Attention to all Scouts, Scouters and Scout Units in Crossroads of America Council!
There is a new program forming at Camp Belzer in Indianapolis! A Permanent Amateur Radio Station has come to Belzer! Named in memory of one of the great Scouters of our Council, Bert C. Johnson, the WD9BSA Memorial Scout Amateur Radio Station is about to open it’s doors and go on the air.
There are two dates to look at coming up THIS month! October 13th at 2pm at Camp Belzer, and October 20th at 9am!
October 13th is a general open house for youth to come see what we are doing and learn about the Venture Crew we are forming. We are also looking for Adults interested in helping us with the Station and it’s construction, so both youth and adults shouldn’t be surprised if we might put you to work on the 13th as this will be our first activity as well. A lot of the work is already done. If you have youth in your unit interested in amateur radio, let them know and bring them along. Can’t come on the 13th, the big day is the 20th!
On the 20th is the Jamboree on the Air (JOTA)! An International Scouting Event allowing scouts of all ages and nationalities to talk to other scouts around the state, the country, and the world! We plan on starting at 9am and operate until 9pm. If there is enough interest we may go longer, and if asked we may also continue on Sunday as well depending on how many are interested. Amateur Radio communications doesn’t start at sunup and end at sundown, sometimes it’s just getting started when the sun goes down. Not to mention, when the sky is dark here, it’s light somewhere else! This event is our Grand Opening, our kick off event! There are thousands of scouts the world over who will be on the air for this weekend, and they want to talk to our scouts, so come on down!
Who can use this station? Well, we want to see the youth communicate on the air eventually, so it’s here for the youth to operate under the supervision of licensed amateur radio operators as per FCC rules. Any scout will be able to communicate on this system as long as there are licensed operators present, a WD9BSA group member will always be present to help the scouts out. Scouts and Scouters who already hold FCC licenses for Amateur Radio are welcome to join us any time, we may put you to work with a training program or event. The more the merrier. We can be contacted through the Council headquarters or contact Randy Biggs KA7BSA for more information ( firstname.lastname@example.org
) The WD9BSA group is working very hard to make this station possible and to come up with programs for visiting units and our Venture Crew. We will be offering scouts the opportunity to become amateur radio operators in the future and help participate in many of the events surrounding this service. The Amateur Radio Service is filled with public service opportunities, SkyWarn, Community Events, Disaster Drills, Amateur Radio Contests, Fox Hunts, Simulated Emergency Tests, and Field Day are just a few things we do. While somethings are very serious in purpose, trust us, the training can be loads of fun to do. In the very near future we will be able to schedule with your units for demonstrations which will include on-air participation (scouts willing). So look for announcements in your newsletters for updates.
In the future we are looking at traveling to other council camps and putting on demonstrations and maybe merit badge classes with the help of our Crew members. For us it will be like Field Day. Ever seen a grown man fall apart because he can’t throw a string over a tree? It happens, all to put up a temporary antenna. Try working an event where you need to drive your Crew into a spot only accessible by unmarked fire roads, setting up a remote radio station and then camping out while the event goes on around you.
We’d like to see as many interested adult scouters as we can and please pass these two dates along to all your units, unit leaders and all youth. There are Radio requirements in nearly every avenue of Scouting, Tiger, Cub, Boy Scouts and Venture Scouts all have some requirement. There are also Radio and Emergency Preparedness merit badges. Once we are completely set up we will be available to schedule demonstrations of amateur radio, merit badge classes and radio requirements for all Crossroads of America Council scouts, all that is in our future plans. We have lots of plans for the future and want to include as many units as we can. It’s up to you, have a request, just ask us, we’ll see what we can do.
Yes, we are looking for adult volunteers to help out as well as interested youth to join our new crew (we don’t even have a unit number yet). Interested? Let us know, we’d love to have you!
Never been to Camp Belzer? (really? OK). The address is 6102 Boy Scout Road, Indianapolis, IN 46226. Take I-465 on the east side of Indianapolis to the 56th street exit, go east on 56th street to Boy Scout Road, turn north on Boy Scout Road and the Camp entrance is on the west side. If you get to the bridge, you’ve gone too far. On the 20th, there is a Marathon being run which will close the streets around the Camp till about 10-10:30am, but 56th Street and Boy Scout Road are supposed to open up again at 10-10:30am, the roads to the North of the Camp will remain closed for several more hours, some make your entrance from 56th Street. Amateurs can use 146.520 simplex for talk in if they need help. Once you get to Belzer, park and we are located in the lower level of the New Learning Center building on it’s west side. We are looking forward so see you there!