World Jamboree License Testing — The Behind the Scenes Story


Story submitted by Bill Clark, N3DOU

What Happens at the Jamboree Doesn’t Stay at the Jamboree!

FCC License Testing Makes a Difference Around the World.

What started as a quest to get one of our World Scout Jamboree IT/COMMUNICATIONS team members, who happens to work for the Boy Scouts of America, his Amateur Radio License turned into an adventure at the 2019 World Scout Jamboree in Glen Jean, West Virginia.

Earlier, at the 2017 National Jamboree a group of hams on the IT/COMMUNICATIONS team encouraged Scott Wyatt to get his ticket.

Then at the 2019 World Scout Jamboree, we started to ask around if there were any Volunteer Examiners on site at the Summit Bechtel Reserve. Bruce McPherson, AB3AC, and I, Bill Clark, N3DOU, were Laurel Volunteer Examiners (VE) and we did find others who were affiliated with Laurel as well as the ARRL VEC. Matt Hackman, K1FUP, was kind enough to start pulling together an ARRL VE Team.

Many thanks to Keith (N8WSN), Mark (KR8N), Ed (WV8ED), and all the local W5YI group who made this exam session possible.

As we worked toward getting a VE session going we realized that with all of our staff duties it was becoming difficult putting all of the pieces together. At that point I realized there might very well be a local VE group willing to provide a testing session. I contacted Chris Hatcher, KC8AFH, the local on-site AT&T Wireless Technician to ask around. And wouldn’t you know the local W5YI team was willing to do a testing session for the group. Not only that but the testing session that had started as 1 had now grown to 9.

In our IT/Communications group we had another member, Patrick (BOOMER) Corley who we also had been after to get his ticket. He said I’ll give it a try. Then we had two other team members Andrew Pobrica, KN4GNC, and Max Krochman, KK6ILQ, who were Technicians that wanted to upgrade to General.

Elinor just found out she got her ticket!
She was part of the NA1WJ staff from the UK and has NO BACKGROUND in RADIO.
She studied on her own along with help I am sure from the rest of NA1WJ staff!
And to top this accomplishment!
Elinor’s boyfriend flew from the UK to the USA to propose to her and she accepted!

So, as we were trying to put the testing session together we were at the NA1WJ tent asking around who were VE’S and such. As you can imagine, the word was getting out among the staff. Little did we know that it is customary at a World Scout Jamboree to have a social get together of all Amateurs in camp! This was a first at the Summit as far as I know and a tradition that I hope continues in 2022 at the National Jamboree! It was a well attended event and now we had a number of Licensed Amateurs from other countries who wanted to get their US ticket along with 2 unlicensed staff members of NA1WJ. Note that over 300 hams signed the logbook at the NA1WJ station during the Jamboree.

On Wednesday night, July 31, 2019 at 7 PM we were able to hold a W5YI testing session at the Piggot bunk house IT/Comms office.

It is with pleasure that we can report everyone who tested passed at least technician.

  • KN4WYL: REMKO WELLING, PE1MEW, Netherlands — Technician & General
  • KI5GHJ: SCOTT WYATT — Technician
  • KN4WYM: PATRICK CORLEY — Technician
  • KN4WYN: TOBIAS WOLFGANG SENTI, Liechtenstein — Technician
  • WA7GIG: HANNU RATTO, OH7GIG, Finland — Technician
  • KN4WYP: ELINOR SPARROW, England  — Technician
  • AC5G: ROBERT ELSINGA, PC5E, Netherlands — Tech to Extra in one session
  • KN4GCN: ANDREW POBRICA — Upgraded to General
  • KK6ILQ: MAX KROCHMAN — Upgraded to General
The proud participants and examiners
Bill Clark N3DOU presenting WSJ 2019 memorabilia to the VE team in appreciation for their efforts on very short notice!