Ham Activation at Scout Reservation

By Douglas Sharafanowich, KA1SFH,
Section Youth Coordinator

 

I took my Go Boxes and Go Kits to Deer Lake Scout Reservation in Killingworth to share the magic of amateur radio with Cub Scouts

Equipment and Accessories
5' Table loaded with:
- VHF/UHF Go Box,(Voice and Packet Radio capable)
- HF Go Box(ICOM 706 mk II G with LDG Z-100 tuner)
- Globe (Visual Prop)

- MFJ Practice Key (Hands on: to send the scout’s name in Morse Code).

Beside the Table on the ground

- 2 Stacked Rubbermaid Totes as an additional improvised table with a  Briefcase on top with brochures.
- a 100 Amp Hour Deep Cycle Marine Battery

Masts and Antennas
HF: Orange Jackite 30' mast retracted to about 26' ( top 2 sections nested for additional strength). This had a Yo-Yo V antenna (inverted V fan dipole) set for 40m & 20m.  Fed with 50' of RG-8x coax.
VHF/UHF: tripod, 16' mast, Dual Band 5' 8" vertical. Fed with 50' of 1/2" Low loss Bury/Flex Coax.

Visuals
I used one side of my car to mount the world callsign map and a trifold with various brochure covers as visual props. Note to self: Pack QSL Card Displays.  LOL!

Results

Limited visitors.

There were 5 out of a possible 35 campers who stopped by (briefly). I would say that at least 3 of them were excited by what they did and saw there.

Lessons Learned:

#1: Non-Optional Scheduled Activity
Make certain that the GOTA station is a part of the non-optional “Scheduled Activities” on the day’s Program.
- While I had thought this was a done deal, it turned out that Tuesday afternoon was an “Optional Activity” period.
This will be addressed at the Camp Debrief.
#2: Location - Location - Location

Establishing a central location for maximum visual awareness and heightening natural curiosity.

- Being banished to the “Back 40” (or perimeter) puts your operation effectively in Siberia, and nobody will come.
This will also be addressed at the Camp Debrief.\

Action Plan

Item #1 is Non-Negotiable
If the organizers are not willing to do this, then don’t bother going any further in discussions.
Without Item #1 being chiseled in stone, the Amateur Radio GOTA Mission is doomed.

- Your trip becomes a time consuming exercise in Travel, Portable Station Set-up and Take-Down - with a few contacts made for fun.

Item #2: Organizers need your help with properly locating the GOTA Station.

- Even with agreement to Point #1, you still need to fight the Outer Mongolia syndrome and having scouts skip coming out to the GOTA Station.

PS: Jamboree On The Air  (JOTA) 2016 is Oct. 14-16
          - The Big Day is Saturday, Oct. 15.

Link: http://www.k2bsa.net/jota/


73,

Douglas Sharafanowich – WA1SFH

Section Youth Coordinator – Connecticut
American Radio Relay League (ARRL)

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