Fun, Fresh Air, Friends and Food: It Must Be Time for ARRL Field Day!
The 2009 ARRL Field Day will be here before you know it, so now is the time to grab your rig, grab your friends, grab some grub and get ready to get outside June 27-28. If you haven't yet started planning for this year's Field Day, it's not too late -- Field Day packets are available for download from the ARRL Web site.
ARRL Field Day Manager Dan Henderson, N1ND, reminds clubs and groups that the deadline to order exhibit kits and ham radio recruitment handouts is drawing near. "We need to have all orders for kits and brochures no later than Wednesday, June 17. If we have your order by then, we will be able to package your order and get it to you in time for Field Day. Any orders received after June 17 will be fulfilled and may make it to recipients before Field Day," he explained. Exhibit kits can be ordered online for a small fee (which includes shipping and handling). If you are looking for just brochures, while free, there is a fee to cover shipping and handling.
If you are looking for a Field Day site to attend, or are looking to publicize your Field Day site, be sure to check out the Field Day Site Locator. For more information on this service, please check out the Locator Site Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Web page. "More than 1000 Field Day sites have been registered on the Locator, with more being added every day," Henderson said.
What Is Field Day?
ARRL Field Day is the most popular on-the-air operating event in Amateur Radio. On the fourth full weekend in June, tens of thousands of Amateur Radio operators gather for a demonstration of our service. Field Day is part educational event, part operating event, part public relations event -- and all about fun!
"We all became hams for our own reasons," Henderson said. "Some of us were interested in public service and helping others in times of need. Many discovered the hobby as an outlet to their curiosity about electronics and communications. Still others joined our ranks because of the quest to meet new people and expand their own personal bank of knowledge. Whatever the reason you became an amateur, there is one compelling thread that brought us all together. It is as simple as can be: We became hams for the fun of the hobby!"
Henderson said that while Field Day serves a wide array of interests and purposes, "there is no greater fun-damental goal for Field Day than to have fun! While it encompasses a broad range of Amateur Radio interests -- CW, Phone, Digital, emergency preparedness, public service, satellites, recruitment, antennas, new and vintage equipment and so many more -- Field Day is, above all else, a chance for us to have some fun with our hobby."
Henderson reminded hams that fun is where you find it in this hobby: "Some will discover the fun by operating overnight building up their club's total number of QSOs. Others will never make a single Field Day contact, but will derive their fun by helping set up antennas and generators. The joy of sharing your radio knowledge with a newcomer will be fun for many old-timers, while other old-timers will experience the 'Field Day high' when they make their very first QSO using a new digital mode or via one of the Amateur Radio satellites. The camaraderie of the annual club Field Day picnic or covered dish supper will be a fun highlight for many, while still others will find the joy in the hobby by simply being able to spend a couple of hours from home on an otherwise busy weekend, tuning the bands and making a few contacts."
Dress the Part
If you want to be one of the best-dressed hams at your Field Day event, be sure to pick up the 2009 ARRL Field Day T shirt, hat and pin. Featuring a woodsy, outdoor scene, these items are a great way to recognize your involvement in the excitement and fun of this annual operating event. ARRL is also offering Get On The Air (GOTA) pins. It's a great idea to have your GOTA station operators wear these attractive pins. Pins from previous Field Days are also available -- make your collection complete with this year's pin. According to ARRL Sales and Marketing Manager Bob Inderbitzen, NQ1R, a new shipment of 2009 Field Day T shirts has just arrived, so be sure to order yours today.