Monday, January 17, 2011

A Glorious and Cold Night Camping with The Scouts

Troop 128 out of Milford Ohio made plans to backpack down a very scenic trail in  John Bryon State Park. It was a cold crisp day and all was right with the world. The morning brought overcast skies and snow showers but to a Boyscout this was just icing on the cake for a grand day in the great outdoors.. Earlier in the month the troop had contacted the Cincinnati Astronomical Society to set up an observing session at their campsite. Now if you know anything about Midwest weather  the word of the winter season in the Midwest is clouds. We do get (once in a blue moon) some nice crisp night with the winter sky blazing in all of it's glory. I said by all means we will have a program for those boys. My general rule when dealing with weather and scouts is to have a plan B in the ready. Plan A of course was the bringing out of telescopes to find and pierce a sucker hole looking for a wonder lying within the hole. For this I had two other Volunteers,  telescopes at the ready. We  had 20 boys on this particular Camp-out to take care of. With three scopes it was going to be a piece of cake...  Right?

Not exactly... The clouds were relentless  and we ended up going to plan B. In my mind There is nothing more fun than sitting around a campfire telling stories and having fun. So why not mix those two events? I had twenty boys sitting there listening to me regale about Galileo and how he took astronomy into the modern age with the telescope. The Boys were all too eager to ask questions and I fielded them all. everything from the 2012 end of the world scenario that will not happen to how we got our water on earth. It was a fun night and a memorable one for the boys. That was the pinnacle of fun for the weekend. Friday The CAS kicked off it's celebration of one hundred years in the astronomy gameand I was there to share in that oh and on Thursday I gave a presentation at the Cincinnati Observatory Center on asteroids and was able to share a peek at the moon with our visitors for a very brief moment though a sucker hole in the sky. The telescope we used was the 1842 Merz-Mahler 12 inch refractor.This is one of the oldest telescope you will ever look through. So what did you do this weekend?  Get out and share the beauty that is the night sky with others You do not need a fancy  telescope or a clear sky.  Just share a little bit about what you have seen and say to them: Get  thee to a telescope as soon as you can!

Until next week,

Keep looking up!
Steve T

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