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Re: [ScoutRadio] Re: Boy Scout Merit Badge Day

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  • 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 1 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 2 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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