Re: [Scout Mlist] RE: BSA Prohibits all Radios?
----- Original Message -----
From: George A. Makrauer <georgem@...>
To: Bob Bruninga <bruninga@...>
Cc: SCOUTRADIO@onelist.com <firstname.lastname@example.org>; SCOUTRADIO@...
<scoutradio@...>; CARS <cars@...>
Sent: Wednesday, July 07, 1999 10:49 AM
Subject: [Scout Mlist] RE: BSA Prohibits all Radios?
> An objective to benefit the Scouts (and the hobby) would be for BSA to
> a Merit Badge or other program or whatever (been long, long, long time
> was a Scout) based on Amateur Radio. Not only could line of sight comms
> of it, but the ability to provide international Internet email capability
> or V/UHF links (and a whole host of other outdoor comms; emergency and
> convenience) would be right up the Scouts' alley (or trail), so to speak.
> GAM w4tif
Hi George and all.
There is in fact a "Radio" merit badge. The latest pamphlet is dated 1996
and my latest one, was printed in 1998. They do get updated every so often,
and I suspect
this one too will be in need of an overhaul once the FCC decides to drop the
From the looks of things, there are a number of Amateurs listed in the
"Acknowledgments" section at the back of the pamphlet. The list is as
follows: Rosalie White - WA1STO; Mary Carcia - N7IAl; Robin M. Micket -
N1WAL; Michael F. Brown - WB2JWD and Laurence A. Eichel - K2NA.
The ARRL's work is evident throughout the pamphlet with the many charts and
The Merit Badge requirements listed are broad based, with a twist! There
are some eight multi-part requirements. Most of the requirements are taken
right out of publications that you all know and love, and although most
merit badge pamphlets tend to hit just the highlights and allow the merit
badge counselors (you and I) to 'round out' the Scout's knowledge base, this
one gives a pretty good overview and many of the requirements needed to
become an amateur. Requirement 7 allows the Scout to follow one of three
routes: (a,b, or c):
a. AMATEUR RADIO
(1) Describe some of the activities that amateur radio operators can do on
the air, once they have earned an amateur radio license.
(2) Carry on a ten-minute real or simulated ham radio contact using voice or
Morse code; use proper call signs, Q signals, and abbreviations. (licensed
ham radio operators may substitute five QSL cards as evidence of contacts
with amateur radio operators from at least three different call districts.)
(3) With the help of a local amateur radio operator, talk to and properly
log at least two amateur radio operator, talk to and properly log at least
two Morse code radio contacts. Record signal reports. Explain how often
amateur radio operators must give their call signs during a radio contact.
(4) Explain at least five Q signals or amateur radio terms you hear while
(5) Explain some differences between the Novice Class license and the
Technician Class license requirements and privileges. Explain who gives
amateur radio exams.
(6)Explain how you would make an emergency call using voice or Morse code.
Tell why the Federal Communications Commission has an amateur radio service.
(7) discuss handheld transceivers versus home "base" stations. Explain the
uses of mobile amateur radios and amateur radio repeaters.
b. BROADCAST RADIO
c. SHORTWAVE RADIO
Both NASA and the ARRL have a ton of influence in the makeup of this
pamphlet. The very first picture facing the introduction is that of NASA
Shuttle Commander Ken Cameron and Shuttle Pilot Steve Oswald in front of the
Shuttle Discovery, shortly after a successful landing. Both are licensed
In the Introduction, the authors in fact say "With a ham radio hobby
license, you might talk to ham radio operator King Hussein of Jordan or with
KLUGE, Barry Goldwater, a former United States Senator from Arizona.
Since the publication is by and large, put together by Amateur Radio
operators, (Their influence is quite pervasive throughout) some updating of
material, and a shift in material emphasis needs to take place. The meat
and potatoes stuff, you know, "electronics theory" doesn't change, while the
face of the hobby is more computer oriented (read, digital modes) now, there
is little mention of this in the pamphlet.
With GPS, APRS, Packet, and a Phase 3D satellite trying to make it's debut,
there is a need to redirect some of the effort in revamping this publication
in it's next permutation to try and make more print space available for the
modes that are not only going to grab the next prospective merit badge
recipient's attention, but also bring in that new Radio Amateur. There have
been many worthy 'alliances' formed over the years between the BSA and
organizations such as the American Red Cross; the Salvation Army and
Goodwill Industries. I personally don't see a problem with making mention
of the fact that these 'strategic' alliances exist in Amateur Radio also,
with the ultimate benefit, being the public at large with a heavy emphasis
on "emergency preparedness." (I have that merit badge pamphlet too)
And Bob... I have heard such horror stories as yours before. With the
"Unified Unitarian Church" (GAY) and organizations such as the "Scouting for
All" (GAY) and the "AC-LUoosers" trying to strip the Boy Scouts of America
of it's U.S. charter, there is no doubt a bit of a defensive mechanism at
work here today. The problem is, they (paid professionals in the BSA) need
to understand better who the enemy is. It is not the rank and file, unpaid
commissioned personnel. The program has been around in this country since
1910, and works very well. But... there is always room for improvement, and
this sometimes means invoking that dirty word - "Change."
Jon Pearl W4ABC
West Central Florida ScoutRadio Network
Located in the...
West Central Florida Council BSA
Located in the soon to be ARRL...
West Central Florida Section
Great research. SOunds like the merit badge is a pretty good piece of
work. Oh, you mentioned Rosalie White at the ARRL, and I find her to be
a good level headed thinker. I chatted with her briefly at Dayton and
mentioned FRS radios and if the ARRL is going to address them in any way.
I was glad to hear that she also has been thinking about FRS radios and
how they can be used to advantage in promoting radio and amateur radio.
But I did notice that she lowered her voice and looked around fertively
for spies before chatting openly about them... hi hi