Star Parties: Volunteering with Your Scope at a Public Star Party

1. Arrive while it is still light so you can set up and be prepared.

2. Be aware that this is not a private observing opportunity. You will share views through your telescope with a lot of people and will answer a lot of questions.

3. Leave your most expensive equipment at home.

4. Take the opportunity to educate people about good light policies, but be ready for a lot of white light.

5. If possible, bring red cellophane or red tape to offer to people for covering their flashlights.

6. If someone shows a genuine interest in learning more, invite them to an RCA general meeting.

7. Avoid getting into arguments or long conversations about aliens, UFOs, conspiracies or other subjects that cannot be proven or disproven.

8. Err on the side of caution, especially when dealing with children. Do not touch or lift a child to the eyepiece unless an accompanying adult has approved your doing so. Have a step stool so shorter people can reach the eyepiece.

9. Report your volunteer hours on the RCA website.