Scouts Love Ham Radio

30 Jul

The 2019 Pacific Jamboree at Camp Barnard in Sooke has now come and gone, and from all accounts it was a roaring success. Some 3000 Scouts (including youth aged 11 – 14 years old, Scout leaders and 500 volunteers all who came from many countries around the world), attended the Jamboree from July 6 to 13th and participated in a variety of activities from fencing, paddle boarding, geo-caching, mountain biking, overnight hiking on the Juan de Fuca Trail, an obstacle course, canoeing and of course our Ham Radio Station.

With some 500 youth and adults visiting the Ham Radio Station, 300 of them completed all of the 12 tasks (which included items like learning how they could earn their Ham Radio licence, talking on a Ham Radio, learning Morse Code and memorizing the Phonetic Alphabet etc.), which earned them a Ham Radio badge.

Although the HF radios were not receiving well (we need to re-look at our antenna systems), the 2-meter frequencies had the youth enthralled and were able to talk to several Hams in the area. I also had a wonderful team of volunteers helping me, most of whom are Ham certified and put in countless hours with the youth.

I want to also thank the involvement of other local Hams for their past and present support of our Ham Radio Station at Camp Barnard and in helping with the preparation for the Jamboree with both time and the loan of equipment. It was much appreciated. In the end, several of the youth and their leaders have now planned to add Ham Radio certification to their programming for this coming 2019 / 2020 Scouting year.

Ron Bilinsky  VA7RTB

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