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Re: [ScoutRadio] Boy Scout Merit Badge Day

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  • John Brewer
    In this area, we try to do the same thing for JOTA, annually in October. John N7MFQ ... From: Gary Wilson To:
    Message 1 of 6 , Jan 11, 2006
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      In this area, we try to do the same thing for JOTA, annually in October.

      John
      N7MFQ
      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "Gary Wilson" <k2gw@...>
      To: <ScoutRadio@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Wednesday, January 11, 2006 2:32 PM
      Subject: [ScoutRadio] Boy Scout Merit Badge Day


      We just completed our second annual Boy Scout Merit Badge Day at
      Sarnoff Library in Princeton NJ. With only a single e-mail
      announcement, we had 29 Scouts earn Radio Merit Badge in one day with
      4 leaders and 19 hams assisting. Many of those Scouts will noew be
      starting a Tech course next week.

      Last year with lots of publicity we had 63 Scouts. Next year we'll
      aim for the middle by doing two e-mails.

      With all of the PowerPoint materials here in Scout Radio, anyone could
      run such an event in their area.

      It dawned on me that perhaps this could become a national event for
      the first Saturday after New Years in January next year. It's a good
      weekend for an indoor event in the typical Scout Troops calendar and
      complements their exisitng Kid's Day on Sunday.

      Comments appreciated here before I submit it to ARRL for consideration.

      73

      Gary, K2GW
      Radio MB Counselor
      CNJ Council






      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
      Yahoo! Groups Links
    • Frank Krizan
      Gary, et al, I can appreciate your enthusiasm for this project, especially with the success you ve enjoyed. As another poster mentioned, many organizations
      Message 2 of 6 , Jan 11, 2006
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        Gary, et al,
         
        I can appreciate your enthusiasm for this project, especially with the success you've enjoyed.  As another poster mentioned, many organizations conduct Radio Merit Badge classes in conjunction with JOTA.  In Texas, we have a number of scout camps that conduct Winter Camp between Christmas and New Year, and several teach Radio MB.  We're conducting Radio Badge classes at some summer camps and at HamCom in June.  During March, the Dallas area has a number of "Merit Badge Colleges/Universities" in which the Radio Merit Badge is also taught.  During the summer months, our Council conducts what used to be called Merit Badge Camp -- now called Merit Badge U -- in which the Radio MB is taught.
         
        I think different areas of the US have different opportunities, needs and school schedules.  For example, many of our scouts may not be back from winter camp, Christmas vacations, etc. for the first Saturday.  January is a difficult month to forecast the weather in various parts of the country, especially for travel to and from the MB class. 
         
        Kid's Day is a great day for families to get their younger kids on the air to talk with some other younger kids.  I would rather that we not mix scouting activities with an easy going program to get kids on the air. 
         
        My suggestion is to leave the date of a Radio MB clinic or class up to local folks.  As suggested earlier, we somewhat already have a "national Radio MB day" -- it's JOTA.
         
        Girl Scouting doesn't have merit badges, but, they do have a patch program.  Several councils have a Radio Patch.  One of them is somewhat national and is described on the ARRL Scouting pages.  The requirements are very similar (if not identical) to the BSA Radio MB.  Girl Scouts, in addition to JOTA, have a weekend of their own adjacent to Thinking Day.  It's called Guides On The Air (GOTA) and is held the third full weekend of February.   Radio Scouting should be for girls as well as guys.  We need to be promoting a program for GSUSA for Ham Radio.  Our young ladies are often left out of this high tech adventure. 
         
        73, Frank KR1ZAN
        Garland, TX
         
        ----- Original Message -----
        Sent: Wednesday, January 11, 2006 3:32 PM
        Subject: [ScoutRadio] Boy Scout Merit Badge Day

        We just completed our second annual Boy Scout Merit Badge Day at
        Sarnoff Library in Princeton NJ.  With only a single e-mail
        announcement, we had 29 Scouts earn Radio Merit Badge in one day with
        4 leaders and 19 hams assisting.  Many of those Scouts will noew be
        starting a Tech course next week.

