Darren Drake, Astronomer-In-Residence 2006 is the Astronomer-In-Residence for Summer 2006 at the Yarger Observatory at Camp Eberhart. In this newly created support position, Darren will be a resource person for campers all summer long, present each night at the observatory to assist campers in their quest to gain proficiency in the Astronomy program. Darren will assist at Kids Astro Camp, as well.
Darren holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Illinois State University; his specialty is Astronomy. He has a Teaching Certificate in Science, and has taught on the Elementary, Jr. High and High School levels in the Chicago area. In addition, Darren is Planetarium Operator at the Cernan Space Center at Triton College in River Grove.
Darren owns an awesome 18-inch diameter reflector telescope (which requires a step-ladder for viewing), and is active and well-known in Astronomy outreach in the Chicago area.

Chuck Bueter is a Fellow of the Great Lakes Planetarium Association and its representative to the International Planetarium Society. He has developed planetarium programs, educational resources, and astronomy websites. His acclaimed Paper Plate Education website has been featured in USA Today, Yahoo!, and Highlights for Children. Chuck has led numerous public telescope viewing sessions. For the 2004 Transit of Venus, he coordinated a local viewing extravaganza that attracted adults, children and amateur astronomers from several states. Chuck is a skilled telescope operator, and built his own 8-inch reflector telescope. He has taught at Camp Eberhart’s KIDS ASTRO CAMP since 2003, guiding young stargazers as they learn to identify constellations and target celestial highlights through their telescopes.

Peter Burkey is president of the Shoreline Amateur Astronomical Association in Holland, Michigan, and has been an amateur astronomer for 25 years. Pete’s group is involved in astronomy outreach to adults and children in the Holland area, as well as regular observing. A retired high school algebra teacher, Pete also taught astronomy at Fennville High School from 1981 to 2003. He has a powerful reflector telescope that he built himself, including grinding the telescope’s 10-inch diameter mirror by hand. This is considered a major feat. Pete writes a monthly column for the Holland Sentinel titled “What’s Up In The Sky.” In his article of July 26, 2005, he wrote of Astro Camp: “What a joy it was to work with enthusiastic kids who were truly interested in what they were learning. And learn they did!”
This will be Pete’s 3rd summer as a staff member of Kids Astro Camp.

Debra Lazar-Pearl, from Hinsdale, Illinois, is founder and chairperson of the Astronomy Nights & Telescope Checkout programs of the Hinsdale Public Library and Hinsdale Public Library Foundation. Concurrently, she is on the volunteer staff of the Adler Planetarium And Astronomy Museum in Chicago where she provides telescope and astronomy outreach. In addition, Debra brings to our program her educational experience at the historic Mt. Wilson Observatory CUREA program (consortium of undergraduate research in education and astronomy), and her past and recent world travels of astronomical interest including the March 29, 2006, Total Solar Eclipse observed from Egypt. Debra owns a Meade LX90 8-inch telescope, which is computer driven. This will be Debra’s 3rd summer on the staff of Kids Astro Camp.

Linda Marks Prior to her recent move to South Bend, Linda Marks taught astronomy on the high school level in Milford, Connecticut, where she also acted as astronomy club advisor, adult education astronomy teacher and planetarium director. A serious observer, Ms. Marks owns a 13-inch Coulter Odyssey reflector telescope, and has developed her skill in astrophotography and astro-imaging. Linda held the position of President of the Astronomical Society of New Haven, Connecticut, from 1991 to 2001. In 1998, she was recognized as Astronomer of the Year by the society. She was director of the annual Connecticut Star Party from 1991 to 2004. We are pleased to welcome Linda Marks to the local astronomy community, and look forward to her input and participation in the future.

Lou Sandock is a lifelong stargazing hobbyist with no formal astronomy training. He saw his first constellation as a 10-year-old summer camper at Camp Eberhart in 1958, and has been an enthusiast ever since.
During the summers of 1967 and 1968, Lou was director of Camp Eberhart’s Yarger Observatory, and created the summer camp astronomy program that is still in use today there. He has continued his association with Camp Eberhart as mentor for the astronomy program. In 2000, Lou created the KIDS ASTRO CAMP program, and has assembled a staff of outstanding astronomy instructors that come to Camp Eberhart for the weeks of KIDS ASTRO CAMP and provide the inspiration that takes the campers to the heights of accomplishment in learning about the stars and constellations of the night sky, the use of telescopes, and an appreciation for the beauty of the cosmos.