Scouting and FRS
- Hi all,
I think the concept of a brief guide sheet for using FRS radios in the context of Scouting is a good idea. We recently supported an ARES Marathon event by using FRS radios in conjunction with Ham Radio in one segment of the course with good results (and the boys received an ARRL Public Service Commendation for their efforts over the very long day).
I would suggest that someone draft such a document as an informal guide and circulate it here for comment. Then it can be posted through the various Scouter remailers in our councils and local areas (e.g., Rountable groups) until everyone gets the word. It wouldn't take very long to spread around most of the country through such an informal means. I would not be too concerned about making the document BSA Official or including it in the Guide to Safe Scouting as the use of FRS radios is not inherently dangerous and they are being used anyway on such a wide scale.
Likewise, we should not worry about the Radio Merit badge revisions as we still want to promote Amateur Radio as the goal as it offers so much more than FRS, CB or other options for the Scouts.
Issues should include some basics about the limited range and power of such radios; that no license is needed in FRS, but is needed on other radio services such as Amateur Radio; basic radio technique such as the proposed "tactical callsigns", talking in a normal voice to prevent distortion, listening first, how to report an emergency, etc. Examples of how FRS radios can be useful to a troop should also be mentioned (e.g., convoys, backpacker to support vehicle link, public service events using a net control station, campsite communications, etc.).
Anyone like to give it a try. I am personally jammed for the next few weeks with work responsibilities and would prefer to pass at this time if the goal is to create something quickly.
Best 73, YIS, etc. etc.
Steve White, W4SNW
ARRL Volunteer Counsel and
Station Trustee, K4BOY
BSA Camp Flying Eagle,
Manatee County, Florida