Re: [ScoutRadio] Re: Boy Scout Merit Badge Day
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.
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 KR1ZANGarland, TX----- Original Message -----From: Gary WilsonSent: Friday, January 13, 2006 7:33 AMSubject: [ScoutRadio] Re: Boy Scout Merit Badge DayThanks 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
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.