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16th Annual Camping with The Stars at Eagle Lake Observatory

July 22, 2023 @ 1:00 pm - 10:00 pm CDT

The Minnesota Astronomical Society would like to invite you to attend the 16th Annual Camping With the Stars at the Eagle Lake Observatory in Baylor Regional Park. Speakers are scheduled throughout the day and will give talks on astronomy and what there is to see. Door prize and raffle prize drawings will be held Saturday evening and include telescopes, binoculars, MAS merchandise, astronomy books and more. Weather permitting, the evening will conclude with a tour of the night sky and of course stargazing.

Additional information as well as directions can be found on the Eagle Lake Observatory web page.

 Registration & Check-in


Camping reservations are done through the Carver county parks. Visit the Carver County Parks Reservation Website to reserve a park campsite.

To register for a Ballfield campsite or for Camping with the Stars day or weekend passes, visit this Carver County Ticketing website.

Note that a campsite AND a single day or weekend pass are purchased separately.  You can also attend without camping by purchasing the single day or weekend pass only.

You can also call the Park Office at (952) 466-5255 for register or find out more.


The campground host will be checking in any CWTS campers that arrive on Friday & Saturday. Any walk-ins will be sent to the observatory.

All CWTS guests, after checking in and getting their campsite, will pick up their CWTS packet at the observatory. Among other things, the packet will provide information on the weekend activities, event schedule, and door prize tickets for Saturday night drawing.

Walk-in fee are collected at the observatory. Included with the fee are the door prize tickets (and wrist bands).  Anyone can also buy a raffle ticket, whether registered or not.

Schedule of Events

Friday July 21

The observatory opens and the Star Party begins at 7:00 pm. We will begin with solar viewing and other daytime objects. The star party continues past midnight.

7:00pm – Trena Johnson – President of the Minnesota Astronomical Society – MAS, Be a Member – Now What?

You will hear a little history on the MAS and my path to becoming President. Why be interested in the MAS, and now that you have joined, what do you do with your membership!  Bio: I can’t say that I have been passionate about astronomy for all of my life. I certainly can say I was interested in the constellations, from Greek & Roman Mythology, since being introduced to them in High School. My weekend trips to the family farm and seeing so many stars but also loving how bright the moon was without city lights. It made me always wonder what was up there. Flash forward to today, where I now know a little bit of what we can see and how precious those dark skies are. I have been a member since 2016 and am still learning about what is up there. Come join me and my trip with the MAS.

8:00pmLaura HammerbeckDART: A Smashing Success!

In September 2022, NASA crashed a spacecraft into an asteroid … on purpose. The DART mission shows it’s possible to deflect an Earth-bound asteroid in space.  Learn about the mission and its beneficial effects on a nearby asteroid. Get firsthand experience with kinetic impactors and see how we can use them to protect the Earth.  Bio: Laura is a motivational and inspirational speaker. With over 20 years of teaching and communication experience, she presents solid information in an enthusiastic yet relaxed manner, with an ounce of humor on the side. Laura brings focus and energy to her audience.  An amateur astronomer and space junkie, she is eager to share space exploration and study, as well as all its intriguing ideas with people of all ages.

9:30pm – Brad Nasset – Laser Light Constellation Tour
Join Brad near the plaza for a guided tour of the night sky using a laser light.

Saturday July 22

The observatory opens at 1:00 pm. for daytime viewing of the sun, stars & planets (if clear).

2:00PMSarah DevineSolar Eclipses: What, When, and How

Get ready for two upcoming solar eclipses! Annular and Total. Through hands-on activities, we’ll learn the what, when and how of solar eclipses. Bring your questions and get ready to have some Sun-sational fun. Bio: Sarah Devine has loved astronomy since before she can remember. Her childhood dream job was to be an astronaut. Her love for all things space has allowed her to teach astronomy for over 10 years in multiple settings. From museums and planetariums to community college to 4-H, talking about astronomy and learning with others of all ages is her passion. She’s traveled to major international observatories and has fond memories of traveling to the 2017 total solar eclipse here in the U.S.A. 

3:00PM – Colin Kilbane – Start your own space program by building and launching your own model rocket

Mr. Kilbane will help you build your own DYI rocket with 3D printed parts and learn how to safely launch it.  This program helps fulfill requirements for several cub scout adventures and the BSA Space Exploration Merit badge. This workshop is sponsored by Gopher STEAM, a Minnesota provider for STEM education and entertainment.  Bio: Colin Kilbane has been sharing his STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) fun for almost 30 years now.  He started making slime and setting off fire alarms with chemistry outreach at Kansas State and the University of Minnesota.  A chemist and biochemist by training, he ended up moving on to share his passion for STEM and making things go boom as the Senior Mad Scientist and Operations Director for Mad Science of MN for more than a decade before he made his move to the high school classroom.  He has taught chemistry, physical science, robotics, makerspace and physics for the last ten years and does STEM on the side. This year, he started up Gopher STEAM. Gopher STEAM can add some STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, ART! and math) to any event for any age, preschool on up.  Gopher STEAM offers fantastically fun interactive shows, activity tables, birthday parties, scouting programs, classes and now summer camps.  Check out more at Gophersteam.com

5:00pm – Dinner Break – Cookout.  Hamburgers, hot dogs, buns and condiments will be provided.

7:00pmBrad NassetUnderstanding the Night Sky

What is up there? How do we find constellations? What is there to look at in addition to constellations? Why are different ones visible at different times of the night, and different times of the year? Well, now you will know!  Bio:  Brad Nasset is a Solar System Ambassador with the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory. He enjoys sharing his knowledge about the night sky and has presented astronomy and space exploration topics to thousands of people in public and private groups, at National Park System night sky events, and high school and university astronomy classes. He is also an observatory operator with the Minnesota Astronomical Society. 

8:00pm – Door prize drawing followed by raffle drawing. Door prize drawing,  must be present to win. Raffle drawing, you do not need to be present to win.

9:30pm – Brad Nasset – Laser Light Constellation Tour
Join Brad near the plaza for a guided tour of the night sky using a laser light.

Sunday July 23

The observatory opens at 8:00 am. for solar viewing and other daytime objects (if clear).

8:00am – Continental Breakfast

Morning coffee & donuts (Juice for the kids) – Celebrate the day of the Sun with views through the solar observing telescopes and binoculars. The observatory will be open throughout the morning and early afternoon.

2:00pm Activities conclude


July 22, 2023
1:00 pm - 10:00 pm CDT
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Eagle Lake Observatory
10775 County Road 33
Norwood Young America, MN 55397 United States
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