Tags: scouts

Be Prepared for this Scouting Award

The Scouting 100 Radio Award is awarded for contacting Scout stations during 2007, the Centenary year of Scouting. This is an International award, available to any operator - it is also available on a listener basis, with the same requirements as the operator award.

Objective:
To help celebrate the centenary of Scouting through the medium of radio. To help publicise the Centenary, and to provide radio amateurs the opportunity of gaining another Award. Although not intended for profit, any surplus made will go to support Radio Scouting in developing countries.

Duration:
The Award will begin at 00:00:01 on January 1st 2007 and finish at 23:59:59 December 31st 2007.

Bands and Modes:
The Award is available through all bands and all modes, within the terms of the individual’s radio licence. The Award is also available through Echolink and IRLP modes. The Award can be endorsed for any special modes or bands ie ‘All satellite contacts;’ ‘all QRP contacts,’ etc. Activity for the Award should be focused around the Scout frequencies.

Requirements:
Stations are required to contact Scout and Guide stations to count for
points as follows:

* Each ordinary Scout station counts one point.
* Special Event Scout stations count 2 points.
* The World Jamboree, Gilwell Park and Brownsea Island stations count 5 points.
* Your logs should be verified as accurate by 2 other local radio amateurs.
* Normal log information is required with the following additional information: Name, Scout details and age of the operator of the station you contact. Your age should also be submitted when applying for Awards. Female operators send `YL’ as their age!

Website:
The Award is supported online by a website - full details of the award are available at www.scouting100award.org. An Honour Roll of Award holders will also be published on the website.

Contact: info@scouting100award.org

Saturday

I've been recovering from a cold, so I have been on as much as I'd like. I had a couple notable QSOs today:

W7DK/90: The Radio Club of Tacoma's 90th Anniversary special event station. An ARRL-affiliated Special Service Club since 1920, the Radio Club of Tacoma will mark the occasion with a homecoming dinner October 21 and a week-long operating event with certificates. Special event station W7DK/90 will be on the air October 16-22, and for part of the event will put its "old oak rig" -- a circa 1930 breadboard-style AM transmitter -- on the air. "We have done some historical research, and it's been very interesting," says the club's Peter Baker, AD7EU. One item that turned up was a W7DK QSL card from 1938.


JOTA: Jamboree On The Air -- a nearly 50-year-old tradition -- provides an opportunity to showcase Amateur Radio for Boy and Girl Scouts and Guides, Cub Scouts and Brownies around the world, some of whom will be part of the next generation of radio amateurs. I had a nice QSO with two Scouts up in Wisconsin. One Scout was a 2nd Class and the other Life.

CW QSOs: the first few on 20M and 30M had the op at the other end blazing away a little to fast for me. I then went down to the good ol' Novice sub-band on 40M and had a nice QSO with Fred, KC2IOD. His callsign looked familiar and sure enough - I worked him when I activated the Old Point Comfort Lighthouse (USA-567) back in February.

FISTS: I received the latest issue of the FISTS periodical. Lots of good reading.

Saturday.....

Finally checked into the VA MARS net. The net started late and I had almost given up on it. I'm going to try and check in again tomorrow morning. I need to get around to raising the height of my inverted vee - I think it will better help my signal get out.

I was able to catch W1AA (Henry and Whitey) and their activation of the Highland Lighthouse (USA 110) out on Cape Cod. Whitey, K1VV, is usually out ever weekend doing a lighthouse activation - always has a nice signal.

Had a very nice Radio Merit Badge class for a young Scout out at Fort Monroe in the afternoon. I setup my 10' x 10' shelter and the ARSIB. Initially I planned on setting the G5RV (like during the W4M Memorial Day Special Event) but the wind was quite heavy, so I opted to put up the homebrew vertical dipole. To get some height on the antenna, I attached it to the top of the painter's pole. Before I had a chance to tie down the pole, a gust of wind knocked the antenna down. The fall caused the feedline connection to break off. Not good. However, with a little bit of wire and some electrical tape, I was able to reattached the feedline connection. Now the antenna was low to the ground and I was a little concerned about it's performance. The Scout arrived and we started reviewing the Radio Merit Badge requirements. I was able to easily tune WWV on 15 MHz and was also able to find a CW QSO in progress on 40M. Also demoed a bit of CW using my MFJ paddle that has a speaker built in. After we'd reviewed all the requirements, it was time for the HF QSO. The Scout called CQ and after a few tries, received a reply from Charlie, N1MUQ, in Stamford, CT. Charlie had a booming, solid signal and the Scout was able to successfully complete the QSO. We then moved to my mobile VHF rig and the Scout had a nice QSO with Randy, WB7URZ located up in Gloucester. Even with the antenna setup issues, the Radio Merit Badge session was a success and I think both the Scout and I had a good time.

