Fresh Air, Friends, Food and Fun Abound for 2009 ARRL Field Day
It's an event that some groups take very seriously, planning all year long for. Still, others just use the date to get together, make a few contacts and enjoy each other's company. No matter how you view it, ARRL Field Day is fun!
According to ARRL Field Day Manager Dan Henderson, N1ND, the Field Day Site Locator was a big hit this year. "We had 1602 groups listed -- 98 more sites than were listed in 2008," he said. "We had all 50 states, Puerto Rico and nine Canadian provinces registered on the Locator this year."
Henderson said he was aware of at least one Field Day contact with the International Space Station, as well as several site visits by Members of Congress and local officials to various Field Day sites around the country.
ARRL Media and Public Relations Manager Allen Pitts, W1AGP, agreed that it was a great Field Day. "Despite some propagation issues in the atmosphere," he said, "the PR propagation in the media has been more than I have seen before in prior Field Days." Pitts said that the emphasis on Field Day promotions began long before June -- the ARRL released media kits, fill-in-the-blank proclamations, news releases and tip sheets. Along with the introduction of the PR-101 course, Field Day was also the presentation theme at the 2009 ARRL National Convention at the Dayton Hamvention.
"The preparation appears to have paid off well," Pitts said. "Hundreds of hits have been relayed in by Google's news monitoring, plus more from PR Newswire and spotting by ARRL Public Information Officers around the country. Both of the video Field Day PSAs have seen good play on TV and cable. Field Day even got some play in New York City's Times Square!"
Pitts said that many city and county officials -- as well as 28 states -- issued Field Day proclamations praising Amateur Radio: "Proclamations from the governors of Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Washington and Wyoming, as well as Delaware's State Senate, are not just recognitions of the past, but keys for future political actions such as PRB-1 and legislative issues." These state proclamations range from Ohio declaring June 27 as Amateur Radio Day, to Florida, Delaware, Illinois, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania pronouncing June as Amateur Radio Month in those states, while other states have designated Amateur Radio Week in their states.
Individuals and groups who participated in Field Day are invited to submit their pictures and stories to the Field Day Online Soapbox. "Just a few days after Field Day, we've had almost 70 entries on the Soapbox," Henderson said. "It really is a thrill to read these stories and see all the pictures showing what a good time people had this year."
Henderson encouraged Field Day participants to submit their entries via the Field Day Web Submission Applet. "You can also submit your entries via e-mail or by postal mail," he said. If submitting via postal mail, entries should be sent to Field Day Entries, ARRL, 225 Main St, Newington, CT 06111. Entries must be postmarked, e-mailed or submitted by July 28, 2009. Late entries cannot be accepted.
It's not too early to begin preparing for next year's Field Day -- go ahead and mark your calendars now for June 26-27, 2010.