The Sisterhood of Amateur Radio (SOAR), in conjunction with the Girl Scout Council (GS) of Southern Nevada hosted a “Radio and Wireless Tech Field Day” on February 3, 2018 in Las Vegas, NV. When Todd Wilson, WH6DWF, learned about the event just days before it was scheduled, he wanted to ensure the girls that participated would hear voices from around the world. Therefore, Wilson volunteered to host a multi-linked conference to achieve that goal. Over 60 girls and their adult chaperones participated in the event held at the GS Council Facility during a 5-hour period.
Highlights of the event were spelling out their name in Morse Code and hearing it via a code practice oscillator, learning about antenna directivity and participating in a T-Hunt, and actually talking on the radio third party via HF, UHF/VHF and through “modern” means such as EchoLink.
Wilson coordinated the *ISLANDS* Conference Server, IRLP 9256, the StarLink System Hub 357087, and DODROPIN 355800 to serve as a demonstration of ECHOLINK, IRLP and AllStar for check-ins in order to display amateur radio using a tablet or a smart phone in addition to traditional radio equipment. Wilson took “net control” and was able to coordinate the links for an orderly demonstration of the system. Through his efforts, operators from Saudi Araba, United Kingdom, Maritime and 18-wheel Mobile as well as many states, (e.g., HI, NY, FL, OR, and WA) had short QSO’s with the girls.
The Nevada Section Manager, John Bigley, N7UR, personally thanked Wilson for his yeoman’s effort stating, “The Nevada Section sincerely appreciates the contribution you made to demonstrate to these young girls what amateur radio can do to connect people around the world.” Bigley went on to thank all the participants who took time out of their day to speak to the girls and expressed his sincere appreciation of the ARRL Pacific Division’s assistance, through Todd Wilson, “demonstrating that the amateur radio community is supportive of each other to ensure success and longevity of the hobby.”
The American Radio Relay League (ARRL) has developed a special Radio and Wireless Technology Patch Program for Girl Scouts. The Radio and Wireless Technology Patch Program will inspire girls to learn fundamentals of radio communication and wireless technology and to take action in their communities to apply communications to connect people, provide safety, and explore related careers. Girl Scouts had the opportunity to learn about Amateur Radio and do hands-on activities with Amateur Radio. They also learned about emergency and public service communications, and explored ways wireless technologies are used in everyday life and in the workplace.
The SOAR women were excited to share what it means to be an amateur radio operator and to show the girls that they can communicate around the world using amateur radio as part of the Girl Scout’s program to kindle an interest in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) subjects and careers. “As a girl-led and girl-focused organization, Girl Scouts of Southern Nevada understands the importance of providing science and engineering educational programming to girls of all ages, said Linda Bridges, Chief of Communications for Girl Scouts of Southern Nevada. “By partnering with SOAR, we look forward to inspiring all Girl Scouts to pursue a lifelong love of communication and global goodwill.”
There is no doubt that the goals were achieved for both the women of SOAR and the Girl Scouts of Southern Nevada, in part thanks to Wilson’s involvement in enabling a “live” demonstration of amateur radio around the world.
Story by Cathy Etheredge, N7HVN.
Sisterhood of Amateur Radio, SOAR, provides an avenue for women radio enthusiasts to further enjoy their hobby of amateur radio while integrating a uniquely female prospective. Please visit the SOAR website for more information.