Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts can earn Astronomy/Space related badges through an overnight program at the Observatory!

  • We offer the Astronomy Badge and the Electronics Badge Weekends to Boy Scouts
  • Girl Scouts can earn the Night Owl Badge, or you can create your own!
  • Girls Scouts can contact us to arrange a free weekend for their overnight adventure.
  • There has been such a huge demand for Boy Scout field trips that we have set aside select weekends for Boy Scout Merit Badge events.
  • There is no charge for the program except for a fee of $5.00/ scout  which applies to the Electronic Badge weekend only,  to help pay for the hobby circuit kit that the boys will build and keep.

Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can we camp out? Scout groups can elect to camp in our designated camping area, or stay in the Green Bank Bunkhouse. Only groups who camp may cook their own food using a provided fire ring, and wood that you gather on site. The cost for camping is the higher of these two options $5.00/scout/night, or $150/night (This is a minimum charge for fewer than 30 people). Scouts who are camping during our designated scout weekends may make use of the shower facilities in the bunkhouse.
Please take a look at our camping policy:camping-policy-green-bank-observatory

2. What about the bunkhouse?  The bunkhouse is an affordable and comfortable alternative to camping.  The bunkhouse has 60 berths that  are segregated into 30 bunks in two major rooms. One room can be further segregated  by a retractable wall to accommodate adults. In addition there are 2 attached chaperone rooms that each contain two double beds.  More information as well as links to our bunkhouse policy can be found here.

3. What is the maximum number of scouts we can bring? At the present time, we hold the total number of scouts to 45 or less.  Adults are welcome to accompany scouts, but be aware that you may not be able to participate in all activities due to space constraints. Note that multiple troops can sign up for a given Boy Scout Badge weekend, until we reach capacity.

4. What does the program consist of?  The program for both girl and boy scouts  is  fun and very fast paced, and consists of  hands-on activities that meet the requirements for the badges.  All scouts working toward Astronomy related badges have the opportunity to learn how to operate a working radio telescope to take their own data, and  learn constellations in our inflatable StarLab planetarium. In order to accomplish all of the requirements for these badges we typically start at 10:30 on a Saturday morning, and end at around 11 AM the following day.  Sometimes, scouts who have to travel some distance arrange to arrive Friday evening.