Wednesday, December 28, 2011

This WILL Hook 'Em!

A lot of us who are passionate about the hobby of amateur radio have been wracking our brains, trying to figure out to attract today's younger folks into the hobby.  Our local organization, the Amateur Radio Advancement Group, has this as a major reason for our existence and have some exciting things working in this regard.  But we continue to hear from the naysayers that claim that with Facebook, smart phones, video games, and YouTube, there is no reason for kids to even consider such an archaic hobby as amateur radio.

"Phooey!"  I say.  Granted, it's a different day and time and there are many distractions I did not have way back in '61 when the radio bug bit me so hard.  Heck, we were on a five-family telephone party line and only had three TV channels to watch.  But I am convinced that despite this, there are many, many technically inclined youth out there who would love what today's ham radio has to offer.  And once they find it, they will enjoy it just as much as the rest of us have...and still do.  It can even lead to a career for many of them.  A technical career, and Lord knows, we need as many young Americans following that path as we can get.

And I believe the American Radio Relay League (ARRL), the national membership organization for ham radio, has finally hit all the right buttons.  Along with some very talented amateur radio ops, the League has just released an 8-minute video that strikes all the right cords.  There is a very vigorous "do it yourself" movement sweeping the country these days, made up of people who enjoy creating things and then using learn, to have fun, to achieve a sense of fulfillment.

Ham radio fits perfectly into that movement on so many levels that it is dizzying.  Watch the video and see if you agree with me.  If you can, show it to a teenager, somebody in his or her 20s, someone who enjoys making things with their hands, regardless the age.  Then watch the light come on!

(Congrats to the ARRL, the producers, and anyone associated with this video!  Very well done, guys.  You can see the video at the link above or by clicking HERE.)

Don Keith N4KC


John Krupsky said...

Thanks! The video shows some nice examples of DIY activities that can appeal to folks who want to actually build something to accomplish wireless communication. A related event in the southeast is the upcoming TechFest near Atlanta --

Don Keith N4KC said...

Kind of ironic that we are finding interest in the D.I.Y. movement just at a time when many said "homebrewing" was no longer an important facet of ham radio. Thanks for the comments and link, John.

Don N4KC