4. In the Meeting Hall

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a) Moving the Furniture

Chairs and tables need to be rearranged at these approximate times:

  • Friday evening after the talks: Stack the chairs and put out tables around the sides of the Meeting Hall, with room behind for the vendors to set up for the Saturday Morning Astronomy Bazaar.
  • Between 12 noon and 1pm on Saturday: Fold the tables and store outside the Meeting Hall against the wall facing the driveway. Set out the chairs in rows with an aisle down the middle of the room, as marked out by the black tape on the floor in preparation for the Saturday Afternoon Presentations.
  • Between 4.15pm and 5pm on Saturday: Stack most of the chairs and put out the tables in preparation for the Roast Dinner. Arrange 10 chairs per table (four either side and one at each end if rectangular tables are used).
  • After the dinner on Saturday evening: Stack the chairs and put out tables around the sides of the Meeting Hall, with room behind for the vendors to set up for the Sunday Morning Astronomy Bazaar and Mighty Swap Meet.

This task requires no great skill. An announcement can be put over the PA at each change time and anyone handy to the Meeting Hall at that time can lend a hand.

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b) Putting the Program on the Whiteboard

The A-frame whiteboard is stored in the Store Room (Bunkhouse alcove) next to the Astroimaging
Competition display-board cases behind the door on the right-hand-side as you go in.

  1. Put the whiteboard in the breezeway near the entrance on the left-hand-side (just before the noticeboard).
  2. Each morning, clean the whiteboard and write up the day’s program as it appears in the printed hand-out (with columns for time, activity and location).
  3. A rag, metho and whiteboard markers are available at the Check-In Desk.
  4. At the end of the Star Party (or anytime after midday on Sunday), clean the whiteboard and return it to the Store Room.

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c) Making Announcements

To make announcements, use the mic on the stand in the Meeting Hall or use an assigned radio mic.
Have the Program in hand with times of events and hours for the Check-In Desk.
Try to stick to the following conventions:

  • No announcements before 10am.
  • Begin announcements with "Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls. May I have your attention!
  • Shortly after 10am, announcements may include:
    • The Check-In Desk will be open today at ...
    • The 1st Kandos Scouts have meals available all day from ... to ...
    • The morning activities are ... 
    • Any lost property updates.
  • After lunch, as suits the program, announcements may include:
    • The Check-In Desk will be open this afternoon at ...
    • The afternoon activities are ...
    • Any lost property updates.
  • In the early evening, announcements may include:
    • Closure of Check-In Desk.
    • The 1st Kandos Scouts will be serving meals until ...
    • Donuts will be available later this evening. Listen out for Dave's announcement.
    • The evening activities are ...

Loudspeaker settings:

  • Turn off the Hall front and rear when making general announcements.
  • Turn off the Field during presentations.
  • The Field should be ON for general announcements and the Lucky Prize Draw announcement.
  • The Field should be OFF for the Lucky Prize Draw itself - the sound should project from the Breezeway to the Pavilion and from the roll-a-door to the Emergency Assembly Area for the overflow crowd at the Meeting Hall.

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d) Checking the Essential Operations on Friday and Saturday Morning

Check that these facilities are working properly early on Friday and Saturday morning:

  • The pump that feeds the amenities block - test by flushing a toilet and listening for the water running as the cistern refills. If the flush is not working, it is most likely that the batteries are flat and the generator will need to be started. Also check that taps run okay in Gents, Ladies and sinks at end.
  • The water supply: Test by opening the tap at the back of the Gents amenities block. Water will run from here under gravity feed from the tank, provided that there is water in the tank (even if no power).
  • Hot water: Test by running hot water tap or shower. If no hot water, large cylinder may need switching over.
  • The electricity supply: Check if lights are working in the Meeting Hall and Pavilion.
  • The gas supply to the tea/coffee urn - check if gas can be lit.
  • Check for obvious toilet leaks (puddles on the floor). 
  • Check for dripping taps and showers (these can run the batteries flat). 
  • Check for bad smells outside (possible leaks in drainage to septic). 

If any of these essential services seems not to be working properly, notify Joe.

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e) MC and the Saturday Afternoon Program

If available, the President will usually introduce the Friday speaker and be MC for the Saturday afternoon program. The President may nominate a delegate to be MC if preferred.
Here is a sample run-sheet. The actual run-sheet can be printed and taped to the cupboard next to the PA.

By Midday Compile prize list and prepare presentation for projection to screen.
Before the first speaker or immediately after the presentations Bring prizes and/or A4 display stands into meeting hall and cover with black cloths.
Before the speaker(s) MC to introduce the speaker(s) with a brief biography or available facts. Speaker presentation(s) to be timed to run straight on to the presentations afterwards, with only a short break.
After the speaker(s) MC to manage questions from the audience, present thank-you gift(s) to the speaker(s) and cue the applause.
Around 3.20pm Astronomy Innovations Showcase - Powerpoint presentation with descriptions. Certificates may be awarded. Group photo.
Around 3.35pm to 3.50pm AI Competition presentations - 3rd, 2nd, 1st in Open and Deep Sky.
  • Information is read from their Descriptive Card.
  • Astrophotographers are invited to say a few words about their images.
  • Trophies are awarded.
  • Photo of each of the winners to be taken with their image in the background.
Around 3.50pm to 4.00pm Bring in or uncover and arrange the prizes for the Lucky Prize Draw. Prizes represented by a picture in an A4 display stand will have forms in the back for winners to complete with their details to give to the sponsors so that the sponsors can deliver the actual prizes after the SPSP.
From 4pm Kids' Lucky Prize Draw - The guest speaker is invited to draw the winning ticket.
Lucky Prize Draw - The winner of the previous prize is asked to draw the next ticket and so on.
At end of Lucky Prize Draw Call for volunteers to reset the room with tables and chairs.
5.00pm or shortly thereafter Dinner is served.

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f) Emergency Drill

On the program, an emergency drill is scheduled. To sound the sirens, first ensure that the PA is switched on and that the outside speakers are working.

  • Announce:
    • Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, it is time for our Emergency Drill.
    • The first siren that you will hear is a Warning Alarm, which will be sounded for five to ten seconds.
    • The second siren is the Evacuation Alarm. It sounds DIFFERENT!
    • When you hear the Evacuation Alarm, please proceed to the Emergency Assembly Point on the main
      driveway side of the Meeting Hall (near the entrance to the Amenities Blocks).
    • The Evacuation Alarm will sound until you have all arrived at the Emergency Assembly Point.
      You will be asked to remain there until the Group Photo is taken.
  • Sound the Warning Alarm by toggling the switch up for five seconds, then move the switch back to the centre.
  • Sound the Evacuation Alarm by toggling the switch down, and leave it sounding until it is evident that the majority of participants have arrived, or are seen to be approaching.

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