Boy Scouts and Celestron Set Their "Sights" on Space Exploration

SkyScout Personal Planetariums Donated To Scout Camps Nationwide

WASHINGTON D.C. (May 23, 2006) – The Boy Scouts of America (BSA), the nation’s foremost youth character development program, in partnership with Celestron, a leading designer and manufacturer of telescopes, binoculars, spotting scopes and microscopes, announced a joint program to encourage interest in space exploration and astronomy among America’s youth, beginning with a donation of 200 Celestron SkyScouts.

Each year in the BSA program, nearly 50,000 boys earn merit badges in space exploration and astronomy. To enhance their learning experience, Celestron is donating the SkyScout units to the astronomy programs at all high adventure and approximately half of the BSA summer resident camps nationwide. Last year more than 1.2 million youth attended a Boy Scout summer or high adventure camp.

The formal donation was made today at a kick-off event during the BSA’s National Annual Meeting, when Celestron gave a demonstration to BSA camp directors and local Scouts and presented the BSA with a check for the value of the donation, approximately $80,000.

“American youth have always had a natural curiosity to explore new frontiers including our universe and space in general,” said Dave Bates, director of Boy Scout camping and conservation. “During the past century nearly 1 million Scouts have earned merit badges in Astronomy and space exploration-related topics. This donation of Celestron SkyScouts will further allow BSA to inspire Scouts to explore and discover our universe.”

About the size of a camcorder and weighing less than 16 ounces, the SkyScout utilizes a consumer-friendly “point and shoot” GPS technology that enables stargazers to instantly identify and/or locate over 6,000 celestial objects in the sky with the press of a button and listen to commentary on the object and its history. The SkyScout also has a “locate” feature that allows users to select an object they wish to view (i.e. Mars) and the SkyScout, using illuminated arrows in the viewfinder, will point the user to the object.

“Simply put, SkyScout is the perfect tool for any one that has ever looked up at the night sky and had a desire to know more about the objects that make-up our surrounding universe,” said Joseph A. Lupica Jr., president and CEO of Celestron. “Teaming-up with the BSA is a perfect fit for us, in that we both share the desire to grow the budding curiosity of today’s young people who will launch the space and science developments of tomorrow.”

Serving nearly 4.5 million young people between 7 and 20 years of age with more than 300 councils throughout the United States and its territories, the Boy Scouts of America is the nation’s foremost youth program of character development and values-based leadership training. For more information on the BSA, please visit http://www.scouting.org.

Celestron, is a leading designer, manufacturer and importer of high-quality optical products including computerized and non-computerized telescopes and related accessories, binoculars, spotting scopes and microscopes.  Since manufacturing its first telescope in 1960, Celestron  has grown to become one of the world’s leading telescope makers, and enjoys brand-name recognition among serious amateur astronomers for superior optics, outstanding design, and innovative technology.  Celestron’s innovative products continue to receive numerous industry and consumer media accolades, adding to an already impressive list that includes awards for product innovation from Reader’s Digest, Popular Science, PC Magazine, Popular Mechanics, the Consumer Electronics Association and more.  Celestron sells and markets its products worldwide through a variety of specialty retail outlets and international distributors. Celestron is a privately held company with corporate offices and manufacturing facilities, in Torrance, CA. For more information about Celestron and the SkyScout product please visit, http://www.celestron.com and http://www.celestron.com/skyscout.