        Last year with lots of publicity we had 63 Scouts.  Next year we'll
        aim for the middle by doing two e-mails.

        With all of the PowerPoint materials here in Scout Radio, anyone could
        run such an event in their area.

        It dawned on me that perhaps this could become a national event for
        the first Saturday after New Years in January next year.  It's a good
        weekend for an indoor event in the typical Scout Troops calendar and
        complements their exisitng Kid's Day on Sunday.

        Comments appreciated here before I submit it to ARRL for consideration.

        73

        Gary, K2GW
        Radio MB Counselor
        CNJ Council




      • Gary Wilson
        Thanks everyone for the input. Some further thoughts from here. First of all, it looks like we have some kind of Radio Merit Badge program in 4 councils at
        Message 3 of 6 , Jan 13, 2006
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          Thanks everyone for the input. Some further thoughts from here.

          First of all, it looks like we have some kind of Radio Merit Badge
          program in 4 councils at various times during the year. That's
          great, but how do we get non-scouter Hams to create similar events
          in the remaining 300 BSA councils?

          That was my idea for an ARRL National Radio Merit Badge Day. Such
          an event doesn't preclude anyone from running a Radio Merit Badge
          program at any other time of the year, such as at summer camp or in
          conjunction with JOTA or Field Day. It does encourage those hams
          who aren't already doing so now to get involved. Look at the recent
          Emergency Power Day the league created. Sure, lots of hams have
          Emergency Power already but having one specific day encourages
          others to get involved.

          For the largest turn-out, I've seen that a self-contained one day
          Merit Badge event draws the most Scouts. I've been very successful
          creating a canned package of materials for another "low volume"
          Merit Badge, namely "Bird Study". By making it a self-contained one
          day program, the maximum number of Scouts is guaranteed.

          We spent a lot of time thinking about the timing. I feel the winter
          is best for an activity can be done indoors. Many Scout units just
          do Summer camp in the summer, so getting the word to Scouts is
          difficult. The Spring and Fall conflict with many other outdoor
          Scout activites such as camporees, etc. so having this event right
          after JOTA in October is difficult. We do use JOTA as the event to
          publicize the upcoming Merit Badge Day and hand flyers out about it
          there. The boys register in advance for the event in November and
          December and do their prep work (reading the MB pamphlet, drawing
          the spectrum diagram) over Christamas vacation.

          I also think June is a bad month with final exams in schools and
          most hams total pre-occupation with Field Day.

          Most Scout units planning a January camping trip or Klondike derbey
          tend to have it later in January, not the first weekend back after
          Christmas vaction. We also checked the Ham radio calendar for a
          weekend with little contest activity. The weekend we picked is the
          RTTY contest weekend, which leaves the HF voice bands wide open for
          Scout QSO's.

          January also lends itself to follow up with a Tech Licensing
          course. Many Ham instructors already run licensing courses in the
          Fall and the winter. Ours starts next week and eight Scouts from
          the Merit Badge Day have already signed up for it.

          The ultimate pay-off for the ham community isn't having the Scouts
          earn the Merit Badge, but converting a good percentage of those into
          licensesd Amateurs. Our program is a win-win-win-win. The Scouts
          get their badge, Scout Leaders get a canned program event they don't
          have to plan, the Amateur community gets a number of new hams each
          year, and the host organization (the Sarnoff Library) gets to show
          off their electronics exhibits to the community.

          I hope that answers some questions. The other ideas are great but
          are not mutually exclusive to getting the ARRL to promote a Radio
          Merit Badge Day.

          73

          Gary, K2GW
        • Frank Krizan
          The idea of a National Radio Merit Badge Day is a very good one. I ll vote for it. Now, comes the difficulty of deciding what day to make it. I think the
          Message 4 of 6 , Jan 13, 2006
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            The idea of a National Radio Merit Badge Day is a very good one.  I'll vote for it.  Now, comes the difficulty of deciding what day to make it.  I think the ARRL, or its scouting ad hoc committee (is it alive?), should work closely with National BSA to agree on what date seems appropriate.
             
