Participants to Fall'n'Stars 2006 at the boy scout camp at Vanderwater Conservation Area, north of Belleville, enjoyed a weekend of interesting events, good food and fellowship. This star party is always planned as a weekend under the stars for dark sky observing but organizers also appreciate the need to plan for inclement weather.
This year those plans proved to be most welcome as the clouds moved in. About 30 amateur astronomers gathered to enjoy Celestrivia in which three teams used their knowledge of astronomy accompanied with much laughter to challenge each other for the prize. Guest speakers informed and entertained with their presentations. Mark Coady talked about how to fight light pollution and Peter McMahon pointed to the many instances where real stars and galaxies are incorporated in the movies and in TV shows such as Star Trek.
Many participants enjoyed the swap table, the short presentations of cut-off light fixtures, an Orion Intelliscope and meteorites and the field trip to Rivendell Hills Observatory. The catered dinner Saturday night and the draws for door prizes, photo contest, and observing-chair raffle, as well as the silent book auction, were appreciated by all. Although the weather did not co-operate, a group of happy campers enjoyed the opportunity to socialize and share stories, songs and laughter around a campfire.