Scouts enjoy trek to the stars

The 1st Ridgetown Scout Troop took a voyage to the final frontier, where no man had gone before.

Okay, so it wasn’t quite Captain Kirk and First Officer Spock, but the Beavers, Cubs, Scouts and Ventures did go on a memorable trek to the stars.

The local troop was treated to a visit by Ryan Marciniak and his Astronomy In Action portable planetarium presentation at their Feb. 21 weekly meeting.

Marciniak, an astronomer, educator and science communicator, uses the latest visualization software and technology to show the universe’s fascinating, vast beauty.

The educational show uses incredible visualizations of the night sky projected onto the ceiling of the 360-degree theatre dome.

The scouts, leaders and parents sat on inclined seating that provided a great view of the visuals as they appeared on the dome’s ‘sky.’

Participants learned about the solar system, constellations and astronauts at the International Space Station as Marciniak took them on an exciting trip through the universe.

Part of the program is geared for the scouts to learn to navigate the night sky while participating in outdoor activities.

“We knew it was going to be a good show, but it was better than we thought,” said Adam Frazee, Troop Scouter for the 1st Ridgetown group.

“Ryan started the conversation by showing the night sky. The kids would ask questions, and whatever one of the kids asked about, he’d put it up on the dome to show them,” said Frazee. “And that would lead to other questions.”

The program lasted about an hour, but Marciniak stayed around for about another hour afterwards as the kids were still asking questions, which he continued to answer as he deflated the dome.

“We were all impressed at the quality of questions the kids were asking. They were really into it,” Frazee said. “This is the kind of program you’d see in bigger cities typically, but we were happy to bring it here to Ridgetown.”

Michael Bennett, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Ridgetown Independent News