Fort Ticonderoga Teacher Institute

"Last of the Mohicans: Early American History & Literature"

July 23-28, 2017

Fort Ticonderoga invites teachers to apply to participate in the 2017 Fort Ticonderoga Teacher Institute focused on “Last of the Mohicans: Early American History and Literature.”

Twelve teachers will spend a week at Fort Ticonderoga learning about the history behind James Fenimore Cooper’s classic early American novel Last of the Mohicans. Dr. Joan Wry, an associate professor of early American literature at St. Michael’s College, will place Cooper’s novel in the context of other early American literature of the first half of the 19th century. Dr. Jon Parmenter, an associate professor of colonial America and indigenous peoples, provides historical context with a focus on the French & Indian War in general and the 1757 campaign Cooper used as a setting for his novel in particular.

Fort Ticonderoga staff provides participants with behind-the-scenes opportunities, practical sessions on integrating documents and artifacts into the classroom, and immersive experiences related to the life of soldiers fighting for control of this pivotal wilderness outpost.

Structure, Content, and Faculty

The Fort Ticonderoga Teacher Institute features lecture-based discussions with visiting scholars Joan Wry and Jon Parmenter. Also included are guided tours and activities with the Fort’s Education and Interpretation staff related to the soldier experience at Ticonderoga during the crucial 1757 campaign and an exploration of the early 19th-century history of the Ticonderoga peninsula at the time Cooper wrote his “Leatherstocking” series. Teacher facilitator Tim Potts provides activities revolving around artifacts and documents in Fort Ticonderoga’s renowned collections linked to Historical Thinking practices, C3 Frameworks, and state learning standards.

Download an Institute Schedule

Institute Staff

Richard Strum, Fort Ticonderoga’s Director of Education, serves as Institute Director. Rich has 28 years experience in the museum education field and has been at Fort Ticonderoga since 1999. He is the author of two books for young readers related to the American Revolution.

Timothy Potts has taught middle level Social Studies for 27 years at the Robert J. Kaiser Middle School in Monticello, New York. He is a Past President of the New York State Council for Social Studies and current Treasurer. Tim has presented at numerous local, state, and national conferences on innovative ways to teach Social Studies.

Joan Wry is one of our Visiting Scholars for the week. Joan is Associate Professor of English at St. Michael's College, where she teaches American literature.

Jon Parmenter is one of our Visiting Scholars for the week. Jon is Associate Professor of History at Cornell University where he specializes in colonial and indigenous history. He is the author of The Edge of the Woods: Iroquoia, 1534-1701 and is currently working on a biography of Sir William Johnson.


Full-time classroom teachers and librarians in public, charter, independent, and religiously-affiliated schools, as well as home-schooling parents, are eligible to participate.


The cost to attend the Teacher Institute is $2,000, which includes:

  • Double-occupancy room at Silver Bay YMCA Conference Center on Lake George for five nights (there is an additional fee for a private room, when available).
  • Sunday evening welcome dinner as well as breakfast and dinner each day at Silver Bay. Lunch provided at Fort Ticonderoga.
  • Admission to Fort Ticonderoga and any other field trip locations.
  •  All class sessions, teacher resources, books, and handouts.

How do I Attend?

There are two ways for teachers to attend the Fort Ticonderoga Teacher Institute:

  • Self-funded participants submit a registration form with payment in full by April 15, 2017. Checks should be made out to “Fort Ticonderoga.” Payment can also be made by credit card. See the registration form for details.
  •  Participants seeking scholarship support must submit an application by April 15, 2017. Successful applicants will be notified by April 25, 2017.

Participants not Seeking a Scholarship

For teachers not requesting a scholarship, download and complete the registration form and submit to Fort Ticonderoga by the April 15, 2017, deadline with payment.

Your completed registration form with payment should be postmarked no later than April 15, 2017, and should be addressed as follows:

Fort Ticonderoga Teacher Institute
Fort Ticonderoga
PO Box 390
Ticonderoga, NY  12883-0390


Download Registration Form here

Self-funded teachers in the past have approached local businesses, service organizations, and foundations to help fund their participation in the Fort Ticonderoga Teacher Institute. 

Scholarship Applications

Teachers granted scholarships need to cover the following costs:

  • $150 deposit, due upon acceptance. This deposit will be refunded upon receipt and acceptance of the final project.
  • $50/night ($250 total) towards the cost of overnight accommodations, based on double-occupancy. Cost is $100/night ($500) for a private room, when available.

The most important part of the completed application is an essay of up to two double-spaced page. This essay should include information about your professional background and interest in the subject of the Institute; your special perspectives, skills, or experiences that would contribute to the Institute; and how the experience would enhance your teaching or school service.

Additionally, applicants should submit a letter of recommendation from the principal of your school or a letter from a department head or peer in support of your application.

Your completed application should be postmarked no later than April 15, 2017, and should be addressed as follows:

Fort Ticonderoga Teacher Institute Scholarship
Fort Ticonderoga
PO Box 390
Ticonderoga, NY  12883-0390


Download Application Form here


The Deborah Clarke Mars Education Center at Fort Ticonderoga serves as the Institute base throughout the week. Housed within the recreated Magasin du Roi (King’s Warehouse), the Mars Education Center opened in 2008 and provides modern classroom and meeting spaces for the Fort’s expanding education programs.

Fort Ticonderoga, its museum, the Thompson-Pell Research Center, and the historic landscape will also be utilized during the week. The French began construction of Fort Carillon (Ticonderoga) in 1755 during the French & Indian War. It fell to the British in 1759, who renamed it Ticonderoga. In 1775 Ethan Allen and Benedict Arnold led a successful raid to capture the Fort for the colonial cause. In 1777, British and German forces under General John Burgoyne successfully recaptured the Fort.

Fort Ticonderoga fell into ruin after the Revolution. William Ferris Pell purchased the Fort and its surrounding garrison grounds in 1820, preserving the ruins of the Fort. His great-grandson and his wife, Stephen and Sarah Pell, began restoring Fort Ticonderoga in 1909. Today, Fort Ticonderoga is owned by the non-profit Fort Ticonderoga Association, which preserves the Fort and 2,000 surrounding acres.


We have arranged for Fort Ticonderoga Teacher Institute participants to be housed at the Silver Bay YMCA Conference Center on the western shore of Lake George, based on double occupancy. A limited number of single rooms are available as well. Teachers will pay $50 per night for the cost of the room (teachers requesting a single room will pay $100 per night). The Fort Ticonderoga Teacher Institute will pay the remainder of the cost of the room. In order to get the discounted rate, Fort Ticonderoga will pay the bill; the teacher’s share will be paid to Fort Ticonderoga.


In addition to $50/night towards housing, accepted teachers will need to confirm their participation with a $150 payment. The $150 will be refunded to participants upon completion of their projects due September 15, 2017. Teachers wishing to earn three graduate credits will need to make a separate tuition payment of $345.


Graduate Credits

Teachers requiring graduate credits can accrue them through an arrangement with Castleton University in Castleton, Vermont. To earn three graduate credits, teachers must meet course requirements by submitting all assignments no later than September 15, 2017.

Deadline and Notification

Applications must be postmarked no later than April 15, 2017. Successful applicants will be notified by April 25, 2017, and will have until May 1, 2017, to accept or decline the offer.

From Past Participants

Click Here for Classroom Lessons and Activities created by previous participants. 

Contact Information

Thank you for your interest. You can contact Rich Strum if you have any questions or need additional information at or (518) 585-6370. We anticipate an engaging, enlightening, and enjoyable week at Fort Ticonderoga and look forward to receiving your registration or application.