Radio club provides Boy Scout camp with electronics building

By Carol South
Herald contributing writer
http://www.gtherald.com/

This summer, W8BSC was on the air.

Thanks to volunteers from the Cherryland Amateur Radio Club, Boy Scouts and Webelos camping at Camp Greilick this summer can earn merit badges in amateur radio, computers and electronics.

A new 384-square-foot building — dubbed the Radio Shack — houses a host of amateur radio, computer and electronics equipment. Over the past four weeks of Boy Scout camp, this equipment has kept interested Boy Scouts nearby, earning some the designation of Shack Lizard after they receive all three badges.

Using the radio equipment on one side of the building, Scouts have contacted HAMs both locally and around the country or practiced their Morse code skills. Workbenches along the other side of the building are filled with circuit boards, chips, soldering irons and other electronics paraphernalia.

"I've learned how to do QSOs and make the signal efficient," said Alex Dewitt, a member of Troop 119 from Bay City. "I'm just getting into amateur radio. I'm still waiting to see if I can get anybody from Canada yet."

Jill Raymer, a scout mom, volunteer staff member with the Scenic Trails Council and a volunteer with the Cherryland Amateur Radio Club, supervises the Radio Shack. Seemingly everywhere at once and with a great passion for both scouting and amateur radio, the Radio Shack is a slice of nirvana.

"What I like about the station is that we're real busy: we went through 100 badges in a week," said Raymer, a Manton resident who is also a member of the Wexaukee Amateur Radio Club. "Everybody is at least learning about radio even if they're not earning a badge."

Before the Radio Shack was completed in July, scouts interested in amateur radio previously used a Cherryland Amateur Radio Club emergency communications trailer. Raymer and club volunteers brought this trailer to the camp for a number of years. Then two summers ago, they moved equipment into a 100-square-foot building, whose frequent use demonstrated that there was interest in a permanent facility.

Members of the club worked out an agreement with the Scenic Trails Council to build an amateur radio, electronics and computer facility. They began gathering contributions for the shack in December of 2004 and finished building the structure last month.

"What happened was that some of the guys were out there for an open house or some darn thing and they said, 'Wait a minute, let's make this a little bit larger,'" said Chuck Mellberg, project coordinator of the Cherryland Amateur Radio Club, about the small building used two summers ago. "The scouting program has been very supportive of this."

Club volunteers built the shack over the past year, aided by in-kind donations from area businesses. Members funded most of the cost, though they also received small grants from the Biederman Foundation, the Oleson Foundation, the Grand Traverse Regional Community Foundation and the Rotary Club Good Works Committee.

"I was surprised by the amount of funding we did receive," Mellberg noted.

"We're constantly looking for ways to get people interested in amateur radio and we took on this project as a way to get scouts interested through the merit badge program," he added of the club's commitment to the Radio Shack.

During the first half of the four-week Boy Scout camp that just ended, counselor-in-training Gus MacNeal, 14, taught an average of 30 scouts a day, about evenly divided between radio and electronics.

"A lot of the boys like taking these merit badges," said MacNeal.

Raymer did note that boys are still boys: even with the new Radio Shack online, swimming is more enticing in the afternoons for all but the most devoted future amateur radio operators.

"We are very quiet in the afternoons during swim time so the kids interested can do the radio," she said.

A few updates from the shack....

Scouts: received my Radio Merit Badge pamphlet in the mail today. Between the pamphlet and web resources, I want to put together a course package for the merit badge. One of the gentlemen I work with has a son who is interested in pursuing the Radio Merit Badge... so I need to get crackin'.

Army MARS: put in an application for Army MARS. The VA state rep told me it will be a couple weeks before I get my MARS callsign and initial training information.

US Army Amateur Radio Society: picked up a few more members. need to make contact with the Iraqi folks to check on the status of the pending YI9 applications.

DX: made contact with one of the newest DXCC entity... Montenegro! The YU6AO Montenegro DXpedition team now has a Web page at http://www.yu6ao.info/ and a log search at http://www.yu6ao.info/log.html ... I'm in the log!

eBay: purchased an ASTATIC D-104 microphone. Should be a fun project adapting it for use with my IC-706MKIIG.

Local ham swap: made a deal to purchase a SB-220 Heathkit HF Linear Amplifier! This should give me a little more motivation to improve my antenna situation. Also need to acquire an antenna tuner.

Lighthouse QSL cards: finished my QSL cards for the Bodie Island Lighthouse (USA-062) and the Currituck Beach Lighthouse (USA-212) activations. Some of the Currituck Beach contacts are getting a North Carolina lighthouse key chain/compass/thermometer. Tried to get those to fellow ARLHS members.

