2020 Winter Star Party: February 17th - 23rd

 

Director’s Announcement

 

Greetings Winter Star Party Guests,

We have been diligently working with the Girl Scout to get site electrical back up for our arrival for next year’s WSP; however, it looks increasingly unlikely that we will have site electric. Currently, the Girl Scouts have recently gone through a change of staff and that hasn’t helped in getting plans permitted through the building department. So, we feel it is better that we plan on not having site electrical power available for our use. As we have done earlier this year, we will allow the use of quiet type (low noise) generators, such as Honda EU 2000’s and alike. We also ask that WSP participants share the power with their friends and neighbors to reduce the number of generators used at any one time. We will have additional port-a-lets available spread out throughout the site as well as water.

 

We have contracted with Camp Sawyer next door to use their facilities. They have 10 separate private coed bathrooms that are available for our use through the week. Additionally, their grounds will also be available for telescopes and camping. Please note that Camp Sawyer has site electric power available; if you do not have a generator you may want to consider setting up at Camp Sawyer. We have allotted for 25 campsites with parking inside the campsite and we have allotted an additional 25 campsites but without a parking pass. If you are camping on the Girl Scout site, you may set up your telescope at Camp Sawyer along the berm area, however, parking will have to either be outside or inside Camp Wesumkee. For those without a Camp Sawyer camping pass, wanting to set up their telescope at Camp Sawyer side, should obtain a temporary parking pass at registration to bring your vehicle inside. Please note that we will not have a lineup at Camp Sawyer on Monday morning, we will simply allow entry at noon; we suggest getting in at the end of the line.

 

Please note that the Boy Scouts are much more strict about their rules, and smoking is not permitted on their property and you may have to walk your equipment a short distance from the parking area to your campsite or berm area.

 

Clear Skies,

 

Tim Khan,

WSP Director

 

Camp Sawyer is on the left and Camp Wesumkee is on the right.

Camp Sawyer:

Parking on site will only be permitted in the designated area. You may also park on the road outside or move your vehicle to the extreme east end of Camp Wesumkee.

Site A will be the unloading point for your equipment if you are going to be camping with the boy scouts.

Unfortunately, we have just been advised that there will be NO VEHICLE TRAFFIC permitted beyond this point so you will need to unload your gear into a wheelbarrow to transport it to your campsite. This is a brand new development that we were previously unaware of. We are still trying to negotiate this to drop off at your campsite and then drive off to park.

Building B will be where the guest speakers will hold their talks. It is an open-air pavilion with picnic table seating.

Building C is where the bathrooms and showers are. Both camps will be using these facilities as the bathrooms were on Wesumkee were destroyed by the storm.

As you can see, there are 6 numbered campsite on Sawyer, while they have all been offered to us we would like you to use only sites 4,5 and 6. If you are planning to stay after the door prizes on Friday thru the weekend, we ask that you only camp on site #6 as the Boy Scouts have the rest of the property booked for that weekend.

There is a "pass thru" road between the 2 camps along the shore line.

Camp Wesumkee:

Site A will be where registration and sales will be housed. There are 2 chickee's that survived the hurricane and we will be using them.

As you can see, the area around site A will be for tent camping.

Vendors will be located in front of the Girl Scouts, caretakers, home with Mickie's Kitchen in its regular spot across the road.

RV's will be parked behind the Berm in their normal place as well.

No guests will be permitted to camp beyond the second concrete light pole marked on the map. Beyond there will be excess parking and camping for staff only

If you have any other questions, please email me and I will do the best I can to answer them before the star party starts.

Thank you,

Russ Brick, President
Southern Cross Astronomical Society


The Winter Star Party "WSP" is a serious event designed for amateur astronomers. WSP is held annually, usually during the new moon in February. The event is unique in that it occurs mid-winter during the height of the Florida Keys tourist season. The warm weather, coupled with dark skies, and possibly the steadies skies in North America attracts attendees from all over the frozen United States, Canada, and Europe giving the event an international flavor. The amateur astronomical "get-to-together" allows participants to meet and share observing ideas, astro-imaging techniques, as well as find out what's new in the hobby. WSP offers a stellar daily line-up of speakers who are experts in their particular field. WSP is held under the auspices of the Southern Cross Astronomical Society of Miami. This not-for-profit organization funnels proceeds from this event toward public education projects, scholarship programs, humanitarian needs and Girl Scout Camp improvements.

Fee schedule for Winter Star Party 2020

  • Registration $150
  • Camping per person $85
  • RV 15' and larger $200 plus $125.00 if RV hookups are available
  • Trailers, small campers or pop ups $75
  • Pre order Official Winter Star Party Merchandise as priced in the registration menu
  • For meals at Micki's Kitchen please see the Micki's Kitchen link (located on registration page) for direct payment
  • Big Pine United Methodist Church has once again offered Sunday overnight parking in their lot 2/16/2020. This is on a limited number of spaces and by reservation only. Please call the Big Pine United Methodist Church between the hours of 9am and 1pm to make your arrangement. 305.872.2470 ask for Jeri. These arrangements are with the church and have nothing to do with Winter Star Party.

Party History

Established in 1984, the Annual WINTER STAR PARTY is held in the Florida Keys and hosted by the Southern Cross Astronomical Society (SCAS), Inc., of Miami, Florida. During a new moon week each February, approximately 650 amateur astronomers from around the world travel to the warm subtropics of the Florida Keys to enjoy nightly observing in 360° of clear steady night skies, exchange information and advice on the hobby, meet SCAS members and distinguished guest speakers, shop for astronomical equipment from the finest vendors in the country, participate in photo contests & workshops, go sightseeing in the "Conch Republic", and record the awesome beauty sparkling in the southern night skies.

Register Early to Ensure Your Spot

Please contact the Winter Star Party Registrars at registrar@scas.org or call 954-816-3654 if you have any questions about registration. The 2020 WINTER STAR PARTY Registration Notification Postcards will be sent out in early September 2019. If you need any further information about the star party itself, please contact our host coordinator, Charlie Perillo at cmperillo@bellsouth.net or call 954-816-3654.

We are raffling off some mirror blanks

5 blanks of various sizes have been generously donated to the club by member Chris Boynton. Tickets will be 3 for $5.00 and available at the registration desk. We will have the blanks at registration for inspection. There are 5 blanks so there will be 5 winners drawn. In order of selection, each winner will have his choice of blanks.

The prizes

The blanks are of unknown origin or manufacturer. The only information Chris gave me is that they have been sitting in his garage for 40 years. All proceeds from the raffle will be donated directly to the Girl Scouts of America and earmarked specifically for the restoration of Camp Weesumkee. SCAS gives no warranty of any kind as to the condition or specifications of each blank. They will be turned over to the winners in "as is" condition.

Image #1               8" x 1 3/8" thick
Image #2               10" x 1 3/4 thick
Image #3               10" x 5/8" thick ( edge chips on both sides )
Image #4               12" x 2" thick
Image #5 & #6      16" x 3 1/4" thick ( this is a monster )