The Indiana Family Star Party for 2020 has been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. If you would feel more comfortable remaining at home this year, we understand completely, but, we ask you to consider donating to Prairie Grass Observatory so that we can be here for you with the Indiana Family Star Party next year or as soon as it is safe for us all to gather together without restrictions again. (See below)
Space Nights at Camp Cullom
Since the IFSP 2020 has been cancelled, in its place, at this time we are offering “Space Nights at Camp Cullom” July 14-19 2020, a free, limited-participation event consisting of camping and observing with your own telescope. This is a social distancing observing event.
Note that most of the information below is subject to change, depending on CDC guidelines, the Indiana Back-on-Track recovery schedule, the Camp Cullom Board of Directors, and progress of the pandemic.
Event Rules: 1. All participants MUST register by filling out a registration form. This allows us to keep track of available slots for this event. There is no registration deadline. Those wishing to register on or after July 14 must call to determine if an event slot is still available (the phone number will be made available on this web page closer to the event). 2. Once we are at capacity, registration is CLOSED. Participant cap is 90 individuals (not 90 campsites). 3. Only immediate household members may occupy a single campsite. 4. Campsites must be separated by at least 20 feet. 5. All participants must bring their own telescopes if they plan to observe.
Camp Rules: 1. Camp hours will now be from 10:00 a.m. until evening (the specific closing time will be determined later). If campers are on-site, they may stay overnight, but the gate will close early to allow for sanitizing of facilities. 2. The lower gate to the camp will not be open. Only the upper gate by the ranger’s house will be open during camp hours. NO nighttime traffic will be allowed in. 3. Space Nights at Camp Cullom are for campers only. No walk-ins will be allowed in. 4. Only one immediate household per campsite. 5. No open fires or charcoal grills at campsites. Only cooking by propane or alcohol camp stoves is permitted. Note that the Rotary Shelter (Astro Grill area) has some power outlets for crockpots and also has a charcoal grill available for use by campers. 6. Social distancing is mandatory. Wearing of face masks is strongly encouraged around others not in your immediate household, especially in confined public areas such as restrooms. 7. Attendees may arrive on Monday if they wish, but members of the public-at-large may be on the grounds during that day (but not the rest of the week). 8. No scout troops or packs may participate as units. 9. Absolutely NO alcoholic beverages allowed on the grounds. 10. Camp Cullom reserves the right to ask people to leave who are not following recommended safety measures or other Camp Rules.
Camp Amenities: 1. The observing field will be open. 2. Restrooms will be open and sanitized multiple times/day. 3. If the playground is permitted to be open, it will be sanitized multiple times/day. 4. The Rotary Shelter (Astro Grill area) will be available for immediate household use with power for crockpots and a charcoal grill. This area is to be cleaned by those using it. 5. Face masks and disinfectant wipes will be available near the restrooms. 6. The air-conditioned Nature Center building will be open. 7. Movies may be available, depending on the number of participants. 8. Showers at the Lodge will not be available. 9. A 24-hole Disc Golf course is available.
Please note the following: • There is NO charge for this event. • There is NO registration deadline, but to attend you MUST register! • There will be NO food available on the grounds. • Shower facilities will NOT be available, due to insufficient ventilation in the Lodge basement. • There will be NO programs. • There will be NO speakers. • There will be NO activities or events such as Sky Trekker. • All Prairie Grass Observatory telescopes and binoculars will be closed. • Be aware that sharing a telescope or eyepiece may transmit the COVID-19 virus unless the equipment is sanitized between observers.
If you are interested in attending Space Nights at Camp Cullom, please check this website frequently for the status of this event! Space Nights at Camp Cullom may be cancelled if the number of COVID-19 cases in the state begins to climb, or fails to decrease to the right level for the right amount of time. Participant cap, amenities, and event and/or camp rules are subject to change. The event itself is subject to cancellation in accordance with state and/or national guidelines and recommendations of the Camp Cullom Board.
Thank you for your interest and support of Prairie Grass Observatory and Camp Cullom! We wish you clear — and safe — skies!
Donations Whether you decide to attend or stay at home, tax-deducible donations to the Prairie Grass Observatory and Camp Cullom are very appreciated. Donation checks should be made out to “Star Party / Camp Cullom” and mailed to:
Space Nights at Camp Cullom c/o Wabash Valley Astronomical Society P.O. Box 2020 West Lafayette, IN 47996-2020
We hope to see you next year at the Indiana Family Star Party, July 6-11, 2021!