Radio Camp Wa-kon-da

Saturday (9/23) SWIARC regulars took time to chat with kids calling from Camp Wakonda as part of a Radio Scouting event.  Dudley, KDØNMD offers his thanks to those operators as well as the SWIARC club for the use of the repeater.  HF contacts were also made including a 15-year old girl with Voice of America.

Radio Scouting Event Report

Operating under the call sign KNØBSA from Camp Wakonda Dudley, Terry, Derek, and Stanley assisted young scouts getting on the air.  Three stations were used, an HF station on the 20-meter band, a 2-meter station on a directional beam, and a DMR HT.

Terry had a CW code oscillator and was able to attract considerable interest in CW from some of the kids.  Ten year old Stanley was sending basic messages to Terry and copying letters.  One scout was able to use the straight key and work the alphabet, A-Z.

Rich Swig WAØZQG, net control for the SWIARC Saturday Noon Swap-Net allowed scouts to talk to net participants.  After the Swap-Net some local hams hung around and talked to scouts on and off throughout the afternoon.  Special thanks goes out to the following hams:

  • WAØZQG – Rich
  • KBØUWR – Art
  • KEØGKF – Jeff
  • KCØFAN – Mike
  • KDØFJR – Bill
  • WAØJYD – Norm
  • KEØLOL – Albert
  • K4DIN – Dean
  • KDØVUB – Dave
  • KDØHZF – Mike

Thank you so much for spending some time making radio contacts with BSA at Camp Wakonda.

Using an HF radio, operating on battery power, and using a hamstick vertical antenna scouts were able to make contacts on the 20-meter amateur radio band.  Among those contacts and perhaps the most interesting was with a 15-year-old female operating from the Voice of America Bethany Relay Station in Ohio.

Kris said she has been a licensed ham since the age of 12 and JOTA (Jamboree on the Air) helped to inspire her into getting her amateur radio license.  She was one of the station operators using the callsign WC8VOA (VOA = Voice of America).  She was operating from Bethany Ohio on 14293kHz.

More Info: Voice of America Bethany Relay Station – Voice of America celebrates its 75th anniversary – Special Event Station.

Scouts also made contact on HF with a special event station on the USS Wisconsin.  Dudley commented as follows,

I suspect we had 50 or 60 scouts get o on the air. [..] we had a number of HF contacts. I mailed off the QSL information to the USS Wisconsin so that the boys will get QSL cards.

On DMR / MotoTRBO George B KBØZZT took time out of his afternoon to talk to some scouts on the North America Talk Group.  Another BSA camp was able to communicate with our local scouts via DMR on the same Talk Group.

Dudley commented that the day was a great success.  Many local scouts made their way to Dudley’s radio operations and took a great deal of interest.  Beyond radio, conversations included solar power, electronics, and astronomy.

Voice of America Bethany Relay Station
Voice of America Bethany Relay Station


Story by: Derek Winterstien WØDBW

Boy Scouts of America STEM Program

What is STEM?

STEM—Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics

STEM is part of an initiative the Boy Scouts of America has taken on to encourage the natural curiosity of youth members and their sense of wonder about these fields through existing programs. The focus of Dudley is in the field of Radio and Electronics. Scouts are encouraged to participate in making radio contacts and learning about the electronic operation of radio equipment. Radio Scouting is only a small part of the STEM program, however, it is one of the earliest programs in the Boy Scouts. Today’s radio scouts are tomorrow’s amateur radio operators.

Fostering a strong STEM education is our best opportunity to boost the spirit of innovation. STEM literacy is also critical because it has a profound and growing impact on our day-to-day lives. Nature, space exploration, and any STEM-related interest reveals to us the beauty and power of the world we inhabit.

Dudley had a 20-Meter HF station and found operators in Texas, Alabama, and Canada among other locations to answer and talk.
Dudley had a 20-Meter HF station and found operators in Texas, Alabama, and Canada among other locations to answer and talk.

Posted by: Derek Winterstien W0DBW for release Saturday, Sept. 23 2017