Now that we have held a couple of star parties at Staunton River, we thought we would change the format a little for 2013. This year, we will still hold two star parties, but they will each have their own flavor. In March, the spring SRSP will be a lower-key affair with no speakers, no vendors, and a lower fee - just come and enjoy the hospitality of Staunton River State Park (including the great food) and observing with your friends from 3/7 to 3/10. In October, we will have a bigger star party with speakers, vendors, contests, in addition to the great observing and comeraderie.
Please let us know what you think about this format by clicking on the Feedback link above and sending us an e-mail. Also send us suggestions on what you would like to see at the SRSP ... we are always looking for ways to make it better. And be sure to join your friends March 7-10 and October 1-6 for some of the best observing on the east coast!
The star party will be held at Staunton River State Park in Halifax County, Virginia near Scottsburg and about 30 miles east of South Boston, Virginia. GPS coordinates are 36° 41' 46" N latitude and 78° 41' 06.9" W longitude. The area is in a blue area on light pollution maps.
Once you arrive at the park, follow the main road to the visitor center. The star party will be held on the field directly adjacent to the visitor center. Entrance to the field will be via the visitor center roads. Then follow the painted lines on the field.
Attendees will be able to setup and camp near their equipment in either tents or RVs on the main field (although RVs on the observing field will not have hookups). You may also park next to your campsite, although (obviously) you will not be able to leave during the night, so plan accordingly. Staunton River State Park also offers a number of cabins and campsites with hookup, neither of which is far from the observing field. To reserve a park campsite or cabin, please visit the park's reservation page.
Electrical power will be provided for astronomy equipment on a first-come, first-serve basis, and will be limited to only certain parts of the observing field. Charging batteries, etc. will be possible for everyone.
Cellphone connectivity on the observing field at Staunton River State Park is good. We will also have a live feed of weather conditions in the visitor center.
Toilet and shower facilities are provided by the park, including porta-potties on the observing field as well as shower facilities in the pool house. The visitor center also has a store that provides items you might have forgotten to bring, as well as a wonderful meeting room where we will hold our presentations.
For those of you who wish to entertain yourselves during the day, the park offers hiking trails (although some are closed because of tornado damage) and quite an extensive area for boating on the adjacent lakes. Birdwatching is also great at the far east end of the park. And fishing is definitely one of the main attractions of the park. If you have an NC fishing license, you can fish in the park without getting a Virginia license. And if you need a VA license, you can purchase on in the park's visitor center, right next to the observing field!
Food will be provided by the park but the cost is not included in the star party registration fee. Certain items will be available throughout the night for observers. Here is the proposed menu:
|Eggs (for breakfast)||Club Sandwich|
|Chicken Nuggets||Chicken Salad Sandwich|
|Corn Dog||BBQ Sandwich|
|Hot Dog||BBQ Plate (BBQ, slaw, bread, fries)|
|Cheese Pizza||Botted Drinks/Water|
|Pepperoni Pizza||Coffee (including bottomless cup)|
|Supreme Pizza||Hot Chocolate|
|French Fries||Waffles with Bacon or Sausage|
At the last SRSP, the park introduced a bottomless mug of coffee, which was a big hit. You can bring back your mug and get a reduced price on the bottomless mug this time!
Attendees who insist on violating the rules will be required to leave the event and will forfeit the remainder of their registration fee. Determination of who is violating the rules will be made by CHAOS club officers and state park rangers.
If you have any questions that are not covered in this list, please feel free to use the Feedback link in the menu above to send us a question by e-mail.