Scouts at the Royal Observatory
Fresh off of the back of our trip to the Ashdown Forest for Spring Camp, we took the Scouts up to Greenwich Park to visit the Royal Observatory. Last term the troop took part in a whole range of activities to work towards the Astronomer Activity Badge and this trip was the icing on that cake.
It was an early start, meeting up at the hut for 08:00 to catch two buses up to Greenwich. We arrived with plenty of time so took some time to take in the view over the city and of course get a group photo. Our private show in the Planetarium started at 10:00, which was absolutely fantastic. This unique opportunity allowed the Scouts to both enjoy the show, but also take advantage of having the place to themselves by answering quiz questions from the resident astronomer.
Our show followed a look at some of the most stunning, award winning photographs before we were whisked off to a workshop with another astro-physicist. There we learned more about the earth’s seasons, the moon and much more. This was also the opportunity for the Scouts to ask those questions that they’ve always wanted to, including how we think we know Planet X exists.
Following this the Scouts took a self guided tour of the observatory’s historical side, the highlight of which was the enormous, working telescope on display. We presented 9 Scouts with their Astronomer badge in front of the astronomy centre before heading to the park for some lunch in the sunshine and an ice cream. We spent a bit of time in the park before heading back home on the bus.
A special thank you to the staff of the Royal Observatory for making this excellent day happen, particularly Nick for going the extra mile for us!
Contributed by Dan Stimson, Scout Leader