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Public Education On Ham Radio Re: [ScoutRadio] New Member

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  • Fred Stevens K2FRD
    Dan, I m not certain I fully agree with your basic premise, that the general public is not knowledgeable about ham radio, but my argument would be based more
    Message 1 of 7 , Dec 3, 2005
      Dan, I'm not certain I fully agree with your basic premise, that the general public is not knowledgeable about ham radio, but my argument would be based more on degree and semantics than anything else. At the top of my debate agenda, I would state, with a LOT of qualifications, that in my experience and observation, most adults (US and Canada; I would not want to apply this statement to other nations) know what ham radio is, i.e., they know ham radio is amateur radio. However, here's where the degree of familiarization diverges. From this point, some non-hams might be intimately familiar with ham radio while, at the other end of the spectrum, others are only aware ham radio exists with no knowledge of what it is about. In the middle, I suspect most have some notion of what ham radio operators do, but do not know the details. There are even adults who have never heard of ham radio, but these are the same people who cannot name the president of the US, so may be discounted.

      I would absolutely agree with your statement that the best level to interest people in our hobby is at the youth level. I am my own best example: I was hooked at 14 at Scout Camp, first licensed at 15, just before I made Eagle. And I never looked back. My story is probably very similar to many others on this list. However, Dan, when I was in college (long ago in a faraway galaxy), I had almost no time for ham radio; my studies came first although I managed to be Scoutmaster of a local Troop for a couple years, albeit most time so spent was recruiting ASMs to take the pressure off me. I think you've gone above the call of duty with your attempts to recruit other college students, but they may be the least likely group to be recruited for any volunteer or hobby activity due to their time constraints.

      Education may be our greatest failing with both youth and adults. We are all volunteers with only a limited amount of time to devote to ham radio education. And, it requires a LOT of time for such education: writing news releases, arranging demonstrations at Scout meetings and at schools or other youth gatherings, Elmering (mentoring) youth toward license completion, and other education activities demands dedication of fairly large blocks of time. Such time is not normally casual contact, but rather must be committed in advance, something not everyone is willing or able to do because of job, health, or home requirements. Others are retired and may just be too worn out from life to make such time commitments or, in fact are seriously R-E-T-I-R-E-D and feel they have put in their time. Indeed, it does require a serious commitment of time, resources, money, and emotional energy to foster ham radio in Scouting and only a relative few of us are actually able to bring all these factors together to make such a commitment. I would argue, lastly, that those who are this list are already interested and committed; our task is now to get other hams to make a similar commitment.

      73 de Fred K2FRD, VO2FS
      http://homepage.mac.com/k2frd/K2FRD.html
      Free Subscription To OCARG EAGLE, a monthly newsletter for ham radio Scouters
      http://homepage.mac.com/k2frd/ocarg.htm for info.

      At 7:01 +0000 03/12/2005, Dan wrote:
      >Hey everyone,
      > Just thought I would introduce myself. My name is Dan, AB8VE.
      >I am currently a student at the Ohio State University, and the
      >President of the OSU Amateur Radio Club. I am also an Eagle Scout.
      >I have concerned lately as to the lack of knowledge of amateur radio
      >to the general public. I have tried on campus to get people
      >interested in the hobby, and had some luck but not a whole lot. I
      >have come to the conclusion that in order to get people interested
      >the best way is to hook them while they're young. Then I got to
      >thinking. I learned about ham radio for the first time through the
      >Boy Scouts. What a great place to go to get new members. Now, my
      >little brother is still in the Scouts, and have gone camping with
      >his troop several times. I always brings my radios along and all
      >the kids are really intersted in it and some have gotten their
      >license. But the kids don't have the money to get a radio a lot of
      >the times and quickly lose interest. So I found this group in hopes
      >that I could get some ideas on how to hook em while they're young
      >and keep em.
      >
      >73's
      >
      >Dan, AB8VE
    • J. Gordon Beattie, Jr.
      Fred, Your points about folks who can educate Scouts, or anyone else about Ham Radio are well taken. However, a bunch of local Hams trained our Boy Scout
      Message 2 of 7 , Dec 4, 2005
        Fred,
        Your points about folks who can educate Scouts, or anyone else about Ham
        Radio are well taken. However, a bunch of local Hams trained our Boy Scout
        Troop 139 in Bergenfield, NJ for 3 out of four weeks for about three months.
        Each session was just over an hour and it yielded two new Scout/Hams, one
        Scouter/Ham with a few more being mentored by these new ones plus a few
        others. They should have their tickets in the next couple of months. Also,
        we ended up with 24 Scouts with the Electricity/Electronics/Radio MBs.
        Somewhere I have one page document describing why Troops should want to do
        what we did.
        Two final points:
        1. It does take a lot of time to do this.
        2. We have thirty-year old police officers who don't know what Amateur Radio
        is, let alone how it can be used. WE NEED TO KEEP UP THE PROMOS AND
        EDUCATE!

