The Letenka Astronomy Camp is a science popularization camp, firstly for astronomy. The camp is organized by the Astronomy Magazine with help from friends, since 2001. Since 2006, the camp has been financially aided by the Provincial Secretariat for Science and Technological Development, as well as the Faculty of Sciences from Novi Sad.
The camp is organized in July, during the weekend when the Moon is not obstructing (or is least obstructing) the observation.
The organizers’ intention was originally to keep the camp (programs, showers, toilet, security, etc.) free (all guests were supposed to bring a tent and food). However, in recent years the camp has grown to such size that the expenses soared as well. Thus, each camper must participate in the funding for the camp, but this amount of money is always a symbolic one.
Camp Program is a diverse one, and consists of a series of lectures, workshops, demonstrations, presentations, panels, etc. Even though there are lectures for experts, the majority of lectures are of a popular nature, understandable to all with basic high-school knowledge. Besides, the topics are always interesting and current. Some programs are competitive in nature (competition in discovering celestial objects, astronomy quiz, etc.).
Depending on the number of elementary-school aged visitors, camp organizers provide a special program for them.
You are not obliged to attend any of the programs, but in our opinion you wouldn’t come if there was nothing of interest to you. Some programs are unnoticeable even though they are taking place. For instance, everyone will receive full information on how to handle a telescope, on the news from the astronautics world, astronomy, etc. if they ask for it, regardless of what is written in the official Camp Program. Also, here you can have trade software, ideas, knowledge, information, etc. This is all also a part of the program, even though it doesn’t take place in a visible and recognizable shape. It’s really all up to you, camp guests, and up to your invention and the desire to learn something or pass your knowledge on. So, if you are interested in something, don’t hesitate to ask. Ask before, during, or after the lecture, day or night, or whenever you get the chance to. Ask!
Who is the camp for? For everyone who wishes to learn, find out or pass on their knowledge (mostly we have students and high-school students, but sometimes we have full families with small children). This knowledge is diverse. Starting with how the universe was formed and how the elements came to be, up to Star Wars and Star Track – i.e. Science Fiction.
Where are the campers from? All over. Mostly from Serbia, but we have guests from all ex-YU countries. Sometimes people come from other continents, as well. Lately, the camp has been gaining international character.
In order for us to organize the camp as best as possible, we need you to announce your arrival. It’s one thing to organize a camp for 50, and another thing for 250 people. Let us know if you’re coming (a simple e-mail will do), how many of you will be attending (if you’re bringing friends) and if you need a ride from Novi Sad to Letenka (and back).
But the real, official sign-in is when you get to camp. Here you will submit your info, have your picture taken and receive an ID card which you should carry around your neck (those cards have proven to be quite useful with people who have known each other only via e-mail and forums, but have otherwise never met).
The camp has its Organizational and Program Board, and a special service which takes care of keeping everything optimum (video beam, recording, photographing, sound, equipment management and the like).
All lecturers are experts in their area. Among them we have professional astronomers, University professors, telescope self-builders, experienced sky watchers, student, etc, etc…
Keep track of the camp news! There will be some news you’ll want to hear.