DVRA members participate in Girl Scout Daisies “Thinking Day On The Air” event

On the afternoon of February 16, DVRA members Tobi AD2CD, Bob K3EDP and Bob KB3BB participated in a Girl Scout Daisies “Thinking Day on the Air” event at the Cranbury Public Library. The event drew eight Daisies, ages six and seven, several parents and leader Delpha Georges, who initiated, led and organized the event.

Bob KB3BB started things off by describing how difficult it was for people to communicate at a distance over many thousands of years, until the invention of the Telegraph in the 1800s. He explained how Morse Code could be sent over long distances using wires, which led ultimately to the telephone. Then people discovered something called radio, which is in the same family as light but travels in much longer waves that our eyes cannot see. He explained how the first radio communication was also by Morse Code, but then people figured out a way to send and receive voice and even music using radio.

Next, Bob introduced Amateur “Ham” Radio – a hobby started more than 100 years ago. He also mentioned how it becomes very important during emergencies. Most of all, it’s just plain fun for thousands of people around the globe. Then Bob K3EDP talked about some of the exciting places he’s reached around the world using Ham radio and told of the hundreds of countries he’s contacted. He brought a laminated album including some of his favorite QSL Cards. The Daisy Scouts listened very attentively, and were fascinated by the colorful and exotic cards from faraway places! Afterwards, everyone went outside, where Tobi AD2CD had set up a POTA-style station using an antenna attached to her car.

Here’s the payoff; Tobi had prearranged for a contact with the amazing Rose family of Michigan – seven Ham operators in one family, four of whom participated that day; a 13-year old, 11-year old twins, and the youngest Ham in the family who was fully licensed to operate at age nine! Just like clockwork, contact was made with this family on the 20-meter band, and the Daisies took turns speaking to the four young Hams in Michigan. They did a wonderful job, asking and answering questions over the radio. They didn’t seem nervous, and enjoyed it thoroughly! Then the group returned to the library to send letters and short messages across the room using Morse Code. What fun!

The three of us went into this event wondering if this age group might be too young to appreciate Ham Radio. Our concerns were unfounded. Their attention and interest and participation were just over-the-top wonderful. A great time was had by all!

– Bob KB3BB

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