Camp Cullom

Indiana Family Star Party
Indiana GreatCON 2009 Review

Prairie Grass Observatory logo
Indiana Astronomical Society
Muncie Astronomy Club
Wabash Valley Astronomical Society
We take the Family in Indiana Family Star Party seriously. For our first few years, we struggled with what this meant. Last year we started the Sky Trekker Children's program and had a good turnout.
This year was FANTASTIC! Friday night, cloudy and later producing severe weather, we had 31 kids sign up and complete the program!
The program started with a craft program in the afternoon to build a model of Saturn.
The evening program is geared around two levels: beginner and advanced. Both programs start with an introduction to the night sky in the Nature Center. Beginner level requires that the kids identify three bright stars and six constellations or asterisms. This gave the kids a simple introduction to back-yard astronomy that was easy for elementary school kids to understand and achieve.
The advanced program required that the student complete the beginner level and then be able to find three of five types of deep sky objects: Nebulas, Globular clusters, open clusters, double stars or galaxies. Additionally, they had to sketch a solar system object. Students who participated took home their study guide and a planisphere. Those who completed the course got a certificate, a pin and a Dilly Bar ice cream bar!
Additionally, Celestron donated 10 FirstScopes to support this program. Everyone who completed the course was entered to win a FirstScope. Five won a scope on Friday night and five more won scopes on Saturday night. A great start for a future astronomer.
Awards of participation are presented at our awards ceremony. Well done to everyone! This will certainly help our family grow over time.

The Sky Trekker program was featured in the March 2009 issue of the Astronomical League's "Reflector" magazine. The article is here.