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Boy Scouts of America and ARRL Team Up to Help Scouts Learn Communications Skills


After working together for nearly a century to provide Scouts with the ability to learn radio communication skills, Boy Scouts of America and the ARRL have officially teamed up by signing a memorandum of understanding. This MOU designates the ARRL as a key resource for K2BSA and Radio Merit Badge training at the BSA National Scout Jamboree and establishes the ARRL as the go-to source for Scouts interested in learning about and becoming involved in radio communication.

BSA Chief Scout Executive Bob Mazzuca and ARRL President Kay Craigie, N3KN, launched the partnership January 31 by holding a unique wireless communications meeting. Mazzuca joined Craigie virtually during an Internet video conference and document-signing ceremony. From separate locations, the pair took the opportunity to talk about the importance of each organization to the ongoing development of the other.

“Throughout the years, going all the way back to the Wireless Merit Badge in 1918, the ARRL has worked hand-in-hand with Boy Scouts of America to help teach Scouts the skills and joys of radio communication,” said Chief Scout Executive Bob Mazzuca. “Today, we are making official a relationship that has been beneficial for both of our organizations for nearly a century.”  

BSA, by virtue of its active membership and its outdoor program, represents a significant source of potential new radio operators looking to utilize Amateur Radio for emergency communications while in the field as well as for education, experimentation, and friendship. As part of this strategic alliance, BSA will encourage Scouts and Scouters to become familiar with opportunities for public and community service, learning and personal growth through involvement in Amateur Radio.

“We’re excited by the opportunity to make official a relationship that has existed informally for many years,” said Craigie. “Scouts and Scouters have been some of the strongest proponents and practitioners of radio communication, and we know they will continue to help foster a love and understanding for the essential nature of radio communication for generations to come.” Craigie also noted the numbers of people whose early interests in Amateur Radio led them to electronics and engineering careers in areas that were never foreseen when they were young.

The BSA established the strategic alliance with ARRL because the mission of the ARRL is complementary to the mission and goals of the BSA. Specifically, the ARRL is organized for the establishment of networks to provide communications in the event of disasters or other emergencies, the advancement of the radio art and of the public welfare, the fostering of education, the promotion and conduct of research and development, and the dissemination of technical, educational and scientific information relating to electronic communication, the representation of radio amateurs in regulatory matters, and the promotion of fraternalism and high standards of conduct among radio amateurs.

In addition to its National Scout Jamboree involvement, ARRL will continue to promote participation in the annual Jamboree on the Air (JOTA) event. ARRL will serve as contributing editor to the Radio Merit Badge publication, will assist with the review, creation and modification of requirements as necessary, and will assist in developing course material, lesson plans, and other resources for teaching the Radio Merit Badge to Scouts. ARRL also will contribute to the content of the Electricity, Electronics, and Emergency Preparedness and Communications merit badge publications.



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