Ups and Downs of the School Club Roundup

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by K2ACX, Feb 12, 2002.

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  1. K2ACX

    K2ACX Ham Member QRZ Page

    The annual School Club Roundup is in full swing on the bands, and I was glad to see so many schools of all types active on the air this afternoon.  The SCR is, of course, an excellent opportunity to expose youth to the hobby and all it has to offer, and all the participants I've worked so far seemed to be having a great time.  

    I wanted to take the opportunity to point out that the SCR is open to all, regardless of whether or not you are operating a club station, and suggest that fellow hams who hear school clubs jump at the chance to give them another contact, even if you only do it once.  More important than the extra point your contact will provide are the encouraging words and spirit of friendship you can offer to a young amateur or prospective licensee.

    Most individual stations I heard today were doing an excellent job of making the students feel welcome on the air and contributing positively to this important activity, but I have to mention some notable exceptions.  One angry op began shouting at a SCR station that a net was about to begin 2 khz below them and that they had better move.  On several occasions, I actually witnessed (and experienced) some ops intentionally QRM'ing school club stations on the band because of alleged interference with a net, a sked, etc.  While QRM is never pleasant for everyone, intentionally jamming a frequency and acting in such an obviously rude and unprofessional manner toward a group of potential hams strikes me as rather foolish.  

    Considering all the complaints we see on this website about lack of interest among the younger in radio and the perceived impossibility of recruiting them to our ranks, this is nothing short of outrageous.  I don't think I really need to remind those involved that their actions reflect poorly on the character of us as a whole, and serve as a quick and easy turnoff to an otherwise very interested prospective ham.  Rather than running them off the bands, might I suggest working them?  If you have a sked on or near their frequency, would it really hurt to politely break in, work these kids, and ask your buddy to QSY instead of trying to bully them into submission?  Am I wrong in calling this a win-win situation?  

    The SCR lasts until Friday, with most activity on the 'suggested frequencies' list; how much will it hurt to be just a little more courteous and understanding toward our guests on the bands this week?  Thanks, and I look forward to the opportunity of working all of you in the 'contest.'
  2. N3BIF

    N3BIF Guest

    I am afraid, all to often, that nets entangle the sensibilities of those in them. We have allowed the creation of net mentality and it is not a positive attribute. The harshest words that I have ever heard directed at myself have been from net police. These are not necessarily the net controls but those who safeguard the frequencies flanking the net frequencys.
    Might I offer a solution, probably not , only the hope that we as a group can act a bit more civilly towards each other and be gracious, it's only radio !
  3. K5ENA

    K5ENA Ham Member QRZ Page

    I only had time to have 3 contacts with school club stations, but they were most enjoyable.  Bravo, and keep up the good with our nation's youth.  Our amateur radio fraternal community should welcome these clubs and members with open arms.
    John, K5ENA
  4. Guest

    Guest Guest

    As the mother of a nine-year old, who received her technician license at the age of eight(and is actually who encouraged me to get mine), I must say that we need to give these youngsters all of the encouragement possible. The school club roundup is a great way to introduce them to radio. It is a real shame that there are those out there who would rather intimidate these children than to help make their experience on the radio a good one. I just hope that these youngsters will remember all of the positive feedback that they received, and not the few jerks that they may have encountered. These children will be the future of ham radio, lets do our best to help them enjoy it.
  5. KG8DN

    KG8DN Ham Member QRZ Page

    The School Club Roundup was a truly joyful experience for me as the newly-formed Gilmour Academy Amateur Radio Club was operating this past week.  

    I agree that there can be, and was, occasional rudeness, but overall this came across on 20-meter voice only about 5% of the time.  Caroline, our 9th grade club co-president, made most of the 111 QSOs during the week.  She encountered rudeness only a few times, and in general (with 13 countries and 33 states contacted) had a wonderful introduction to radio.  She is truly "fired up" by the excitement and especially the courteous welcomes she received.

    One nice feature of having me (the control operator) handy was that I was able to explain to her that "we don't know why people are rude -- maybe they are elderly or having a rough time," etc.  So I saw some of this as a teaching-learning opportunity for her.

    Many thanks, again, to all you "nice OM's and YL's" who made the week a great one.

      Ken Kane, KG8DN
      Gilmour Academy (HS)
      Gates Mills (Cleveland), Ohio
  6. NG3J

    NG3J Ham Member QRZ Page

    I did hear several club stations operating on 10 meters. The most notable and strongest signal came from the club station from UCLA. Unfortunatly, I was sick and was not up for using my vocal cords.

    Anyway, glad to hear younger folks getting into ham radio. I'm 36 and got into the hobby when I was 20. Don't let the rude hams discourage ya. There's always a bad seed out there somewhere. I live a few miles from the University of Delaware which also has a club station. Not sure if they were active for the contest though.

    Keep up the great work !!

    Fred - NG3J
  7. N8AVX

    N8AVX Ham Member QRZ Page

    I had lots of fun working the schools. I remember back in 1973 I attended Catholic Central in Monroe MI. One of the Brothers there had a rig in his classroom and operated just about every morning before class. Had the vertical mounted on the roof just outside his second floor classroom

    As for the "maybe they are elderly..." comment on rudeness, it is unfortunately not limited by age. It just seems to be that way on the ham bands because we have so few young folks on.

    Congratulations to Alex, Ted, Chris, Michelle, Dave, Skip, Eddy, Donald and the others whose names I did not get for getting on the air!

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