        73,
        Gordon Beattie, W2TTT
        201.314.6964
        w2ttt@...
        w2ttt@...


        -----Original Message-----
        From: ScoutRadio@yahoogroups.com [mailto:ScoutRadio@yahoogroups.com] On
        Behalf Of Fred Stevens K2FRD
        Sent: Saturday, 03 December, 2005 19:55
        To: ScoutRadio@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: Public Education On Ham Radio Re: [ScoutRadio] New Member

        Dan, I'm not certain I fully agree with your basic premise, that the general
        public is not knowledgeable about ham radio, but my argument would be based
        more on degree and semantics than anything else. At the top of my debate
        agenda, I would state, with a LOT of qualifications, that in my experience
        and observation, most adults (US and Canada; I would not want to apply this
        statement to other nations) know what ham radio is, i.e., they know ham
        radio is amateur radio. However, here's where the degree of familiarization
        diverges. From this point, some non-hams might be intimately familiar with
        ham radio while, at the other end of the spectrum, others are only aware ham
        radio exists with no knowledge of what it is about. In the middle, I suspect
        most have some notion of what ham radio operators do, but do not know the
        details. There are even adults who have never heard of ham radio, but these
        are the same people who cannot name the president of the US, so may be
        discounted.

        I would absolutely agree with your statement that the best level to interest
        people in our hobby is at the youth level. I am my own best example: I was
        hooked at 14 at Scout Camp, first licensed at 15, just before I made Eagle.
        And I never looked back. My story is probably very similar to many others on
        this list. However, Dan, when I was in college (long ago in a faraway
        galaxy), I had almost no time for ham radio; my studies came first although
        I managed to be Scoutmaster of a local Troop for a couple years, albeit most
        time so spent was recruiting ASMs to take the pressure off me. I think
        you've gone above the call of duty with your attempts to recruit other
        college students, but they may be the least likely group to be recruited for
        any volunteer or hobby activity due to their time constraints.

        Education may be our greatest failing with both youth and adults. We are all
        volunteers with only a limited amount of time to devote to ham radio
        education. And, it requires a LOT of time for such education: writing news
        releases, arranging demonstrations at Scout meetings and at schools or other
        youth gatherings, Elmering (mentoring) youth toward license completion, and
        other education activities demands dedication of fairly large blocks of
        time. Such time is not normally casual contact, but rather must be committed
        in advance, something not everyone is willing or able to do because of job,
        health, or home requirements. Others are retired and may just be too worn
        out from life to make such time commitments or, in fact are seriously
        R-E-T-I-R-E-D and feel they have put in their time. Indeed, it does require
        a serious commitment of time, resources, money, and emotional energy to
        foster ham radio in Scouting and only a relative few of us are actually able
        to bring all these factors together to make such a commitment. I would
        argue, lastly, that those who are this list are already interested and
        committed; our task is now to get other hams to make a similar commitment.

        73 de Fred K2FRD, VO2FS
        http://homepage.mac.com/k2frd/K2FRD.html
        Free Subscription To OCARG EAGLE, a monthly newsletter for ham radio
        Scouters
        http://homepage.mac.com/k2frd/ocarg.htm for info.

        At 7:01 +0000 03/12/2005, Dan wrote:
        >Hey everyone,
        > Just thought I would introduce myself. My name is Dan, AB8VE.
        >I am currently a student at the Ohio State University, and the
        >President of the OSU Amateur Radio Club. I am also an Eagle Scout.
        >I have concerned lately as to the lack of knowledge of amateur radio
        >to the general public. I have tried on campus to get people
        >interested in the hobby, and had some luck but not a whole lot. I
        >have come to the conclusion that in order to get people interested
        >the best way is to hook them while they're young. Then I got to
        >thinking. I learned about ham radio for the first time through the
        >Boy Scouts. What a great place to go to get new members. Now, my
        >little brother is still in the Scouts, and have gone camping with
        >his troop several times. I always brings my radios along and all
        >the kids are really intersted in it and some have gotten their
        >license. But the kids don't have the money to get a radio a lot of
        >the times and quickly lose interest. So I found this group in hopes
        >that I could get some ideas on how to hook em while they're young
        >and keep em.
        >
        >73's
        >
        >Dan, AB8VE



        Check out the UK Radio-Scouting page here at Yahoo!Groups.
        http://groups.yahoo.com/group/radio-scouting-uk

        Now that you've got new licensees in your unit, why not have them subscibe
        to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ScoutRadioYouth

        Visit "Operation On Target BSA" Mountain Top Signaling:
        http://www.ontargetbsa.org/

        Great list of Scouting/Amateur Radio web sites:
        http://www.k1dwu.net/ham-links/clubs.-.scouting.phtml

        Visit the Adventure Radio Society: http://www.natworld.com/ars/

        ScoutRadio start page:
        http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ScoutRadio (Email archives - member email
        addresses - change your subscription details, etc.)

