Saturday, July 20, was simultaneously a tremendously busy day and a light day in the demonstration station. The International Space Station contact hoopla started around 10 AM as the selected Scouts arrived. Plus, we had a high-altitude balloon launch from the station around 10:15 AM. The show for the ISS contact started just after 11 AM with the contact happening at 11:34 AM. It was a great contact with Luca Parmitano of the Italian Air Force and the European Space Agency with just a few moments of signal loss. All 10 Scouts got in a question and a few were able to ask a second question. At the after event press conference with Jamboree Hometown News it was delightful to hear the Scouts tell about their experience. A highlight was Keenan who earned the Radio Merit Badge, passed the Technician license exam, and made his first semi-official contact as a license amateur radio operator with the ISS! Overall, the demonstration station supported roughly 65 Scouts and several hundred visitors for the ISS contact. We are planning to post the audio recording, video, and photos, at some point.
ARDF-Foxhunting had just 10 Scouts come through but several leaders and staff members came by to investigate the activity for use in their troops. Lots of interest from the orienteering community.
The Radio Merit Badge workshops continued at their capacity with 45 Scouts earning the badge. We went to an every half-hour schedule in order to run sufficient workshops prior to the start of the Jamboree Big Show in the nearby Summit Stadium. Scouts started filling the stadium at 1 pm and the show started at 4 PM – this was early due to an expected thunderstorm in the evening.
Given the other activities underway, we were pretty busy. We also handed out quite a few contacts to stations looking for a K2BSA QSL.
Thanks to everyone that got on the air to help us out with Scout demonstrations.