2023 JD McCarty Center Camp ClapHans Star Parties- June-July!

( Hopefully not too late posting this, but it’s that time again! :slightly_smiling_face: )

The JD McCarty Center in Norman OK will be holding their annual Camp ClapHans Summer Camps for 2023 from the first week of June through the 3rd week in July (skipping the 1st week of July). This is a summer camp for children with disabilities, and each year since 2014 (except 2020 due to Covid) OKCAC has been asked to organize star parties for each of the camp weekly sessions on a voluntary basis.

Each camp session will have up to 12 children attending, ages 8-18 plus several adult counselors who also like to look through eyepieces and work with the kids to help things go smoothly.

This year JDMC is having 6 one week camps. There will be one star party per camp with dates spaced one week apart (except for the week of July 4th). The camps will take place on the Monday of each camp week, with an alternate of Tuesday depending on weather.

The camp star party dates for 2023 are:

*     Monday June 5th - (Tuesday June 6th tentative alternate)
*     Monday June 12th - (Tuesday June 13th tentative alternate)
*     Monday June 19th - (Tuesday June 20th tentative alternate)
*     Monday June 26th - (Tuesday June 27th tentative alternate)
*     Monday July 10th - (Tuesday July 11th tentative alternate)
*     Monday July 17th - (Tuesday July 18th tentative alternate)

The McCarty Center is located at 2002 E. Robinson in Norman, which is to the East of Norman. The camp sessions are held on the JD McCarty Center campus in their camp area, which is a large open area with a few camp buildings away from the rest of the complex. There is good visibility to horizons in all directions, with moderate light pollution.

The camp is in the far South end of the JD McCarty campus, shown in the above link with a circular drive and a cluster of 3 small buildings.

We have been setting up to the North of the buildings, on the West side of the road, between the buildings and the outdoor bleachers.

Setup will start at 7PM with solar viewing early and twilight around 8:40PM. The kids should be off to bed before 10PM.

Standard star party light protocol/etiquette will be in effect for the most part. Planets, binaries, clusters, and other brighter objects (including the Moon of course!) have worked well in past years at this event.

Anyone with a telescope and who enjoys working with kids is welcome! There is plenty of space to setup and the kids will only have an hour or so after dark before they generally need to head off to bed, so multiple scopes looking at different objects works very well.

It would be good to have at least two volunteers/scopes for each night, but there is room for at least 5-6 setups easily. Many of these kids have limited mobility with varying levels of physical disability, and a few may have difficulty using eyepieces, so at least some easy viewing options would be best. Chairs, stools, and small step ladders are also good things to bring along. Adult camp counselors will be there to assist.

If you have the ability to provide video camera projection that would be a great bonus, as some children at each camp might not be able to use eyepieces for direct viewing.

Some Moon phase info, along with rise times for Moon and planets:


I should be there for most, if not all, of these. Definitely will be there for the first one.

If you haven’t participated in these before, com’on out! The kids love looking at the stars!

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I am going to attempt to be there as well. checking timing of events :grinning:

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JD McCarty star party canceled for tonight, 5 June. Will try again tomorrow, 6 June.

Weather forecast for this afternoon\evening in Norman is not looking favorable. But still hoping for the best.

I’ve got storms coming in from the NW and light rain atm in Edmond. Cloud cover in Norman for the event.

JD McCarty viewing is officially canceled again. Hopefully we’ll have better weather next Monday.

Also Member Night is this Saturday! If the weather’s good, com’on out for it!

Chris P just cancelled this for tonight on the other forum. And not looking good for tomorrow night.

Thanks for the update! Hoping tomorrow is better.

Looking good for tonight! I should be there about 7.