The Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles continued its year-long celebration of 100 years of Girl Scouting with Camporee – a large, fun-filled outdoor camping adventure at picturesque Lake Perris, CA on October 27-28, 2012. More than 6,000 Girl Scouts from all over California, surrounding states, and foreign countries, plus staff and volunteers were on hand to create an unforgettable experience honoring Girl Scouting traditions while creating new ones.
This ultimate camping experience featured plenty of exciting activities from singing, dancing and stage performances, to crafts, games, hiking and interactive teambuilding exercises using the latest technologies. Girl Power anyone? Celestron was proud to be a corporate sponsor of Camporee and dispatched Team Celestron members to introduce the girls of the wonders of astronomy and other forms of science.
Team Celestron and countless volunteers were spread out in tents across a huge lawn with each team responsible for managing their own science-related activity. We incorporated a “hands-on” approach to learning, using Celestron’s latest outdoor and science-related products.
Daytime activities included Nature Bingo/Weather (Outland X monoculars and TrekGuides); Microscope Evaluation and Botany (Portable LCD Digital microscopes); Bird Watching/Bug Collecting (UpClose G2 7X35 binoculars and Portable LCD Digital microscopes); Human Cell Specimens (Microscope Kits and LCD Digital microscopes); Daytime solar, planetary and terrestrial viewing (SkyProdigy 130, NexStar 6 SE, CPC 800, Lunt H-Alpha dedicated solar scope, FirstScopes and SkyMaster 15x70 binoculars); Evening Stargazing (SkyProdigy 130, NexStar 6 SE, CPC 800, CGEM 800 HD, FirstScopes and SkyMaster 15x70 binoculars) and finally, a Night Hike (SkyScout Personal Planetarium).
There were six separate rotations with 400 or more girls per rotation during the two day event. Now that was a lot of girls to engage!! “Passports” were distributed allowing the girls to check off requirements they learned from activities needed to earn badges after the event. Juniors scouts pursued the Camper badge, Cadettes completed requirements for the Night Owl badge, and Seniors worked toward the Adventure badge.
After dinner, many girls were very eager to return for the star party. Although the Moon was almost full, its light illuminated the landscape making it a perfect setting for a peaceful moonlit hike around the lake. There was no deep sky observing on this night; however, with the use of special filters, the girls were able to comfortably spot craters and view “seas” on the Moon without being overwhelmed by the Moon’s intense light.
We also turned our focus toward other fascinating man-made and celestial objects unaffected by the Moon’s glow. Right on schedule, the International Space Station appeared briefly – low in the northern sky for a few seconds before disappearing into the Earth’s shadow to a chorus of cheers from everyone observing. Albireo, the colorful blue and yellow double star, the fascinating Double Cluster, and the famous Andromeda Galaxy, also delighted everyone with their fine telescopic views.
Team Celestron was thrilled to be a part of the 100th anniversary of the GSGLA’s Camporee event. It was quite exciting for us to provide many fun science activities that engaged and inspired these young girls to want to learn more about life here on planet Earth, as well as to explore and seek answers to the mysteries of the universe. After all, these young girls are the future who will become leaders of their generation and beyond. Their future is looking very bright indeed! To see all our photos from Camporee, please visit our Flickr page.
- Kevin Kawai