“Radio Scouting” To Be Explored at Dayton Hamvention

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by K2GW, May 2, 2008.

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  1. K2GW

    K2GW XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    DAYTON, OH – May 1, 2008 Scout Leaders will be reaching out to Ham Radio Operators at the Dayton Hamvention May 16-18 to encourage them to provide Amateur Radio opportunities to Boy Scouts back in their home towns. A forum session will given on Saturday, May 17 at 9 AM in Forum Room 2 explaining how hams can reach out to Scouts to get them involved in the exciting world of Amateur Radio. And, for the first time, an exhibit booth will be staffed by veteran “Ham Scouters” to answer hams questions and provide them with resources about “Radio Scouting”. Booth 631 in the Hamvention’s East Building will be location of the Scout Radio outpost.

    Bill Ragsdale, K6KN, District Chairman of the Yolo District of the Golden Empire Council of the Boy Scouts of America is leading the effort. Bill says “This is how we assure the future of your local ham community by growing the next generation of amateurs via the Boy Scouts. At the same time, we also build community awareness about amateur radio. Scouts have a built-in sense of adventure which ham radio complements”.

    Hams will also learn how to teach Radio Merit Badge and help their local Scouts participate in Scouting’s largest annual event, the Jamboree On The Air (JOTA). “Each October, a half million Scouts around the world talk to each other via Amateur Radio. Tips on how hams can let their local Scouts participate will be shared”. Visit http://YoloBSA.editme.com/Dayton for further information.

    Hams can also learn about a new program being developed for 2010’s 100th birthday of the Boy Scouts of America. “Scout Camps On The Air (SCOTA) promises to be a fun way for hams to help encourage Amateur Radio Operations at Scout Camps and other large Scouting Events”, says, Matt Murphy, KC8BEW, of the Muskingum Valley Council, BSA, who is coordinating that program.

    The Boy Scouts of America currently serves more than 4 million youth and adult members. So stop by booth 631 and the forum session to learn how you can help some of them become the next generation of hams.
  2. AE5MH

    AE5MH Ham Member QRZ Page

    Scouters seek out Hams?

    it sure must be different somewhere else ?
    I've pleaded for years to our local council to alternate the three districts in this area to each have thier fall camporee on the third weekend in October to help coincide with JOTA (Jamboree On The Air). Each year we as amatuers could visit a district camporee on JOTA weekend. This would allow each district ample opportunity to have a JOTA every three years! After all, having a JOTA every year at the Fall camporee for every district would loose its pizazz!

    Having enough Ham operators can be an issue, but showing them 200 or more boys during JOTA would surely get them out of thier lazyboys!

    My rant is done. I hope I didn't bore you.. Doesn't appear the local BSA council is listening!

    Mark / AE5MH
  3. KB3LIX

    KB3LIX Ham Member QRZ Page

    My experience in Western Pennsylvania has been the same.
    We did JOTA last October for over 200 scouts. JOTA was a success, and since then we have invited scouts to one special event station setup, and a round of technician licensing classes, but there has been ZERO interest.
    We hoped to get at least a few for the tech class, but that effort was a bust.

    We will invite them to Field Day again this year, but I suspect like the past several years, there will be zero interest.

    All we can do as a group is to continue trying.
  4. K6KN

    K6KN Ham Member QRZ Page

    Getting Scouts involved.

    One of my messages at the Forum presentation at the Dayton Hamvention is ham radio events for Scouts should be within a larger, Scout sponsored event. Maybe a Camporee, Jamborama, etc.

    The reason? Scout units generally have ten outdoor events a year scheduled months in advance. Plus weekly meetings with loads of activities. So they are already rather heavily booked and ham radio is an unknown to them. Don't become too disappointed if an invitation to Field Day falls flat. Locally we join Field Day with a Scout "Radio Daze" with the Radio Merit Badge, overnight camping, visual signalling, build a crystal radio, fox hunt, etc. It still is a small event for a dozen or so youth.

    Our best effort was two stations (K6BSA & W6S) at our Council Expo with 7,200 in attendance. The two stations were busy full time relaying messages home and using IRLP/Echolink. Another event could be to hold District adult leader training on the JOTA or Field Day week-end sharing the location with ham radio. This will build participation by both youth and adults.

    Let's be realistic. Nearly every Scout will be carrying a cell phone which can call world-wide to hundreds of millions of (non-licensed) people without depending on favorable sun spots. We need to give Scouts the full flavor of ham ham radio opportunities: APRS, satellite relay, CW, fox hunts, digital modes, construction, back-country QRP, IRLP/Echolink, special event stations, etc but within a context they are already familiar with.

