Sky’s the Limit

Clear skies inside for scouts visiting planetarium

The sky was the limit as Cub Scouts and Girl Scouts reached for the stars at Lycoming College’s Detwiler Planetarium recently. Cub Scout Pack 88, of Montoursville, and the Girl Scout Service Unit 624, of the greater Williamsport area, both attended an educational and entertaining event, Sky is the Limit Adventure, organized by the new Detwiler Planetarium director, Lauren Balliet.

Pack 88 visited the planetarium along with the scouts’ family members as part of the Sky’s the Limit merit badge completion. 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.

“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 to 9 year olds ask questions for over 20 minutes,” said Chad Larson, Cubmaster of Cub Scout Pack 88.

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.

“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,” said Girl Scout Cadette Amy Langer, a sixth grade student in Troop 60183.

“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 begin with February’s First Friday.