Attendees will be able to setup and camp near their equipment in either tents or RVs on the main field (although RVs on the observing field will not have hookups). You may also park next to your campsite, although (obviously) you will not be able to leave during the night, so plan accordingly. Staunton River State Park also offers a number of cabins and campsites with hookup, neither of which is far from the observing field. To reserve a park campsite or cabin, please visit the park’s reservation page.
Electrical power will be provided for astronomy equipment on a first-come, first-serve basis, and is available for a major part of the observing field. Charging batteries, etc. will be possible for everyone at a charging station.
Limited Internet connectivity is available in and around the visitor center (at one end of the observing field). We will also have a live feed of weather conditions in the visitor center. We are attempting to increase the wireless Internet on the observing field.
Toilet and shower facilities are provided by the park, including porta-potties on the observing field as well as shower facilities in the pool house. The visitor center also has a store that provides items you might have forgotten to bring, as well as a wonderful meeting room where we will hold our presentations.
For those of you who wish to entertain yourselves during the day, the park offers hiking trails (although some are closed because of tornado damage) and quite an extensive area for boating on the adjacent lakes. Birdwatching is also great at the far east end of the park. And fishing is definitely one of the main attractions of the park. If you have an NC fishing license, you can fish in the park without getting a Virginia license. And if you need a VA license, you can purchase on in the park’s visitor center, right next to the observing field!
Food is provided by the park but the cost is not included in the star party registration fee. Many items are available throughout the night for observers, and there is a bottomless cup of coffee available (with a discount if you bring back a cup from a previous star party and which also includes unlimited tea, lemonade, and hot chocolate as well). Here is the menu from the last star party (click on the picture to enlarge):