Aerial view of campus with Williamsport, the Susquehanna River and Bald Eagle Mountain as a backdrop

Clear skies inside for scouts visiting Detwiler Planetarium

Clear skies inside for scouts visiting Detwiler Planetarium

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Lycoming College’s Detwiler Planetarium recently welcomed Cub Scout Pack 88 from Montoursville, and Girl Scout Service Unit 624 from the greater Williamsport area for a series of educational and entertaining events. These events were organized by the new Detwiler Planetarium director, Lauren Balliet.

Cub Scouts from Pack 88 visited the planetarium along with the scouts’ family members as part of completing their “Sky’s the Limit Adventure” merit badge. Some of the requirements include, but are not limited to, what a career as an astronomer entails, as well as observing the night sky and knowing how to locate distant objects and constellations.

Chad Larson, cubmaster of Cub Scout Pack 88, stated, “We cannot express how impressed the scouts were with the custom presentation Lauren put together for our Cub Scout Pack. She went above and beyond and showed an amazing ability to keep the kids engaged. You know you are doing something right when 6-9-year-olds ask questions for over 20 minutes.”

Nearly 40 scouts from the Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania Service Unit 624 visited the planetarium, traveling from Williamsport, South Williamsport, Montoursville, and Lock Haven. While the purpose of their visit was not to earn a badge, Girl Scout leader Erin Smith, wanted her troop and others to experience an evening of fun and education in the planetarium. The Girl Scouts, along with their families, learned about objects in the winter night sky and how to locate them.

Girl Scout cadette Amy Langer, a sixth-grader from Troop 60183 stated, “Going to the planetarium with the Girl Scouts was an amazing experience. It was neat to learn about the night sky and how explorers used the stars to navigate.”

“I was excited for the opportunity to develop these shows for the Scouts and I was thrilled that it provided a fun and educational evening for them and their families,” said Balliet. “I hope that by visiting the planetarium they are now able to go out at night and navigate the night sky, and to always stay curious about the many questions that have yet to be answered about our universe, near and far.”

Featuring a 35-foot-wide dome and a state-of-the-art digital projection system, the Detwiler Planetarium enables Lycoming College students and the greater Williamsport area to recreate the night sky and astronomical bodies in a comfortable learning environment. Cutting-edge technology allows visitors and students to explore the boundaries of the universe and the depths of the earth in stunning high definition detail. Future community programming will be advertised in the new year starting with First Friday in February.

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