LVAAS - THE LEHIGH VALLEY AMATEUR ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY: Promoting, Facilitating and Teaching Astronomy Since 1957

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Friday, September 22 2017 @ 12:36 AM EDT

Scout Groups Camping at Pulpit Rock Astronomical Park
The Pulpit Rock (PR) area had quite a few sighting of BEARs during the Summer of 2012.  Visitors to the PR site are strongly encouraged to use bear safe practices.  Click on the following for BEAR SAFETY tips.    Additionally, during hunting season, if you are hiking in the surrounding Borough watershed or in the State Game Lands to the north of PR, please plan on wearing some Hunter Orange Colored clothing.  If you are hiking through the State Game lands, it is a PA Game Commission Law that you wear some orange colored clothing.  Note: No bears were seen or reported for 2013, 2014, or 2015.  There was one BEAR SIGHTINGS in early June and NOW every day since Monday June 21 through at least Sunday June 26.  All of the sighting were in the immediate area of Pulpit Rock and the reservoir.
By popular demand, as of July 2015, we now have patches available to commemorate your stay at Pulpit Rock Astronomical Park.  The patch is about 3 1/2" in diameter and is identical to the LVAAS logo displayed at the top left of this page.   Your host for your stay will have patches.   Their cost is $3 each.LVAAS allows scout groups to camp at the Pulpit Rock Astronomical Park (PRAP) on weekends closest to the full moon when our club members would likely not be using the site.  Please click on the following for pictures of Pulpit Rock Astronomical Park
The following details apply for groups camping at Pulpit Rock Astronomical Park.
Groups can either hike into the site or drive up to the site and car camp.  Hiking groups typically stay one night.  Most groups that car camp arrive Friday night and leave Sunday.  While camping at PRAP, your LVAAS host(s) will open an observatory or two for astronomical observations during the evening if the weather is appropriate.  If the weather is not appropriate for evening observing, then a PowerPoint talk on an astronomical topic of interest may be presented.  During the day, solar observing is frequently available, appropriate weather assumed.
Some general rules about camping at Pulpit Rock Astronomical Park.
1. No open campfires are permitted on site. You must either cook with charcoal or gas.
 Some groups use a 55 gallon barrel, split lengthwise, elevated on short legs, and covered with a screen to have a campfire. Others have simply used a gas flame. Both are acceptable.
2. You must camp on LVAAS property, e.g. on the lawn.
 Camping in the woods is off LVAAS property and as such campers are subject to fines.
3. There is no potable water on site. You will need to bring in all your own drinking and cooking water.
4. There is an outhouse available on site for use. Please bring your own paper supply.
An LVAAS member will be your host for the weekend, particularly if you are car camping.  Your host will meet you at the locked gate at the Reservoir parking lot to enable your group’s entrance to and later exit from the PRAP camping site.  Groups should plan to arrive and depart as a group, e.g. late comers and early leavers must be kept to an absolute minimum as should the number of vehicles in total.  Any vehicles towing a trailer from the gate up to PRAP must be 4-wheel drive due to the steepness of the mountain road.  Any vehicles left overnight, outside the locked gate at the Reservoir parking lot, must be registered in advance with the Hamburg Borough secretary (610-562-7821), else they will be ticketed.  The Borough office is open Monday-Friday until 5:00 PM.  They are not open Saturday or Sunday. Vehicles taken up to the PRAP do not need to be registered.  Your host for the weekend will stay on site for the duration of your stay at PRAP to enable exit from the site in case of emergency.  Your host will furnish their own sleeping arrangements, but they will take meals with your group.
There is no fee for use of the site, but if the weather is suitable we frequently do have small service projects. For any service project, LVAAS will supply any needed tools or materials.
If your troop wishes to work on the Astronomy Merit Badge during your visit to PRAP, please contact our merit badge counselor, Chris Smith, to make arrangements prior to your visit.  From the menu, see Activities, Astronomy Merit Badge, for Chris's contact information.
To request a reservation date or discuss additional details, please click on the following e-mail: Ron Kunkel.   Be prepared to supply the following information: 
Group Name/Troop No.:
City / State of group:
Contact Person/ Phone #:
Number of youth attending:
Number of adult leaders attending:
Preferred arrival date and time:
Preferred departure date and time:
 LVAAS is a non-profit organization that is staffed entirely by volunteers.  Reservations are subject to the availability of an LVAAS member to act as your host for the weekend.   Additionally, please do NOT request dates other than those listed as the available weekend dates at the bottom of this page.  Requests for dates other than the scheduled dates, will NOT be accepted.
All groups using the Park must also supply the following information at least 48 hours prior to their scheduled arrival at the Park:
1.  Certificate of Insurance, naming Lehigh Valley Amateur Astronomical Society Inc., 620-B East Rock Rd., Allentown, PA 18103 as additionally insured with:
General liability of $1,000,000 per occurrence / $2,000,000 aggregate.
Automobile liability (for non-privately owned vehicles) of $500,000 per vehicle.
2.  A copy of the current insurance identification card for each vehicle (for privately owned vehicles) accessing the Park.
3.  The following signed hold harmless document.
Your Organization shall and will and hereby does release, indemnify, defend, protect, and save harmless LVAAS from and against any and all claims, demands, liability, damages, costs, and expenses, including without limitation, court costs and attorney's fees resulting from any and all loss of life or property or from injury or damage to the person or property of any person, firm, corporation, or entity, including LVAAS and your Organization and their officers, agents, and employees arising out of or in connection with the use of LVAAS's right of ways and roadway and Pulpit Rock Astronomical Park facilities.
Authorized Signature:_____________________________
The above information must be returned to Ron Kunkel at least 48 hours prior to your scheduled arrival at the Park.  To obtain a printed copy of the above insurance and liability requirements, please click here:
 Camping schedule for 2017 (see below).  Limit is two troops on any given weekend.
Jan              not available, vehicle access likely not possible
Feb             not available, vehicle access likely not possible
Mar 10-12  Troop 29 from Wilmington DE, Larry Brown
Apr 7-9       Troop 445 from West Reading PA, Brian Lineaweaver
                   Troop 25 from Riverside NJ, Randy Bevan
May 19-21  Troop 404 from Lima PA, Michelle Sampson
                   Troop 15 from Mt Laurel NJ, Rob Reese
Jun 9-11     Troop 67 from Haddon Heights NJ, Bill Wagner
Jul 14-16    available
Aug 4-6      Troop 352 from Bethlehem PA, Mike Mille
Sep 8-10    Troop 89 from New Tripoli PA, Craig Brasten
                   Troop 510 from Topton PA, Dan Knauss
Oct 6-8       Troop 71 (Merion Liberty) from Merion Station PA, Jim McKee
                   Pack 180 from Krumsville PA, Jay Locke
Nov 3-5      not available - LVAAS 60th Anniversary Banquet
Dec            not available, vehicle access likely not possible


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