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K2BSA Post Mortems

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  • Bill Morine
    Dear Ham Scouters: I too served on the staff of K2BSA this Jamboree, and want to congratulate Ray Sirois, N1RY, for his superb summary of accomplishments at
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 6, 2005
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      Dear Ham Scouters:

      I too served on the staff of K2BSA this Jamboree, and want to
      congratulate Ray Sirois, N1RY, for his superb summary of
      accomplishments at K2BSA. While the staff size grew by 6 from 42 to
      48, some numbers were down. The number of those starting and
      completing the Radio Merit Badge was down about 35% to 40% from
      2001. I believe this can be attributed to the intense heat and the
      badge having less square footage and classroom space. Several other
      badges near the Radio Merit Badge were also down by the same
      approximate percentages from their 2001 numbers.

      As for K2BSA itself, there were fewer countries contacted. 109 in
      2001 and 27 was the last posting on the tote board for 2005. HF
      conditions were challenging with the decline in the sunspot cycle.
      No question, the highlight of K2BSA this time around were the 100 new
      licenses awarded through the VE testing sessions. The new format of
      teaching the Tech license through the one day W8BBS method resulted
      in lower passing rates the first round of testing, and marginal
      success in subsequent testing. I think it would be best to reserve
      comments on this until Dave Gaddis, KE4KPC, head of the K2BSA
      Licensing Group, provides a formal analysis.

      There were some remarks about the lack of CW. K2BSA's traditional
      warhorse of CW, Shelly Weil (K2BS), did not join us this year because
      of an illness in his family. Bob Johnson, K3RC, did NTS on CW, and
      others blended it in with phone. If you haven't been to Jamboree,
      you are tired at the end of the day because of the vigorous exercise
      of walking everywhere and the heat sapping your strength. I slept at
      the K2BSA tent one night as the overnight security guard and repeater
      monitor, and the last operators left by 1:30 A.M. because you have to
      be up, fed and ready for the next day. So despite good intentions,
      the station was dark from 1:30 to 7:30 Eastern almost every night.
      Kudos need to go to Nathaniel Frissel, W2NAF, a Youth staff member
      majoring in Music and Physics at Montclair State U. in New Jersey.
      Nathaniel faithfully would pound brass on 40 meters from 10 PM to
      Midnight on the Ten-Tec Jupiter. In an era when CW holds little
      interest to younger people, Nathaniel was a beacon in putting K2BSA
      on-the-air regularly with CW. Who cares if he only paddled along at
      10 WPM? Cut the kid some slack and QRS; it was a joy to watch a
      young person get into CW.

      Having served on the staff of K2BSA at the 2001 and 2005 Jamborees, I
      will tell you that the staff of K2BSA this year was solid and
      delivered reliable results that should please BSA top brass. K2BSA
      can hold its head high. I will go on record, however, as critical of
      BSA National staff for their inept management of pan-Jamboree
      events. 99% of the Jamboree went flawlessly with dedicated Scouters,
      but the Yellow bars were largely responsible for the gaffs that gave
      the Jamboree a black eye - especially with their handling of heat
      related issues surrounding the Arena shows.

      Finally, there were questions about post Jamboree reports and
      publicity for K2BSA. To my surprise and others, the editors of QST
      were not interested in promoting K2BSA in advance, while CQ embraced
      the chance with its 4 page story in its July issue. Larry Wolfgang
      (WR1B), Mark Abramowicz (NT3V) and I plan to submit a collaborative
      article to QST as a post-event article. Also, those who live in the
      southeast will see an article in the Repeater Journal of SERA, the
      Southeastern Repeater Association. Moreover, Andrea Hartlage,
      KG4IUM, Youth Editor at ARRL, has already contacted the 5 Youth staff
      members of K2BSA for a follow-up on her blog. She's been very
      supportive of K2BSA, and I invite you to check out her column on
      ARRL's website.

      Thanks to all for their support, interest and attempts to contact
      K2BSA.

      73,
      Bill Morine, N2COP
      Radio Merit Badge Instructor - 2001 & 2005 National Jamborees
      ARRL Public Information Coordinator - North Carolina Section
      Member - ARRL National Public Relations Committee
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