Admittedly, my appearances on the HF bands have been pretty much nil, lately. But as I have mentioned before, that does not mean my life has been a void, Amateur Radio-wise.
Last night we gave another Amateur Radio "demo" to Boy Scout Troop 125 right here in South Plainfield, NJ. It's a small troop of only about a half dozen scouts; but they seemed to take to the presentation given by Dave KD2FSI and Harry KC2PGX and Marv K2VHW.
There were two "hits", as far as the reaction of the Scouts seemed to indicate. The first was when Dave produced his Go Kit. The concept that a small HF radio, a battery and a wire antenna tossed into a bush or tree could get you talking around the world from the middle of nowhere seemed to interest them to no end. Of course, you would think that portable operations and Boy Scouting would go "hand in glove" wouldn't you? And yet this seems to be something that's not promoted enough. Sure, there's JOTA and all that; but can you imagine a serious effort to integrate Scouting and SOTA - or even Scouting and POTA?
The other big hit was, once again, Morse Code. Not exactly sure why, but the code just seems to have a certain "wow factor" that impresses the heck out of youngsters. They eagerly ran up to the table where the keys and oscillator were so that they could play with the straight keys, the bug and paddles that we brought to show them. And they were duly impressed when they heard and saw Morse Code being transmitted on 40 Meters. Dave had Fldigi (I think that was what he was running) on his laptop and it was decoding the Morse as it was being sent.
So, how does one get a feel for whether or not the presentation was a success? Two or three Boy Scouts asking if we could offer a class seemed to be a big indicator. Personally, I would love to hold a Tech course just for kids and Scouts in general, both boys and girls.
72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!