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Europe’s Youngsters on the Air Enthusiasm Breeds Contesting Exuberance in US


Some of the enthusiasm engendered by Youngsters on the Air (YOTA) in International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) Region 1 (Europe and Africa) has spilled over into IARU Region 2 (the Americas). A group of a half-dozen young radio operators calling itself “Team Exuberance” will visit the contest superstation of Tim Duffy, K3LR, in late March for the CQ World Wide WPX SSB event. The team was inspired in part by YOTA’s Youth Contesting Program (YCP) in Europe, which arranges for youthful IARU Region 1 members to participate in contests from Top Gun stations. Last year’s YCP station hosts included ES5TV, 9A1A, EC2DX, 4O3A, and DM9EE, with more YCP events planned for 2019.

YOTA this week announced the Nordics On The Air (NOTA) ham radio youth camp April 19 – 22 in Finland, as a “sub-regional” youth event. IARU Region 1 Youth Working Group Chair Lisa Leenders, PA2LS, issued an invitation to young hams in Nordic countries “to take part in a fun weekend full of radio-related activities, meeting new friends, and having a great time!”

YOTA also sponsors an annual summer camp gathering of some 80 young radio amateurs — this year in Bulgaria — and the monthly YOTA Youth Sked. A handful of young US radio amateurs have attended recent YOTA summer camps. A similar initiative is the annual Dave Kalter Youth DX Adventure (YDXA), which offers a group of young contesters the opportunity to operate from a DX location.

The Young Amateurs Radio Club (YARC) in IARU Region 2 picked up the ball in 2017. Membership is free, and applicants do not have to be licensed. ARRL’s Collegiate Amateur Radio Initiative (CARI) also has been generating contesting and operating enthusiasm at campus ham radio clubs.

YARC, which sponsored summer and winter QSO parties in 2018, has offered to coordinate and facilitate station visits between US and Canadian hosts, recruiting operators within easy travel distances of a host station. Station hosts in Central America, the Caribbean, and South America are invited to recruit teams of young operators for contests.

Visit the YARC website to offer your station, or email with station particulars. YARC will try to connect you to young operators in your area, with the rest up to the host and participants. Young radio amateurs may connect with other YARC members via the Young Hams Discord group and via online and HF nets. — Thanks to The ARRL Contest Update via Ward Silver, N0AX; YOTA





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