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Classical Astronomy Campouts - 2014     

The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament sheweth his handywork. - Psalm 19:1

Have you ever seen a truly dark sky? The sky as God created it to appear, far away from city lights? Then how do you know of the glory it declares? Why not come find out?

Join the Ryan family for a Classical Astronomy Outdoor Campout during 2014.  It's simple... everyone makes their own reservations, brings their own food and gear, and otherwise handles their own arrangements.  Enjoy a great weekend of fun and fellowship during the day.  After dark, we will host an astronomy constellation tour, from nightfall til whenever, free to all, at no extra charge.   Kids of all ages welcome!  Experience the LORD's sky, and learn about the importance and relevance of Classical Astronomy in our daily lives.
Hope that your family can join ours for at least one of these events:
Fri-Sun May 23-25, 2014 (waning crescent Moon)
We're hoping that families from Ohio, PA and New York state will join us at this premier location for astronomy, a state park dedicated to sky watching, in a location considered one of the best dark sky sites east of the Mississippi.  It's only about 4 hours from us in Cleveland, so I'm hoping that other local families will join us.  This is Memorial Day weekend, Friday night through Sunday morning, but you'll be home with plenty of time for grilling during the day Sunday and all day Monday.  There are some special considerations for camping at this site, so please send me an email for details if your family is interested in participating.
Virginia: Big Meadows in Shenandoah National Park
Thu-Sun July 17-21, 2014 (Last Quarter - moonrise after midnight)
Located in the beautiful Blue Ridge mountains of Virginia, this location is easily accessible for families in the Washington, D.C. area, or others on the east coast willing to travel.  This is our only event south of the Mason-Dixon, so I'd encourage everyone in the southern states to make the trip to the state of Washington, Jefferson and Lee.  This park is not far from Monticello, Luray Caverns, Natural Bridge, and other Virginia sights. 
It is wise to reserve a campsite early, since this is a busy park, and you might not get a campsite as a walk-in camper.  I already reserved our site for this weekend, so the Ryan family is committed!  You can reserve a site online through this reservation form.  (FYI, I'm told the form can be buggy.)  We're staying in campsite A104, and you can find a site that suits you with this campground map.  (If you camp near us, be advised that I snore!)
If you're not the camping type, you can stay at the Big Meadows Lodge.  I hear it's very nice (and expen$ive!)  You can still come down to participate in our program, without actually sleeping in a tent!
I've already cleared it with the camp administration, and we will have no problem with having our astronomy program after regular campground quiet hours, either using the field or the picnic area near the ampitheater (shown on the map).  So this promises to be a wonderful experience!  (It's not too early to start praying for clear skies!)  
We might be teaming up with the nice people at Nature Friend magazine.  So why not come down for at least one night or two?  If you have not yet done so, please send an email if you might be interested in participating.
Michigan: Muskallonge Lake State Park (Upper Peninsula)
Wed-Sun August 20-24, 2014 (waning crescent Moon)
This will be an awesome event at a remote site, in the darkest patch of inky black skies in the eastern USA.  Nonetheless, there are lots of daytime activities for families to enjoy, such as Pictured Rocks, the Soo locks, and the Great Lakes Maritime Museum.  So far, response has been light, only a couple families have indicated interest.  But we're hoping that homeschool families in Michigan will turn out for this, along with those in Wisconsin, Ohio, Minnesota and Illinois.  Summer temps can be downright cool in the UP, so why not beat the summer heat by heading way north?  Please drop a line if you might be interested, and tell your friends!  
Kentucky: Creation Museum
Fri-Sat August 29-30, 2014 (waxing crescent Moon) 
Due to some mutual scheduling conflicts, Dr. Danny Faulkner and I have had to juggle around some dates, and we arrived at this one.  2014 is a good year for your family to visit the Museum, since kids under 12 get in free.  This sky event will be held at the Museum's observatory complex, and though the night sky will not be ideally dark, the other resources will make up for it.  We will only be able to accomodate about 20 people per night, so please send an email if you would like to reserve a spot.   

For more information about topics from Classical Astronomy, please check out Signs & Seasons, a homeschool astronomy curriculum!

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