W4M Special Event Station QSL cards/certificates: everyone who had sent me a SASE has been sent a QSL card (and certificate if they provided a large envelope).

SkyWarn Net: checked into the Chesapeake Amateur Radio Service (CARS) SkyWarn Net. They had made recent improvements to their repeater and have greatly expanded the coverage.

Radio Merit Badge Counselor

Just got my official merit badge counselor card - I'm now an approved Boy Scouts of America merit badge counselor for the Radio Merit Badge!

Here's an article from ARRL on teaching the Radio Merit Badge:

Larry Wolfgang, WR1B
ARRL

Congratulations on being asked to teach the Radio Merit Badge for your local Troop. It can be a tall order, but also a lot of fun! First, be sure you have the latest requirements version. Either the latest Radio Merit Badge Pamphlet or a copy of the 1998 Requirements book will do. The MB Pamphlet has a lot of supporting information. (I assume you are a Scouter, and familiar with the BSA Merit Badge program.

I've been to two National Jamborees, where I served on the Radio Merit Badge staff, and at those two Jamborees, we've had over 500 total Scouts complete Radio Merit Badge. Can it be done? YES! Still, there are some tough spots. We use a hard-working team at the Jamborees, with each person covering a specific area of expertise. (And, of course, we work in shifts, so everyone has time to catch their breath and find a day to see what else is going on at the Jamboree!)

We typically divide the requirements into a couple of sections. "Theory" covers topics like how a radio works, propagation, the radio spectrum and so on. "Practical" covers components, test equipment, station grounding, etc. While the requirement to build something has been dropped, we still used a construction station as a final reward for completing all the requirements at the 97 Jamboree. The Scouts like to handle components, stuff a circuit board and learn to solder. That year we used a simple "blinky light" project, with a 555 timer and a coupled of LEDs, just for fun.

For the Broadcast Radio option, we try to coordinate with the "KBSA" broadcast station at the Jamboree. Some Scouts get to plan programs and go on the air. There is high demand for those on-the-air spots, though, so we try to steer them away from that. It is an option, however, and if a Scout really wants to learn about broadcast radio, they should be allowed to pursue that area. You may not want to cover that area, though, and may have to help them make contact with someone who can. (I would not feel qualified to teach that aspect of the Merit Badge.) At the Jamboree, we set up a Short-Wave listening area in our Merit Badge Midway tent. We supervise that area and provide evening listening hours. It is a popular option. For the ham radio option, we have directed them to the big K2BSA set up. In 97 the K2BSA demonstration staff was a great help in setting up "class times" for the merit badge, and taking the Scouts through those requirements. (As a side note, all the Radio Merit Badge Staff are part of the K2BSA staff, but we are dedicated to the Merit Badge Midway area. The rest of the K2BSA staff divides into shifts to keep the station going virtually around the clock. In 97, off duty operators put in the extra time to teach that part of the merit badge. Why do we have 40-some staff positions for Amateur Radio? We are busy, believe me!

Now some specifics. We prepare "flip charts" before the Jamboree. Each page of the flip chart outlines a topic to be covered, with drawings and short text explanations for the instructor to expand upon. This keeps people on track and focused on the material. There isn't a lot of time to waste. You may actually have more time with the Scouts, but I still recommend something similar to help you stay focused. With the chart already done, you don't have to take time writing and drawing on a board. (As a former teacher, I love to work on a blackboard or something similar, but the chart really works well.) While each staff member will vary the presentation a bit to suit their style, this also ensures that each of us covers the core material.

We usually have some components or materials to pass around to let the Scouts get their hands on something, and to examine it closely. This helps hold their attention.

After the "class presentation" we have the Scouts complete the written work and make drawings, then talk individually with a staff member to "explain," "describe" or whatever else the requirement says. In other words, "sitting through my class doesn't complete the requirements." "The requirements tell you what you actually have to DO."

I have also taught Radio Merit Badge at our local council's "Merit-Badge-O-Ree." This is a weekend campout with all day Saturday dedicated to various Merit Badges. It is sponsored by our local electric utility, and they allow us to use their training classroom facilities. Last fall another ham and I taught a morning and an afternoon course. It was really rushed, but about 20 or so Scouts completed the badge and some others earned partials. At that session, I taught the theory and practical parts, and the other ham (not a Scouter) taught the ham radio option. We did not cover either of the other two options. In that case, I prepared notes on overlays for an overhead projector. As I said earlier, being a teacher, I used the chalkboard for some explanations, but the overhead really made it go faster. Also for that, I developed a test with a variety of question types, such as fill-in-the-blank, multiple choice, matching and short answer to test them on the material. By grading the tests, I could put a pass/fail criteria on their efforts to determine who earned the badge. I hope to develop that idea better for future use, and perhaps to streamline the process for the next National Jamboree.

