffee or simply say thank you.  You will end up widening the smiles already on their faces.

Have you got the Bollards?!

Here they come.

Joe Balzano, and Msr. Doyle inspect the antique port wagon. In it's  heyday it used to take off cargo and move it around the port area. 

Monday, June 8, 2009

S. Broadway is becoming the Avenue of the Arts!

On May 31st, a peace statue was unveiled across from Sacred Heart Church. The dream realized for Monsignor Doyle. There are multiple statues honoring war and the fallen, for great reason. However, Msr. Doyle beleived there should be one honoring peace. Why not, the Good Book, tells us, "Blessed are the Peacemakers, for they shall be called Sons on God". This statue is only 1000ft, from our Henson Statue.  

Shipbuilding returns to South Camden!!

This Summer in partnership with Urban Trekkers, 6 high school students will be building a stich and glue skiff (row boat), that will be launched into Newton Creek in mid-August.
Below are picture of UT unloading the materials and the skeleton being cut out.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Matthew Henson Day on NJN

On Apr. 6, New Jersey Network did a segment of John Giannotti's scuplting of Matthew Henson and the subsequent celebration of the Centennial Anniversary of the Discovery of the North Pole by Matthew Henson and Admiral Peary.  Here is the link to view it in HD:

Matthew Henson Day

Father Michael Doyle,Sacred Heart Church
John Giannotti, Henson Sculptor

Students from Sacred Heart School.

The two Mikes behind Matt Henson.
Dr. Michael Lang, project director of the museum and Father Michael Doyle, the "Conscience of Camden" and one of our greatest supporters.

  Henson relatives

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Springtime at the Museum

Things really got started with the Matthew A. Henson statue unveiling and Arctic Exploration Presentation on April 6. The event featured the Sacred Heart School children's choir, singing an original composition by Dick Wolf, the Jazz Band from Camden Creative Arts High School, an original dance performed by Kingsley Ibeneche and choreographed by Arthur Leo Taylor and featured speakers such as Camden COO Judge Davis,Monsignor Michael Doyle and John Giannotti. It was attended by at least 300 people, with many more having to be turned away. However, this event would have never got off  the ground if not for support from Heart of Camden CDC ,the Waterfront South Community, South Jersey Port Corporation and the hard-work provided by a team of Americorps*NCCC volunteers. 
 The Parish House