            It's apparent from what you've said that the first Saturday of January, associated with Kid's Day, works well for your situation.  I do not recommend it unless the January Kid's Day is moved to the second Saturday of January.  The first Saturday of January is too close to the end of Christmas vacation and I suspect will put a strain on Hams, scouters and scouts to participate.  I am open to arguments to the contrary and will keep an open mind. 
             
            There must be other folks out there with opinions -- SPEAK UP.
             
            73, Frank KR1ZAN
            Garland, TX
             
            ----- Original Message -----
            Sent: Friday, January 13, 2006 7:33 AM
            Subject: [ScoutRadio] Re: Boy Scout Merit Badge Day

            Thanks everyone for the input.  Some further thoughts from here.

            First of all, it looks like we have some kind of Radio Merit Badge
            program in 4 councils at various times during the year.  That's
            great, but how do we get non-scouter Hams to create similar events
            in the remaining 300 BSA councils?

            That was my  idea for an ARRL National Radio Merit Badge Day.  Such
            an event doesn't preclude anyone from running a Radio Merit Badge
            program at any other time of the year, such as at summer camp or in
            conjunction with JOTA or Field Day.  It does encourage those hams
            who aren't already doing so now to get involved.  Look at the recent
            Emergency Power Day the league created.  Sure, lots of hams have
            Emergency Power already but having one specific day encourages
            others to get involved.

            For the largest turn-out, I've seen that a self-contained one day
            Merit Badge event draws the most Scouts.  I've been very successful
            creating a canned package of materials for another "low volume"
            Merit Badge, namely "Bird Study".  By making it a self-contained one
            day program, the maximum number of Scouts is guaranteed.

            We spent a lot of time thinking about the timing.  I feel the winter
            is best for an activity can be done indoors.  Many Scout units just
            do Summer camp in the summer, so getting the word to Scouts is
            difficult. The Spring and Fall conflict with many other outdoor
            Scout activites such as camporees, etc. so having this event right
            after JOTA in October is difficult.  We do use JOTA as the event to
            publicize the upcoming Merit Badge Day and hand flyers out about it
            there. The boys register in advance for the event in November and
            December and do their prep work (reading the MB pamphlet, drawing
            the spectrum diagram) over Christamas vacation.

            I also think June is a bad month with final exams in schools and
            most hams total pre-occupation with Field Day.

            Most Scout units planning a January camping trip or Klondike derbey
            tend to have it later in January, not the first weekend back after
            Christmas vaction. We also checked the Ham radio calendar for a
            weekend with little contest activity.  The weekend we picked is the
            RTTY contest weekend, which leaves the HF voice bands wide open for
            Scout QSO's.

            January also lends itself to follow up with a Tech Licensing
            course.  Many Ham instructors already run licensing courses in the
            Fall and the winter.  Ours starts next week and eight Scouts from
            the Merit Badge Day have already signed up for it. 

            The ultimate pay-off for the ham community isn't having the Scouts
            earn the Merit Badge, but converting a good percentage of those into
            licensesd Amateurs.  Our program is a win-win-win-win.  The Scouts
            get their badge, Scout Leaders get a canned program event they don't
            have to plan, the Amateur community gets a number of new hams each
            year, and the host organization (the Sarnoff Library) gets to show
            off their electronics exhibits to the community.

            I hope that answers some questions.  The other ideas are great but
            are not mutually exclusive to getting the ARRL to promote a Radio
            Merit Badge Day.

            73

            Gary, K2GW




          • Bill Stewart
            The Colonial District of the National Capital Area Council has a Merit Badge Jamboree each February. Radio merit badge has been taught in each Merit Badge
            Message 5 of 6 , Jan 13, 2006
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              The Colonial District of the National Capital Area Council has a Merit Badge Jamboree each February. Radio merit badge has been taught
              in each Merit Badge Jamboree since we started ours about 5 or 6 years ago. So, for us a National Radio Merit Badge Day would be redundant.
              If anything we would use it to build up our licensing class. We had to cancel this year due to lack of  participants.

