Star parties are a blast.  Several like-minded people get together for one or more nights of viewing, telling of tales, learning and camaraderie.  This is a great time to try out a particular item you have been coveting, or pick someone's brain about something.  Everyone is welcome at most camps, with viewing, talking, and show-n-tell going most of the night.  Astronomers are the friendliest bunch of folks to go camping with.

Generally held in prime viewing locations away from city lights, there are usually no physical improvements to be had.  Dry camping is the norm, with porta-pots usually provided by the host club.  Some parties have catered or group meals available. 

Rules are usually published well in advance - check them out so you don't annoy others, or put the host club in jeopardy.   Generally the rules are common sense, dealing with noise, white light, campfires, pets, etc., in other words, the things that enable a group to enjoy astronomy together that don't come into play when you are out by yourself.  There will probably be additional restrictions by the Forest Service, State Parks, or whoever is providing the site.

Most star parties have presentations on various astronomy related subjects; some are given by ordinary folk that have some knowledge that others want, some are presented by experts in their field.  Every multi-night star party I've been to had kids programs and some beginning astronomy presentations too.  Something for everyone.

Generally there will be a public night, so be prepared for several non-astro folk to wander by wanting to learn and/or see something.

STAR PARTIES WE HAVE ATTENDED  In no particular order...

Multiple Nights

One Night

Idaho Star Party Roland's Astro Corral
Nebraska Star Party Rocky Mountain National Park
Rocky Mountain Star Stare  
Weekend Under the Stars  

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