Boy Scouts

Current Badge Offerings

Merit Badge Offerings
Overnight Programs

  Individuals and troops may register!  

Troops and individual scouts may register for our merit badge programs. These events are called “overnights” but scouts do not have to stay over. The actual merit badge program itself usually takes 3-4 hours. Most merit badges have prerequisites that scouts should do ahead of time. During and after the program – celestial viewing through our telescopes takes places if clear skies prevail.

Kopernik has several merit badge counselors that are certified and are current on youth protection

Upcoming Merit Badge Programs

November 18/19: Astronomy Merit Badge Overnight

Boy Scouts are invited to attend an overnight at KOSC and earn their Astronomy Merit Badge.  During the evening, they will use KOSC’s professional telescopes and computer lab to complete badge requirements. Scouts will learn about telescopes, stars, constellations, planets, our moon and the Sun. If clear, they will receive a tour of the constellations and view the Milky Way in the moonless night sky. They also will be able to observe deep sky objects through the telescopes. A continental breakfast on Sunday morning is provided.

Date & Time:    Program starts:   Saturday, November 18, 2017     6:30 p.m. (arrival 5:30-6:15 p.m.)

                             Program ends:    Sunday, November 19, 2017       8:30 a.m          

Prerequisite: Requirement #1

Where:               Kopernik Observatory & Science Center, 698 Underwood Road, Vestal, NY

BRING:                Indoor Sleepover: sleeping bag, floor cushion, pillow, toiletries

                             Outdoor Campout: tents, camping equipment

COST:                  $30 per Scout or participating sibling                        

                             $6 per adult leader/chaperone or nonparticipating sibling

Astronomy Merit Badge Registration Form


Radio Merit Badge Overnight

Boy Scouts are invited to attend an overnight at KOSC and earn the Radio Merit Badge. They will learn how radios work, make a radio contact with a Ham Radio operator, and learn what careers are possible in the radio communication field. Scouts with Morse code proficiency will be eligible to fulfill requirements for the Morse code Interpreter Strip. Continental breakfast on Sunday morning is provided.

Date & Time:    Program starts: Saturday, December 9, 2017   6:30 p.m. (arrival 5:30-6:15 p.m.)

                             Program ends: Sunday, December 10, 2017     8:30 a.m.

Where:               Kopernik Observatory & Science Center, 698 Underwood Road, Vestal, NY

Where:               Kopernik Observatory & Science Center, 698 Underwood Road, Vestal, NY

BRING:               Indoor Sleepover: sleeping bag, floor cushion, pillow, toiletries

                            Outdoor Campout: tents, camping equipment

COST:                  $30 per Scout or participating sibling                        

                             $6 per adult leader/chaperone or nonparticipating sibling


Radio Merit Badge Registration Form


Merit Badges

Standard Merit Badges

Kopernik Observatory currently offers twelve merit badge programs.

We have several merit badge counselors that are certified to teach the following merit badges.


You will automatically satisfy a major requirement of this badge (visit an observatory). Use our many professional telescopes to satisfy some requirements. Our experienced astronomy staff can help you explore the sky and understand how the equipment works. You will learn the facts needed for the badge questions. Prerequisite: Requirement 1



chemistryLearn about chemical reactions, discover how chemicals are used in industry and how we track them in the environment. Scouts also learn about the various chemistry careers and the education needed for them. Add a $5 materials fee for materials. Prerequisite: Requirements 6a, 6b 6c


Digital Technology

digital_tech_lgScouts will learn about digital technology, its history, how the internet works, and how our lives intertwine with this technology.
Prerequisite: Requirement 1 – Cyber Chip

Scouts will learn the basics of electronic components and how they are used to create a useful electronic circuit. They will build electronic circuits using innovative, modular Snap Circuit kits, and in addition, will learn how to solder components in a circuit. Prerequisite: Requirement 6

Scientists discover how things work. Engineers make it work! Build or use a catapult to learn about projectile motion! Show how you can use air pressure or levers to lift a friend, and do many other amazing feats using engineering principles. Prerequisite: Requirement 9


Scouts learn about the different rock types and identify 15 different rocks and minerals. They simulate erosion and deposition in our Earth Science room using stream tables. They learn how earth materials are used in industry and home construction.  Prerequisite: Requirement 4b


Model Design & Building
Model making, the art of creating copies of objects that are either smaller or larger than the objects they represent. Scouts will  learn about the tools used for model building, build their own architectural model, and build a special-effects model of a fantasy spaceship. Add a $5 materials fee for models.
Prerequisite: Requirement 1
Kopernik Observatory has excellent facilities for photography including digital cameras and a state of the art computer lab with software to process your digital images. Our staff will help you understand this equipment, the software, and technical details required for the badge. Prerequisite: Requirement 1

Scouts explore robotics by designing, building and programming a robot. Use of Lego Wedo robotics will have scouts learning how robots move (actuators), sense the environment (sensors), and understand how to control robots through programming. Scouts will also learn about the different careers available in robotics! Prerequisite: Requirement 6 & Robot Engineering Notebook

Space Exploration

Scouts will learn about rockets, satellites, Newton’s laws and complete this merit badge. In addition, all scouts will have an opportunity to build and launch a rocket – a major requirement for this merit badge. Please add an additional $5 materials fee for rocket & engine. Prerequisite: Requirement 2

You will have the opportunity see and use our amateur radio station under the guidance of a licensed amateur radio operator. There is the possibility (conditions permitting) of talking to people around the globe. Satellites may be contacted and allow you to download images of what they are viewing.
Prerequisite: None


Learn all about measuring and forecasting the weather. Build an anemometer to measure wind speed. Scouts will identify and describe clouds in the low, middle, and upper levels of the atmosphere and relate these to specific types of weather.  Prerequisite: Requirement 6


Booking Kopernik

Troops may book Kopernik on their own!

Troops can book Kopernik Observatory & Science Center as long as they reach the minimum program fee. Scouts earn a variety of merit badges. These 3-4 hour programs are followed by nighttime viewing (weather permitting) though our telescopes and an entertaining late night movie. If you have a small group and cannot afford the minimum fee, please considering joining other groups.

Troop Fee Structure

Non-overnight: $30/scout or sibling, with a $300 minimum fee to run the program.
Overnight: $30/scout or sibling, $6/chaperone, to reach a $400 minimum to run the program. 

Kopernik Observatory invites Boy Scouts to explore the universe and discover the wonders of science. Exciting programs include evening, overnight, and merit badge programs. Scouts will be offered special scientific activities along with telescopic observing (weather permitting). The overnight programs feature an indoor sleepover or a campout on Kopernik Observatory grounds. Please call (607)748-3685 X 303 or email: Drew Deskur

 Basic Evening Programs

1.5 hour program on various topics.
$5.00/scout or a $75 minimum fee. Fee at other times: $7.00/scout or a $120 minimum fee.


Overnight Programs
Boy Scouts or Cub Scouts sleep over at the Kopernik Observatory! Receive a three hour program designed by the Kopernik staff with input from scout leaders. There are many scientific topics to choose from. Some of these topics may be applicable for merit badge work if desired (see below). Observe through our telescopes late into the night and wake up to a continental breakfast. Fee: $30/scout or sibling, $6/chaperon.