              73,

              Bill, W2BSA
              Annandale, VA

              Frank Krizan wrote:
              The idea of a National Radio Merit Badge Day is a very good one.  I'll vote for it.  Now, comes the difficulty of deciding what day to make it.  I think the ARRL, or its scouting ad hoc committee (is it alive?), should work closely with National BSA to agree on what date seems appropriate.
               
              It's apparent from what you've said that the first Saturday of January, associated with Kid's Day, works well for your situation.  I do not recommend it unless the January Kid's Day is moved to the second Saturday of January.  The first Saturday of January is too close to the end of Christmas vacation and I suspect will put a strain on Hams, scouters and scouts to participate.  I am open to arguments to the contrary and will keep an open mind. 
               
              There must be other folks out there with opinions -- SPEAK UP.
               
              73, Frank KR1ZAN
              Garland, TX
               
              ----- Original Message -----
              Sent: Friday, January 13, 2006 7:33 AM
              Subject: [ScoutRadio] Re: Boy Scout Merit Badge Day

              Thanks everyone for the input.  Some further thoughts from here.

              First of all, it looks like we have some kind of Radio Merit Badge
              program in 4 councils at various times during the year.  That's
              great, but how do we get non-scouter Hams to create similar events
              in the remaining 300 BSA councils?

              That was my  idea for an ARRL National Radio Merit Badge Day.  Such
              an event doesn't preclude anyone from running a Radio Merit Badge
              program at any other time of the year, such as at summer camp or in
              conjunction with JOTA or Field Day.  It does encourage those hams
              who aren't already doing so now to get involved.  Look at the recent
              Emergency Power Day the league created.  Sure, lots of hams have
              Emergency Power already but having one specific day encourages
              others to get involved.

              For the largest turn-out, I've seen that a self-contained one day
              Merit Badge event draws the most Scouts.  I've been very successful
              creating a canned package of materials for another "low volume"
              Merit Badge, namely "Bird Study".  By making it a self-contained one
              day program, the maximum number of Scouts is guaranteed.

              We spent a lot of time thinking about the timing.  I feel the winter
              is best for an activity can be done indoors.  Many Scout units just
              do Summer camp in the summer, so getting the word to Scouts is
              difficult. The Spring and Fall conflict with many other outdoor
              Scout activites such as camporees, etc. so having this event right
              after JOTA in October is difficult.  We do use JOTA as the event to
              publicize the upcoming Merit Badge Day and hand flyers out about it
              there. The boys register in advance for the event in November and
              December and do their prep work (reading the MB pamphlet, drawing
              the spectrum diagram) over Christamas vacation.

              I also think June is a bad month with final exams in schools and
              most hams total pre-occupation with Field Day.

              Most Scout units planning a January camping trip or Klondike derbey
              tend to have it later in January, not the first weekend back after
              Christmas vaction. We also checked the Ham radio calendar for a
              weekend with little contest activity.  The weekend we picked is the
              RTTY contest weekend, which leaves the HF voice bands wide open for
              Scout QSO's.

              January also lends itself to follow up with a Tech Licensing
              course.  Many Ham instructors already run licensing courses in the
              Fall and the winter.  Ours starts next week and eight Scouts from
              the Merit Badge Day have already signed up for it. 

              The ultimate pay-off for the ham community isn't having the Scouts
              earn the Merit Badge, but converting a good percentage of those into
              licensesd Amateurs.  Our program is a win-win-win-win.  The Scouts
              get their badge, Scout Leaders get a canned program event they don't
              have to plan, the Amateur community gets a number of new hams each
              year, and the host organization (the Sarnoff Library) gets to show
              off their electronics exhibits to the community.

              I hope that answers some questions.  The other ideas are great but
              are not mutually exclusive to getting the ARRL to promote a Radio
              Merit Badge Day.

              73

              Gary, K2GW




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