Field Day and Scouts
Here's info about using the Boy Scout merit Badge program to attract kids to visit Field Day.
We proved this by offering a one day Radio Merit Badge class which attracted 63 Scouts, 11 of whom went on to take a Tech course and six of whom got licensed. The six would not have even started in Amateur Radio without the Merit Badge offering first. The details to run the Merit Badge day, as well as PowerPoint slides to teach it can be found in the files section of ScoutRadio on Yahoo Groups.
A Boy Scout is motivated by earning Merit Badges which he needs for the higher Scout ranks of Star, Life and Eagle. To earn Eagle, the requirements include earning 21 merit badges, 11 of which are from a mandatory list with a few alternatives, and ten of which can come from the full list of over hundred merit badges. The requirements for each merit badge are listed at www.meritbadge.com. Merit badges are approved by a merit badge counselor for that badge, who is an adult knowledgeable in the subject and registered with their Boy Scout council. Every adult ham should be so registered!
Publicizing approriate events to a large Scout audience is easy as most councils have e-mail distribution lists of their leaders. A ham should make sure they know the procedure for such postings and publicize events through them.
The other thing I did was emphasize the Emergency Drill aspect of Field Day. While many in the ham community know it as fun, a contest, or picnic, our external publicity should always refer to it as the National Emergency Communications Exercise “Field Day 2005”. This also allows me to consider it a “drill” for the Emergency Preparedness Merit Badge, which is a required merit badge for Eagle. Even if a Scout isn’t interested in RadioMB initially, he is definitely interested in getting an Eagle required badge. Since participating in a drill is required for this required badge, an audience is assured.
Gary Wilson, K2GW