Amateur Radio Operators to Host Annual Country Day at Josey Scout Lodge
June 22 – HUNTSVILLE – Huntsville amateur radio operators head to the historic Josey Scout Lodge with their radios and antennas for their annual Field Day Saturday, an event sponsored by the American Radio Relay League, the national organization of amateur radio operators.
Amateur radio operators, or “amateurs”, are people who use the equipment of an amateur radio station as a means of communication with other radio amateurs on the radio frequencies allocated to the amateur radio service.
This weekend, members of the Walker County Amateur Radio Group will set up their antennas on the grounds of Josey Lodge to share their hobby and educate the community on the vital role they play in its safety.
“It’s a very important hobby, it’s not just a fun hobby that some people do to talk to each other. Amateur radio is all about talking and communicating in an emergency,” said Dave Godfrey , president of the Walker County Amateur Radio Group.
With its 30 members, WCARG serves as storm watchers for the region, and many of its members are active in the Walker County Amateur Radio Emergency Services to ensure communications between themselves and first responders, as well as with neighboring communities. In the event of natural disasters like last year’s tornado EF-3 that swept through Onalaska, as well as hurricanes and earthquakes, which can disrupt telephone and cellular services, their services are essential in providing support. helping people in need.
The group operates two repeaters in New Waverly that allow them to communicate over high-frequency bands that can reach nearby areas, such as Conroe and Crockett, like “walkie talkies on steroids,” according to Godfrey. However, this weekend’s Field Day event will allow curious visitors to connect with other enthusiasts from across the country and across Mexico, through voice and digital demonstrations.
Annually held at Kate Barr Ross Park, Field Day will move this year to the Josey Scout Lodge, where it will likely continue to be held in the future, due to the group’s strong commitment to Boy Scouts and the focus on involvement. of the younger generations in ham. radio.
“A lot of people you talk to have never heard of ham radio and have no idea what it is. Some will say, ‘It’s a dying hobby, no one hear more. “There are over 3 million amateur radio operators in the world and over 800,000 in the United States alone, so I would by no means call this a dying hobby,” Godfrey said. “Bringing new blood to the younger generation, it just helps the hobby grow. “
Godfrey adds that amateur radio is for everyone, regardless of age, and although the testing takes a bit of study, their youngest licensed amateur operator is only six years old.
“It’s a great way to get your young kids involved in something you can do with them,” Godfrey said.
WCARG Field Day will take place from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Saturday at the Robert A. Josey Scout Lodge in Huntsville, located at 1211 22nd Street. The event is free and open to the public and will include the opportunity to take a Amateur Radio License Exam test for those who are ready, starting at 9:30 am.