Viewers or projectors for star constellation slides may be made from shoe or oatmeal boxes. They are useful in star study groups, and for individual use and enjoyment.

Equipment needed: paper punch (with star shaped punch, if possible); scissors; poster paint; star chart and book.

Materials needed: box-oatmeal, shoe, etc.; thin cardboard (file folders) or file cards; flashlight; construction paper or paint for covering.


1. Cut rectangular window in end of box (Figs. XV-16 a or b). At the four corners, cut diagonal slits about 14" long.

2. At other end, make a hole to hold the light end of flashlight, or a peephole about 1" in diameter (Figs. XV-17 and 18).

3. Paint outside of box with poster paint, or cover with construction paper as desired.

4. To make slides: cut thin cardboard or file cards into rectangle wider than the height of the window and longer than the width of the box. With help of star observation, star charts, etc., plan the positions of stars in several constellations, one to each card or a grouping of constellations on a card. Mark place for stars. Punch holes with paper punch. 5. To use: place slide in front of window, and hold toward light to view (Fig. XV-17), or hold flashlight in the end, and flash "stars" on screen, wall, or ceiling. Several campers may flash constellations in proper groupings at one time, to give a segment of the sky.

Star Boxes And ProjectorsCut Rectangular Window In End Of Box

Star Dome Or "Planetarium"

This is a good group project, especially for a group interested in star gazing, or for an older camper group interested in a service project for the nature department. Once the frame has been made by campcrafters, different groups may make linings to show the stars at different times of the year.

Equipment needed: hammer; poster paints and brushes; scissors; stapler and staples or thumb tacks; crayons and pencils; glue; compass; water and container; star books and charts.

Materials needed: supple shoots or wood pieces for spokes and rim; lashing cord or fine wire; wrapping paper in big sheets or cloth; yellow colored paper or gummed gold stars.


1. Select a central point in a large open clearing. This may be a flag pole or a stake set in the ground.

2. Find North with compass, and have one camper lie down with head at pole or stake, feet pointing north.

3. With binder twine, mark a circle with circumference at the feet of this camper, mark off the six equal spaces on circumference, and have five other campers lie down with heads at stake, feet at the points on circumference (Fig. XV-19).

4. Have campers reach out and clasp hands with neighbors, holding hands high (Fig. XV-19). The segment of skyline viewed between one camper's hands is the segment for which he is responsible. Each camper makes a rough sketch of his segment of skyline.

5. To construct framework: soak willow shoots or strips of wood until pliable, and bend into circle, overlapping ends and lashing or nailing together (Fig. XV-22).

Use radius of circle as a measure to mark out six equal spaces around circumference.

Soak shoots or strips for ribs, and when pliable, fasten across the circle, making a dome. Notch at rim and at joining spots. If short shoots or strips are used, join at side of center crossing spot with sheer lashing (see any campcraft book for lashings) with cord or wire. (Figs. XV-22 a and b). Use small brads or glue to hold ribs to rim. Let dry.

6. To make liner: measure distance from middle of each rib to middle of next (Fig. XV-22 x-y), and measure length of ribs from circumference to top of dome (x-z). Cut segments of wrapping paper by these dimensions, allowing a little on edges for overlap and for fastening. Try for fit.

Have each camper sketch his segment of skyline from his small, rough sketch, on a piece of wrapping paper (see Chap. XX for how to enlarge). Be sure adjoining edges coincide. Do not try to reproduce the skyline in detail, but pick out the outstanding features, such as buildings, trees, hills, (Figs. XV-20 and 21). Orient and mark with compass points.

Paint the upper part of the segments dark blue, the lower outlines in black, showing skyline in silhouette.

Fasten segments on underneath sides of ribs with staples or thumbtacks or glue, touching up the metal with paint, if needed.

Locate major stars and constellations in pencil, and cut stars in three sizes from yellow paper (or use gummed stars), and place in proper places on inside of dome with glue.

7. To hang: hang dome with rope, tie with bowline knot (see any campcraft book) and attach to rafters overhead

(Fig. XV-22).

Variations: Segments may be made of cloth (such as unbleached muslin or pieces of an old sheet) stitched together. This is a better plan if several different liners are to be used. The cloth liner may then be thumbtacked in place.

If the size chosen is over 5' in diameter, it will be better to have 12 segments of skyline, using twelve campers around the center pole or stakes, and 12 ribs.