Educational Overnight Trips

The Observatory’s first priority is the safety of staff, students, and leaders. If the Observatory’s safety team deems it unwise for your group to stay overnight with us, we will contact the person who created the reservation at least two weeks before the scheduled visit to cancel, and you will receive a full refund on your deposit.

The Green Bank Observatory offers an overnight experience called “Radio Astronomer for a Day.”

All educational activities are free, but there are some costs if you’d like to stay onsite or purchase meals while here.

If you have any questions not answered here, feel free to email us at gro.y1719219409rotav1719219409resbo1719219409bg@sn1719219409oitav1719219409reser1719219409.

Anyone fifth grade and older who comes with an educational group can stay overnight with our Radio Astronomer for a Day Program. Educational groups can include:

  • Organized school groups with adult chaperones
  • Organized university or college groups
  • Church youth groups with adult chaperones
  • Homeschool associations or clubs with adult chaperones
  • 4-H, Civil Air Patrol, and other after-school clubs or groups
  • Camp groups from other organizations or museums

Scout groups are invited to visit and participate in educational activities during our scheduled Scout Badge Weekends.

Students work in research teams investigate cosmic objects with the 40-Foot radio telescope. They will learn how to use the telescope, and then take data with it overnight. In the morning, students go over their data with a Green Bank educator and figure out what it means and what conclusions we can draw from it.

More in-depth projects are available for groups that stay longer than one night.

When making your reservation please include an estimated arrival and departure time. We will create a schedule for activities facilitated by Green Bank Observatory educators using these times. Educational activities can be scheduled between 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM.

Please make sure to select “Science Center & Educational Activities” in your GBORS request.

You can stay overnight at the Green Bank Observatory any time of the year! We do suggest staying at least twenty-four hours, so students can get the most out of the experience.

Overnight Accommodations

Overnight groups have three options for staying onsite: the bunkhouse, the campground, and the residence hall. If you’re interested in staying onsite, make sure to select “Overnight Accommodations” in your GBORS request.

The bunkhouse is our most popular option. It costs $10 per person per night, with a $200 per night minimum (if you’re bringing twenty-one people, that is $210 per night, and so on). A $100 deposit is required. The bunkhouse can hold sixty students, and has two rooms for chaperones. It includes showers and bathrooms.

The campground costs $5 per person per night, with a $150 per night minimum. A $100 deposit is required. Please review the Comet Campground Policy document before camping onsite.

The hotel-style residence hall is best for smaller groups, as we only have a limited number of rooms. See prices below.

Single room$75.00/night
Double room$90.00/night


The Green Bank Observatory has a cafeteria that can provide meals. If you are interested in this option, please select “Meal Services” when you submit your reservation request through the Green Bank Observatory Reservation System (GBORS).

Continental Breakfast is $8/person; lunch is $10/person; and dinner is $12/person.

Use the Green Bank Observatory Reservation System (GBORS) to request a reservation. Make sure to select “Science Center & Educational Activities” when creating your request.

We do suggest getting your reservation requests in as early as possible, especially if your group needs to visit on a weekend.