I would recommend keeping the Merit Badge separate from a license class, unless you find out beforehand that all the Scouts who want Radio Merit Badge also want to earn a license. Use the Merit Badge to spark their interest and get them into a class. If it's your local Troop, you may be able to set up a course over a longer time frame, and that would probably be more successful. Yes, we've also taught license classes and done testing at the Jamboree. At the last Jamboree we had classes during the day and in the evening, according to a schedule published at the start of the Jamboree. Students (yes there are quite a few adults take these classes) can attend any one of about three sessions that covered a specific section of material. That way if they couldn't attend a particular class, it was easy to make it up. Again, we used a team. They had materials prepared ahead of time--for an overhead projector in this case--and used a variety of props.

My inclination is to use the ARRL Technician Video course for such a concentrated effort. The video is roughly 6 hours long, but you will need at least the same amount of additional time for discussion and to answer questions. Still, the "weekend cram course" is a reality with the video.

WOW! Is that enough? You had no idea what you were asking, did you? I hope I didn't overload you with all this info. Really, it is intended to give you some ideas of what I have done when I've been involved with something similar, although on a rather larger scale, no doubt. I hope it is of some help. Good luck with the Scouts. And don't forget to have FUN! I hope you will also be able to include a station, and do some demonstrations of various modes and on-the-air activities. Let me know how it works out.

73,
Larry Wolfgang, WR1B
Senior Assistant Technical Editor

Boy Scouts and Amateur Radio

There's been a lot of chatter lately about Scouts and ham radio. It sounds like there are a handfull of summer camps that have amateur radio stations that are active. I have been meaning to register with the local Boy Scouts of America council as a Radio Merit Badge councelor... but have not done so yet. Scouting is a great program and if you can expose the young Scouts to amateur radio early on, there might be some success in recruiting future hams.

Check out a new 99 Hobbies interview with Gary Wilson, K2GW. Gary talks about how amateur radio can enrich the Scouting expierence: http://www.archive.org/download/99HobbiesScouting/99Hk2gwScouts.mp3

Read a recent story from the ARRL website on Ham Radio Scout Camp Calling Protocol: http://www.arrl.org/news/stories/2006/07/06/102/?nc=1

Also here on QRZ.com: http://www.qrz.com/ib-bin/ikonboard.cgi?s=d43ad1a064622c64adcd3db80b8cb0e4;act=ST;f=3;t=124409

JOTA - 48th Jamboree on the Air - 15-16 October 2005

JOTA is an annual event in which about 500,000 Scouts and Guides all over the world make contact with each other by means of amateur radio. It is a real Jamboree during which Scouting experiences are exchanged and ideas are shared, thus contributing to the world brotherhood of Scouting The JOTA is a world-wide event. Units may operate for 48 hours or any part thereof, from Saturday 00.00 h until Sunday 24.00 h local time. It is for members of the World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM), and also for members of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS).

World Scout Frequencies:


Band


SSB (phone)


CW (morse)


80 m


3.740 & 3.940 MHz


3.590 MHz


40 m


7.090 MHz


7.030 MHz


20 m


14.290 MHz


14.070 MHz


17 m


18.140 MHz


18.080 MHz


15 m


21.360 MHz


21.140 MHz


12 m


24.960 MHz


24.910 MHz


10 m


28.390 MHz


28.190 MHz






Also on EchoLink: HB9S (World Scout Bureau)

The amateur radio station of the World Scout Bureau in Geneva, HB9S, will transmit directly from the office building for the 48th JOTA. Both HF radio and Echolink will be used. Your operators this year are:
Jochen Sulovsky, DK8ZM; Ernst Tomaschek, OE1EOA; Yves Margot, HB9AOF and Richard Middelkoop, PA3BAR.


While browsing the website I saw that there are weekly and monthly scouting nets that take place worldwide:

SCOUT NETS


Country day time frequency netcontrol
Denmark Saturday 13.00 GMT 3.740 MHz  
European Scout Net Saturday 09.30 GMT 14.290 MHz PA3BAR
Japan 3rd Saturday of month 23.00 local 21.360 MHz JA1YSS
Norway Saturday 15.30 local 3.740 MHz  
Sweden Saturday, even weeks 15.00 local 3.740 MHz  
Sudan Sunday 12.00 GMT 21.360 MHz ST2M
United Kingdom Saturday 09.00 local 3.740 MHz G3BHK
United States Sunday 20.30 GMT 14.290 MHz K2BSA
World Scout Net*) 1st Saturday of month 22.00 GMT Echolink 131124 PA3BAR

*) connect to node 106440 or 131124.