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Ham Radio 360: Youth in Ham Radio with N0SSC

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by K4CDN, Aug 23, 2016.

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  1. K4CDN

    K4CDN Ham Member QRZ Page

    Listen Link Here
    It seems everywhere we turn, there is a discussion on how to bring the youth into the Ham Radio Hobby. We act as though young people all over the Earth are devoid of any desire to operate an Amateur Radio. While there may be what some would consider a downturn in today’s youths public participation in Ham Radio-the number of licensed Ham Radio Operators continues to climb. Don’t fret y’all, Youngsters are still getting on the air!


    Click Here for Show Page

    Sterling Coffey and I met at Hamvention 2016. I recognized his call, N0SSC, from Twitter long before I knew his name. We had a nice chat, and over the course of the weekend he came by the booth to drop in and say hello a few times.

    Upon returning home, I noticed on the every busy Twitter, that Sterling was taking a trip-a Ham Radio Excursion. It appeared to be quite a surprise trip so I followed along. It didn’t take long to learn that he was headed to Austria to attend the YOTA Summit! No little short green aliens here-this was the real deal-Sterling had just become an official ambassador of Amateur Radio! In this episode of Ham Radio 360 Sterling shares about himself, his trip, and the bright future of Youth in Ham Radio!

    thanks for listening!
  2. W2OSR

    W2OSR Ham Member QRZ Page

    So many people talk about attracting young people to our hobby. Yet few if any actively do something about it. Our club, 400 members, strong has had young people come to our meetings. A few of us go out of our way to welcome them. I can only only imagine what they think of us. Most of our members are well over 50, the age of their grand parents. We have a very good repeater system but what parent would want their son our daughter listen to the diatribe of some of our jammers. Hard as we try, we simply can't get rid of all of them. Then some of our members don't help. The old grumps who tell a kid to get off the air until they learn Morse Code and become a real ham have chased many of them away. I have been to Dayton and seen what amateur radio can do for those under the age of twenty. I never miss Carol Perry's Youth Forum. I try to help host a JOTA event each year. I get very little help from our local Boy Scout office or local ham radio clubs. I am very lucky to get help from two ham friends who are Eagle Scouts. Without them I couldn't do it. We need an attitude change on many levels.
    WB6RAW and K4CDN like this.
  3. WB6RAW

    WB6RAW XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I agree with the last post. It will take a serious effort on the part of all of us as hams, as well as equipment manufacturers, to make noticeable difference in bringing youth to the ham party. As the average age of hams keeps rising, it won't take long for us old timers to die off and nobody to be willing and able to be Elmers. I have been at this for 50+ years. I don't have many years left to make a difference, but I'm trying.

    Often times, I see to many "shrines" of ham stations in the QRZ pictures, with dozens and dozens of rigs, while new young hams look at new radios with $1K+ price tags and say, "No way I'm gonna be able to buy a radio like that!". Our hobby needs a way for young people to buy a decent 50-100watt HF Transceiver for less than $300-400, the price of a high end smart phone. We also need the seasoned hams with MANY, MANY excess rigs to find a young new ham and either give it to them, loan it to them, or let them buy it for a reasonable price. My new paradigm, with the new ham kids in our high school, is to let them borrow one of my excess rigs until one of two things happen: (1) They get a rig of their own, or (2) they graduate from high school---whichever come first. Then the radio goes back into my loaning pool. Other of my excess rigs are sold for a bit lower than the used market value to help these young people. This seems to work well. The satisfaction of doing this is MUCH, MUCH, MUCH greater the, the joy of bragging about all of the gear we have or usually display on our shack photos.

    In my retirement years, I have put almost all of my energy into mentoring the youth into this fine hobby. Its not easy, as all of them carry enough communications technology in the palm of their hands to do anything they wish, so we need to approach the attractiveness of our hobby in very clever, new ways. At the school where I am involved, we introduce the hobby as, "Hey, would you like to learn how to track satellite and listen to astronauts on the International Space Station?" The answer is "yes!" 90% of the time. From there we tell them that they can even talk to people via satellites and even to astronauts if they get a ham license. In addition, we further explain, they can learn how radio signal propagate (even their cell phone signals) and how all this electronics works---all a marketable skill that could lead to a fun career path. Anyway, that's just one twist. I know many other also have some additional awesome ideas. I'd like to hear them.

    We are further exploring other avenues. It is all fun. With over 100 ham youth and 20 adults (usually parents of these kids) licensed in the last 4 years (tech, gen & extra) we are seeing the fruits of this new labor. And boy, is it fun. 73's. WB6RAW -Werner
    K4CDN likes this.

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