        Post message: ScoutRadio@yahoogroups.com
        Unsubscribe: ScoutRadio-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
        List owner: ScoutRadio-owner@yahoogroups.com

        SCOUTING and AMATEUR RADIO - FUN FOR ALL AGES



        ________________________________

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        ________________________________
      • Gary Wilson
        Hi Dan: Thanks for getting involved in teaching Amateur Radio to Scouts. Two suggestions: 1. Start by offering a Radio Merit Badge class, not a Tech licensing
        Message 3 of 7 , Dec 5, 2005
          Hi Dan:

          Thanks for getting involved in teaching Amateur Radio to Scouts.
          Two suggestions:

          1. Start by offering a Radio Merit Badge class, not a Tech
          licensing course. The secret to selling anything is to give folks
          what they want, not what you have to sell.

          As an Eagle Scout, you'll understand the appeal of offering a Merit
          Badge first. In the files section of this Yahoo Group, you'll find
          Powerpoint slides for running three one hour sessions (plus an on
          the air contact session ) for Radio MB. It easily makes for a
          monthly program theme for a troop. Do the three classes at troop
          meetings and then make that month's camp out a "mini-Field day" to
          get the Scouts on the air.

          2. Keep things simple and cool at first, not techy and detailed.
          As their interest increases, then move on to teaching a tech course
          with all of the details of rules, sub bands, etc. You can find free
          PowerPoint slides to teach a tech class in six nights at
          http://instructor.n5na.net/ .

          There's also a parallel Yahoo group called ham_instructor to help
          you with this.

          73

          Gary, K2GW
        • Fred Stevens K2FRD
          ... Can t argue with that. You brought up a point of which needs to be addressed, but I can t say I ve ever seen it mentioned in any written articles although
          Message 4 of 7 , Dec 7, 2005
            At 23:19 -0500 04/12/2005, J. Gordon Beattie, Jr. wrote:
            >Fred,
            >
            >Two final points:
            >1. It does take a lot of time to do this.
            >2. We have thirty-year old police officers who don't know what Amateur Radio
            >is, let alone how it can be used. WE NEED TO KEEP UP THE PROMOS AND
            >EDUCATE!

            Can't argue with that. You brought up a point of which needs to be addressed, but I can't say I've ever seen it mentioned in any written articles although we've discussed it some in New York State: education of police officers about ham radio. At the NY State Police Academy (for NYSP), the subject of ham radio is discussed, usually in context with VTL 397, NY's infamous scanner law in which amateur radio operators are purportedly exempt from its provisions except the law is so poorly written, it can be (and has been) misinterpreted such that hams have received citations for use of ham rigs on ham bands while in their vehicles. Further, many local police departments (city, county, other municipal) run their own academies or send their new officers to larger jurisdictions which offer academies. The degree to which ham radio is discussed varies widely, depending upon the instructors, course directors, and syllabuses, from adequate coverage including how we might coordinate with them to non-existent in which ham radio isn't discussed at all. Since during emergencies or simple personal contact with peace officers, knowledge of our interaction capabilities can be crucial, education of police departments is likewise critical. While this is being done in many, many areas, usually at the local level by ARES and RACES personnel especially after 9/11, it is clear that it is not being done in ALL areas and jurisdictions, witness the numbers of citations given to hams for merely using their rigs from their vehicles. Hence, ham operators need to target local police officers AND THEIR TRAINING OFFICIALS for ham education if it is not already being done and, at some level, inclusion of ham radio within police training agendas needs to be accomplished. From my own experience, this education needs to be reinforced from time to time.

            Other emergency services (e.g., fire departments), emergency managers, and private emergency support organizations [e.g., American Red Cross, Salvation Army]) also need education, but this will also vary widely from jurisdiction to jurisdiction although both ARC and SA have MOUs with the ARRL at the national level. Again, from my own experience, particularly with the Red Cross, the degree of ham radio knowledge varies to the extremes. Continued education after basic education about ham radio needs to be constant and universal across all levels and included within training agendas. I've seen too often a new ARC manager walk into a new assignment and see a few thousand dollars worth of ham radio gear and wondered what it was all for.

            At our level and key to this topic and group, it is important as already stated to educate our Scouts about ham radio through either or both Radio Merit Badge and Technician classes. To accomplish this, we need to get more hams involved within the Scouting movement.

            I'll reinforce one point I mentioned in my previous post: there are a certain number of people who will never get The Word about ham radio, have never heard of it. These are the same people who cannot place Washington, DC on the map. I suspect some police officers fall within this category.

            73 de Fred K2FRD

            --
            73 de Fred K2FRD, VO2FS
            http://homepage.mac.com/k2frd/K2FRD.html
            Free Subscription To OCARG EAGLE, a monthly newsletter for ham radio Scouters
            http://homepage.mac.com/k2frd/ocarg.htm for info.
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