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Hey HAMS! How many of you have children that you want to introduce to our hobby?

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by KN6IIH, Feb 14, 2021.

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  1. KE8OKM

    KE8OKM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Made the same deal with my 17 y/o daughter. She studied but CVChinaVirus messed up the day we were going to take her tech exam. (She got her DL anyway).

    We haven’t been able to coordinate another date. She is a 4.0+ GPA and is interested in possibly bio-engineering/chemical engineering degrees. I told her the FCC license would look cool on her college apps. I am not sure if that’s true? I suspect it could help her stand out in the pack.

    I also have 3 younger daughters. They have all gone on a SOTA activation or two with me but past that no interest.

    ***I have spoke with several younger adults while conducting SOTA activations (This past year I’ve been very active). They seemed truly fascinated by what I was doing. I spent much time explaining and giving advice on how to become licensed. I think adventure/outdoor radio/SOTA/POTA are great avenues for propagation of the ham radio arts/science. I know that is what drew me to it.
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2021 at 12:55 AM
    N1VAU likes this.
  2. W9BRD

    W9BRD Ham Member QRZ Page

    I don't agree that coercion is a defensible means of bulking up the amateur radio ranks or introducing newcomers to a hobby. Invite, encourage, exemplify, yes; compel, no.
    K3XR likes this.
  3. K7KBN

    K7KBN Ham Member QRZ Page

    Two grandsons watched me working with code when they were each about five (they're 14 months apart). The older one caught on first and asked me how his name "Bubba" would sound. (He's actually named Derrick, but when Tyler, the younger one, was just learning to talk, it sounded like he was saying "Bubba", so from then until he got his degree he was Bubba to the family.)

    So I sent "Bubba" with a straight key and showed him how to work the mechanism. He can still recognize his name, CQ, and K7KBN. Tyler learned his name and still remembers it.
    N5AF likes this.
  4. DL4QB

    DL4QB Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    We´re done, hi. Both kids were interested what i´m doing there..and also...belive it or not, they would like to know the "very secret code" -> CW.
    So, i just asked them, hey what about to learn it and why not getting a license. I told them a license is really something special also for school or later in job.
    They agreed and i was really perservering to learn with them. Nearly every day on a shot time basis... 20-30 minutes, not more.
    To make the story short, both of them have since a year the class A liceense (like the extra class in the US).
    Sophie is doing CW very nice by the way, "only" 15-17wpm at the moment .... i´m every day, if they do some radio operation with me, very proud as a father.
    They did already the one or other small contest on VHF and also the Youth activity month in December with YOTA. We´re often on the Satellite QO-100.
    They are on QRZ, take a look if you want: DL3QB (15), DF4QB (12).

    My tips:
    - Try to do it like a game, make it interisting.
    - Don´t do too much, they should not feel it like a obligation every day.
    - Keep learning "every day" but in short parts (30 minutes).
    - Show them interesting youtube videos about radio / ham radio there are a lot available. We watched often historical videos. I.e. who discovered radio waves, first transmission over the ocean etc.
    - Try to keep it interesting, maybe you can get an adjucation call sign, that they can already start together with you.
    - Build some electronic kits and explain, take easy kits, that they get success experince, explain that stuff..
    - Take a whiteboard and explain some things you can do..i.e. propagation of the radio waves against the ionosphaere, maybe put some jokes inside, we had a lot of fun on the whiteboard.
    - If possible (i know, getting more difficult) try to find other young kids who are also interested in ham radio and bring them together.
    ...and...again...if you start to learn, learn often but in short parts.

    Yes, i agree, it is not easy to arouse the interest in times of smartphone and all other electronical stuff, but don´t give up :)

    Vy 73!

  5. N5AF

    N5AF Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Agreed. 40 years ago I was on the opposite end of coercion.

    The parents actively did whatever they could to discourage my interest in SWL/amateur radio. It was made very clear that no transmitting equipment would be allowed into the home. I was not allowed to be licensed "as long as you reside under our roof" and no receiving antennas were allowed to be installed outdoors. I mowed a lot of yards and purchased a new Realistic DX-160 right before they were discontinued. The curtain rod in my bedroom performed nicely as a receiving antenna, but this was coming into the peak of Cycle 21 and decent SWL reception was possible with the proverbial wet noodle.

    My parents viewed amateur radio as a path to mischief. I think part of it may have stemmed from their confusion of amateur radio and CB. We had a neighbor a few doors down who was a very active 11m operator. He would absolutely destroy our home stereo and television with RFI on a nightly basis, infuriating Dad to no end. My amusement at the television going crazy probably didn't help my case. ;)

    When I came back into the hobby a few years ago and mentioned it to my mother, I got the sigh, eye roll and "are you STILL into THAT?"

    My kids never had any interest in radio. They had other hobbies and interests (all legal) they enjoyed and we supported them.
    W9BRD and K3XR like this.
  6. N7WR

    N7WR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Did many years ago when the kids were young..Son (retired police Lieutenant) is N6GQB and Daughter, a 9-1-1 Dispatcher and former Reserve Police Officer is N7AQH 20160524_084731.jpg ruthie.jpg
    N1VAU likes this.
  7. WS4JM

    WS4JM Ham Member QRZ Page

  8. AB2YC

    AB2YC XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I think one major issue for younger hams is keeping the interest in radio alive.

    When I was first licensed as a young man in the Navy we had a local net that would meet
    up on 10 meters, that helped to give me more experience and to keep the interest going.
  9. N1VAU

    N1VAU XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    SOTA + POTA are great introductions as well as Field Day!

    It was fun watching my daughter and her friends call "CQ GOTA Field Day". I would turn over those operations to another ham who was retired school teacher and great with kids. He and his friend made it fun for kids.

    My Daughter appreciated the utility of the 2 meter repeater communications with her mother and myself. It was easier to talk to either of us through a repeater during our commute home than to try to maintain a cell call through mountainous New Hampshire.

    She also used to help me with "antenna in the trees" projects. She even inspired me to complete my 160 meter Robin Hood loop through the trees with a bow when I became frustrated.

    When she took her test it was administered by the same hams she already knew. She finished the exam in 6 minutes flat, much to the astonishment of the VEs.

    She is still interested in maintaining her license, so that's a plus.

    I'm still glad I used what some naysayers (internet Statler and Waldorfs are always good for a hoot! LOL :D) called "coercion" to get her to earn her ticket. It's been a cheerful family story ever since!

    Last edited: Feb 24, 2021 at 9:52 PM
    KP4SX likes this.
  10. N5PAR

    N5PAR Ham Member QRZ Page

    Wow! Forcing someone to do something is a sure way to get them interested in something they have no desire to learn.

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