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Kids Day in the Age of COVID-19

06/18/2020

Under normal circumstances, Kids Day on Saturday, June 20, would offer an opportunity for individual radio amateurs or clubs to introduce the next generation to amateur radio. This year, however, Kids Day is likely to look a bit different, due to precautions — both advised and in place — during the COVID-19 pandemic. ARRL recommends that mentors and young operators adhere to prescribed COVID-19 guidelines in these difficult times.

“We encourage you to take the advice of your local and regional health officials as to whether it’s wise to gather in groups and what precautions are necessary,” ARRL Contest Program Manager Paul Bourque, N1SFE, allowed. “If inviting individual youngsters or groups into your shack is not advisable, look instead into other ways of mentoring youngsters.”

One possibility, Bourque said, is mentoring over social media or via Zoom or using other non-contact means. “This year might not be the time to invite youngsters into your shack, but that does not mean that you still cannot encourage the next generation of amateur radio operators,” he said. Of course, if you have kids at home you’ve been trying to interest in ham radio, Kids Day offers the perfect framework, and COVID-19 precautions would not be necessary.

Kids Day gets under way on Saturday, June 20 at 1800 UTC and concludes at 2359 UTC. Sponsored by the Boring (Oregon) Amateur Radio Club, the event has a simple exchange, suitable for younger operators: first name, age, location, and favorite color. After that, the contact can be as long or as short as each participant prefers.

Look for activity on these frequencies: 10 meters: 28.350 – 28.400 MHz; 12 meters: 24.960 – 24.980 MHz; 15 meters: 21.360 – 21.400 MHz; 17 meters: 18.140 – 18.145 MHz; 20 meters: 14.270 – 14.300 MHz; 40 meters: 7.270 – 7.290 MHz, and 80 meters: 3.740 – 3.940 MHz. Repeater contacts are okay with permission of the repeater owner.

As with any on-the-air activity that includes unlicensed individuals, control operators must observe third-party traffic restrictions when making DX contacts. Additional details are on the ARRL website.



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