The IAYC experience is absolutely remarkable; I discovered more than I could have imagined in the three weeks of camp. The IAYC is a family of friends that are passionately curious about the universe. Whether you are a competent astronomer at a graduate level, or just curious about constellations, the IAYC has incredible opportunities to offer you. Friendships that I molded at the camp continue to endure, and provide me links to every corner of the globe. Nowhere else have I seen and partaken in such sincere and unhindered camaraderie.

Research at the IAYC is immersive, tailored for you, and lets you focus on what you want to. Without a doubt, my research experience at the camp is what first brought me into contact with the scientific community. The individualized research project demonstrated to me how I can enjoy the real-world work of a scientist. Experienced and advanced researchers of many disciplines are alway excited to help you kickstart your own research, hear about your ideas, and answer your questions. Any level of science background will enable you to get a lot out of the research project.

With all of the wonderful astronomy and science going on, it’s easy to forget about about how much fun the participants (and leaders) have. There is always something fun going on at the IAYC. IAYCers have the option to go dancing, watch a movie, sing around a campfire, continue observing (if you’re really dedicated to clear skies and your research), play sports (you can even join leagues!), or just sit, relax, and enjoy the company of your international friends. All of these things, and more, happen everyday at the IAYC. You will probably find, as I have, that the true magic of the IAYC is in the wonderful people that attend. I think you will be pleasantly surprised by how often you find yourself having interesting and in-depth discussion with your fellow IAYCers. The IAYC really is the ultimate camp, and I continue to benefit from all I learned.

By Matthew Maclay (WI, USA)