    My Hamvention slides (How Ham Radio Meets Boy Scouts or Adventures With Elmer Baden-Powell) are on-line at http://yolobsa.editme.com/Dayton .

    Bill Ragsdale, K6KN
    Trustee W6BSA
  5. N0OBM

    N0OBM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Here in Kansas, Field Day falls in the middle of Scout Camp(s), so the kids are already very busy (and out of town) that weekend.

    Sid N0OBM
    CERT Venture Crew 2211 Associate Advisor
  6. KZ3Z

    KZ3Z Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'm in Western PA too. These kids are busy w/all kinds of activities. Best time is to show up at their weekly meetings an hour early to do the class. That way, their parents don't have to transport them somewhere else, and you may stir up interest among the other scouts with your demonstrations. I used an old 48,000 uF cap to make them remember that capacitors STORE A CHARGE! All the Scouts were interested in that demonstration.

    I was able to teach a class and get three licensed in January. Found out to never teach a class over Christmas/New Years break, they came back like they never had a class and everything was new.

    Am currently teaching a second class w/four scouts and a couple adults this time. KB6NU offers a great FREE study guide online.
  7. KD0DKI

    KD0DKI Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'm a Scouter in Minnesota, Northernstar Council.

    Don't forget about the Cubs and Venture scouts.

    Talk to a Cub master and I bet you could get the whole Pack meeting to talk about radio. This is the level to get the spark started, by Boy Scouts it will be a flame.

    Venture is youth Male and Female so get the YL's involved.

    Boy Scouts has a merit badge but not a licence class.

    Contact your local council.
  8. KI6DKC

    KI6DKC Ham Member QRZ Page

    I think these kinds of things can be productive even if no one goes out and gets licensed. My first and only exposure to ham radio was in boy scouts but I didn't get licensed until two years ago. So those experiences may lead to new hams later on in life.

    I was talking to a scoutmaster friend the other day and he told me the program has been so modernized that it doesn't resemble much the scouting that I had grown up with. He said the modern scout manual has more urban and computer stuff in it while our old manuals were more like outdoor survival manuals. He said this was done to attract more boys who were not as interested in the outdoors aspect of the program. Some dunderhead from a marketing consulting firm probably thought that up.

    He got fed up with scout camp last year when some of his scouts did the computer merit badge which required them to sit in front of a computer screen for hours on end instead of being outside at the camp doing real scouting activities. So this year he's puting on his own old school camp with a couple other troops.
  9. N7QGA

    N7QGA Ham Member QRZ Page

    Utah Scouter

    Here in Utah we have 3 councils for the whole state. Sometimes the way to get scouts involved with Ham Radio is to become involved with Scouting. The council I live in (Utah National Parks) asked me 14 years ago to start an Exploring post when it was still part of Scouting instead of Ventures. We have been able to teach the Radio merit badge class twice a year for the past 2 years. It gets kids interested in amateur radio and some actually come and take the test and become part of our Explorer Post. This year we are having the first class to coincide with Field day and the second class to coincide with JOTA as we have with the past 2 years. Our post members are co-ed and have shown scout leaders that young people with ham licenses are more mature than the average young person of the same age. Next weekend we will be security for an aeroama involving 4000 scouts and leaders.
    Best thing I can say is it shows youth that service and ham radio both can be fun as well as fullfilling. Once kids find out about fox hunts and having responsibility to do things that adults normally do they come and join the fun. I'm getting some of the older Explorers that are now starting their own families come back and assist because of the fun and learning that they had as youth. Thats the payoff. 73
  10. VE2FJX

    VE2FJX Ham Member QRZ Page

    Camp Bartle

    Here in the mid-west, we installed a station at Camp Bartle last summer. It will probably see some use this summer, mostly by adult scouters bringing their troops into the shack for a peek and try. Gotta start somewhere.
    I have incented my troop scouts by telling them that passing their Technician ticket gets them an automatic Radio Merit Badge. Some purists have pushed back at me for doing that, but it isn't hard to push back with numerous factual accounts of "three-hour wonder" Radio MB sessions that some will allow. Then again, only one boy has taken advantage of my offer.

    For Scouters who attend Bartle, the station is in the communications building at Sawmill, across from the water tower. Antennas (HF and VHF) are obvious.
    Equipment is TS-530 and ICOM 2m.

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