Our "First Night Out" Star Party is perfect for introducing the night sky to youth and adults.  Gardner Camp has the best viewing sky in the entire region. We kick off the party inside our amazing StarLab planetarium where groups can fly to Mars and the Moon as well as view videos and animations of night sky marvels! After our planetarium experience, we lay under the stars and listen to the telling of constellation stories!  Participants will also learn about and have a chance to look through Gardner Camp’s high-powered telescopes.  You may see the rings of Saturn or the moons of Jupiter!  Youth will go home with a newfound fascination with the night sky. Offered monthly and by request for youth groups/schools from March to October. Geared toward youth ages 10-17; Minimum age: 8. Registration required.  Contact us at info@gardnercamp.org for registration information.

Age Level:

8 years + (most appropriate for youth ages 10-17)


2 hours (StarLab – 45 mins; Activity – 15 mins; Telescope/Constellations – 45 mins; Snack/Recap – 15 mins)


Offered monthly and by request from youth groups/schools - March to October

Minimum/Maximum Size:

10/25 students and teachers/leaders

Typical Schedule:

  • StarLab presentation – Introduction of Astronomy & the Night Sky
  • Telescope overview
  • Two activities that relate to scale & size and star movement
  • Focus our telescopes on the featured sky object(s) and have students take a look through the telescopes
  • Pass out blankets, red flashlights, and star charts to search for constellations and major stars in small groups
  • Listen to constellation stories after everyone has searched on their own
  • Conclude the night with an astronomy snack!