Indiana Family Star Party
I'm just coming for the day; can I bring my telescope in?
Yes, but you need to be able to carry your telescope into and out of the event.  Make sure to keep track of the time as the hay wagon only runs to midnight.  Remember that you MUST carry out your scope that night and you may not bring your car up to pack up your gear.

I've got a full event registration, but I'd rather sleep in a bed as opposed to camping.  Can I observe and drive off?
Yes, but you need to park in the day-pass lot.  Safety and courtesy demand no driving on the field 30 minutes after sunset.  AFTER 30 MINUTES POST SUNSET, NO ONE IS ALLOWED TO DRIVE ON THE FIELD except emergency vehicles.

I'm here and ready to setup but registration is not setup yet, what should I do?
Please come up to the Nature Center before you settle in.  Someone is usually up there and will let you know whether the spot you've chosen is ok or if it's reserved for some purpose.
I'd like to have a fire ring for my site, what should I do?
While you can request one of the campsites away from the main field when you register, the likely hood of it being granted is slim.  There are few sites and we usually have several scout troops using them.

I'd like to get a concrete pad by the observatory, what do I need to do?
You need to register to help with the Sky Trekker program.  Please sign up on your full registration form.  You are expected to help with Sky Trekker on Friday night and Kids’ Corner on Saturday night.  If you reconsider, you forfeit your spot and must move to the main field.

What is on the menu for breakfast/lunch/dinner?
We do not get a menu ahead of time.  We try to make sure the food is reasonable for most people.  We have requested that a vegan selection be added, but the details are up to the vendor.  If you have a special dietary requirement/limitation, your best bet is to bring your own food.

Are laser pointers allowed?
Yes.  They are allowed for safely pointing out astronomical objects to others.  We know this is a problem for people doing astrophotography.  While you can use the Astronomer's Corner (see the maps), you will undoubtedly get streaks in your images.  Our best suggestion is to wait until after midnight when laser use will usually be rare.

Please use the laser pointer responsibly.  Remember that a moving object may be an airplane and pointing a laser at one is a federal felony.  They will find you.
Can I use the big scope?
Yes, but we'd suggest you wait until after midnight when most of the public has gone.

Do I have to share access to my scope?
No, but expect to be asked.  Please be courteous.  This event is open to the public and they are inquisitive.  We show the night sky to hundreds of scouts as well as the area residents.  They come out and support the camp and the observatory and therefore help us keep the registration fees low.

The events are not finalized.  When will it be final?
We have to be flexible with the schedule up to the last minute.  We should have a 'final' schedule about a week or two before the star party.

Can I get the brunch even though I didn't register for it?
Yes, but the people who fill out their registration and request the brunch get first choice.  We do NOT guarantee that there will be anything left over for purchase on the day.
Is there a swap meet?
Yes.  Check the schedule for times and location.

Can I help?
YES!  We can always use a hand for various tasks.  We take care of the "truly messy" tasks and do not request that of those who lend a hand.  Typical requests are to help staff the registration booth during daylight hours.

When will the speakers list be finalized?
The list will be finalized when it is finalized.  We contact various people and search for topics that we think will appeal to various levels of interest.  When a speaker has said they will show up, we will post what information we can as soon as we can.

Will we have vendors?  What about door prizes?
We'd love to say that we will have a dozen vendors onsite for your convince.  Sadly, that is not the case.  All star parties are having problems getting vendors to show up.  The price of going to any star party is beyond many of those still selling astronomy equipment.

That said, we have people beating the bushes to get door prizes and they have yet to fail.  We usually have a reasonable selection of interesting items.

Can I get power on the field?

Yes, but you have to bring your own extension cord.  We have multiple power outlets available at the Nature Center.  The power is shared among everyone who plugs in.  (That means toasters, air conditioners or other heavy draw items are prohibited and will result in the breaker tripping.)  While we have all power on GFI outlets, please be careful.  We test the outlets, but we cannot keep rain (water) from causing a hazardous situation. 

Additionally, please make sure that the cords do not cross walkways or driving areas.  If you must cross a driving area, the cord MUST be removed from the drive areas at any time when cars on the field are allowed.

Also, please make sure that the cord is not a tripping hazard.  It's dark and the cords get hard to spot!

Is Cooking allowed on the field?

Yes, but courtesy to others makes us declare the following rules:

Are Pets allowed?

We have had problems with pets and we are therefore discouraging pets.  (Official service animals are of course welcome.)  If you wish to bring your pet, please read the Pet Rules BEFORE arrival.  We have been forced into this position.  If you bring your pet and either you or it does not obey the rules, you will be ask to remove your pet immediately.