Champ: Vermont’s Loch Ness Monster

This story was told during a moment between friends when talking about stories and weird traditions from our hometowns:

“Okay um, so Champ. Champ is a seas monster that lives in lake champlain which is where i grew up. We, it’s like, explained as the Loch Ness Monster but in Lake Champlain, um, and it just kinda like, i think the folklore around it, it’s like, it’s not like a fun thing that we joke about, everyone is pretty sure that it’s real, like, we’re all trying to prove it. Like there’s this little Vermont boathouse that’s run by this French-Canadian family where you can get penny candy, you can rent boats for five dollars an hour, it’s like everything’s so cheap, a land lost in time. Um, his sister, who’s like the face of the operation now, um has the store and was interviewed by the news because she saw it come up on the land. And why would she lie? She’s the most trust-worthy person in all of burlington. Um, so like that’s kinda it, we’re all trying to prove that theres a seamster in the lake. Because it’s the deepest fresh-water lake in the continental US. I think in the US. It’s just so deep, not that big, but so deep. There’s gotta be something down there, it could survive. Um, it’s kinda one of those things that I don’t remember hearing about for the time, because it’s so engrained in the culture, especially in burlington which is the main tourist town around the lake and so much of the imagery around the waterfront is Champ related, um, but I can remember, like i don’t remember if this is, the most memory that I can think of is that there’s a fun little statue of champ, like very cartoony, in front of this like, like, club, but a place you’d go to have a nice dinner and listen to music, so like that, we went there one time and I saw it and I was like what’s that and my mom was like that’s Champ! but yeah, all the imagery is around champ, our vermont minor league baseball team is the Vermont Lake Monsters… so my parents aren’t from burlington, and they aren’t from burlington at all, and a lot of my friends are fourth or fifth generation vermonters, and there’s a place called Ken’s Pizza, and we call it Kens, but the real vermonters call it the pub. It was the part of the place that I get to be a part of that my parents weren’t to be a part of the folklore and be a real Vermonter.”

Champ is a local figure of Lake Champlain in Vermont and New York. Folklore surrounding Champ dates back all the way to the native populations before white settlers. Today, the lake is protected safe waters for the sole purpose of maintaining Champ’s habitat. It’s even been put into legislature! You can find out more by looking up Champ’s folklore, of which there is many.