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The sky’s no limit for this Polk Eagle Scout project

You are cordially invited to two daytime sky viewing parties and two nighttime sky viewing parties this month.

These Star Party Fundraisers will be hosted by Claudio T. Stabile as part of his Eagle Scout project.

“I am building an astronomy observatory at the Polk Township North Field with Polk Township as the service project beneficiary,” said Stabile, who just finished his sophomore year at Commonwealth Charter Academy and is a life Scout member of Troop 102 in Saylorsburg.

Stabile first presented his idea to the supervisors at their November 2022 meeting. They were concerned about the flood plains in his original plan, which was the field inside the Polk Township Walking Park. He changed his location to the North Field.

“I love how the sky presents itself so much throughout the year. On Feb. 24, I came out here with the Polk Township supervisors and we saw Venus, Mars and Uranus,” said Stabile. “The stars literally aligned and made me so interested.”

The aspiring Eagle Scout returned in March and told the supervisors that he would start building the shed and fundraising on Thursday – as soon as the school year ends. He will have it completed before school resumes.

Supervisors Brian Ahner, Michael Hurley and Carl Heckman voted 3-0 in favor of this project and are eager for him to share his love of astronomy with the community.

“I will be recruiting Scouts to help me assemble an 8-foot by 10-foot shed here in the North Field, where I will store the two telescopes,” Stabile said.

The daytime Star Party Fundraisers begin at 4 p.m. on Saturday and June 24; the nighttime events begin at 8:30 p.m. on June 16 and 29.

Attendees should bring lawn chairs, blanket and snacks. Each gathering may last a few hours. The North Field is located on Polk Township Road. The recycling/garbage facility is on one side of the Polk Township municipal building, and the field they are using is on the other side of the municipal building.

The events are free to attend. Stabile is thankful for any contributions he receives for this project. Cash or checks made out to Boy Scout Troop 102 are welcome. He also has a GoFundMe account, https://gofund.me/2212bee9.

“My goal is to raise $3,000 for the shed, solar panels, electrical components, supporting materials for the observatory, and food and drinks for the Scouts volunteering to build the shed,” he said.

He will give glow sticks as an incentive to anyone who gives a contribution.

Stabile has been involved Scouts since 2017.

“I love leadership and helping my troop,” he said.

Stabile has also encouraged another person close to him to join Scouts, his dad.

“He got me into Scouting and astronomy. I credit him for all this,” said Claudio M. Stabile, who is the troop treasurer and an environmental engineering technologist professionally.

Father and son are involved in the Lehigh Valley Amateur Astronomical Society, which meets regularly. The society, which hosts Boy Scout activities a few times a year, is for people of all ages.

The telescope Stabile will use to view the night sky is a 10-inch Meade LX 200 EMC.

LVAAS has contributed this telescope on a long-term basis for as long as the project is active.

He is also using a 90mm Coronado SolarMax III for viewing the sun. He was awarded

this telescope for being the Charlie Bates Solar Astronomy Project/Sunlit Earth 2023 Sponsorship Recipient.

“It allows me to see the deep red hydrogen alpha light, which has a wavelength of 656.28 nanometers,” he said.

He originally set his deadline for Aug. 18, but has extended it to Dec. 31 to give himself more time for the paperwork and documentation.

He plans to have a grand opening event on Aug. 18 for the community to see the finished observatory and then view the sky.

After that, “I will hold regular public astronomy events throughout the year benefiting residents and visitors of Polk Township,” he wrote on his GoFundMe page.

Stabile is also raising money on June 17 by selling country meat sticks, his mother’s electric bass guitar and household items at the Blue Ridge Flea Market.

Claudio T. Stabile is hosting four Star Party Fundraisers this month to raise money for his Eagle Scout project. He is building an astronomy observatory at the Polk Township North Field. The events are free but contributions are greatly appreciated toward his goal of $3,000.