Archive for Radio Scouting

K2BSA Callsign Requests Issue

I just wanted to pass this note along to those that have been requesting callsigns.  The system has not been emailing the trustee, so the requests were not getting processed.  We will be going through the requests in the order in which they were entered into the system.  If your request was not answered, we sincerely apologize for not getting back to you.  We will continue to investigate the issue with the form submission.

K2BSA Camp Station Committee

K2BSA is happy to announce the creation of the K2BSA Camp station committee. The purpose of the committee is to create a resource for the establishment of Camp based amateur radio stations.   The committee has created its mission statement and has defined what a camp station is as well as started developing the suggested steps in successfully building a camp station.  The goal of the committee is to grow the number of permanent camp based amateur radio stations as well as to make them a useful tool in promoting amateur radio to the scouts and help full fill their scouting requirement.  We also hope that this will help generate future licensed amateur radio operators.  For more information, please use our contact form.

Radio Merit Badge Numbers 2020

You can find the full 2020 listing of merit badge numbers at Bryan on Scouting – 2020 merit badge rankings: A list rewritten by the pandemic.

Radio Merit Badge came in ranked at 90 with 3,550 earned. That’s down by 36% from 2019 at 5,519. You can find a chart below with the numbers displayed for each year beginning in 1990. You can find the full history at Radio Merit Badge History.

While it’s disappointing to see the drop in numbers for 2020, it’s actually quite amazing considering the pandemic lockdowns.

Congratulations to all those who continued to bring the Radio Merit Badge to so many Scouts.

COVID-19 Guidance for Radio Scouting Activities

We’ve pulled together the following information on dealing with COVID-19 that may prove useful to your Radio Scouting activities.

Please note that each state, municipality, and Scout council have their own guidance for addressing COVID-19 issues surrounding Scouting activities. You’ll need to take those into account when considering any Radio Scouting activities.

As starting points, we recommend the following online resources:

Work closely with your local Scout council and health authorities as guidelines are open to change as local conditions change.

We’ve also pulled together these comments about Jamboree on the Air and the Radio Merit Badge from Bill Stearns, NE4RD, Scouts BSA JOTA Team Lead and President of K2BSA ARA, as well as Gary Wilson, K2GW, the Scouts BSA Radio Merit Badge Subject Matter Expert.

Here’s what they have to say specifically about the QSO requirement for the Radio Merit Badge:

Bill, NE4RD — 
As was discussed during the Ham Expo, connecting your rig to a zoom/google meet/skype call is completely possible.  If an operator can figure out how to run WSJT-X, shouldn’t take much more effort to get voice to pass through to the rig.
Gary, K2GW — 
Bill’s right, but it gets even easier.  The contact requirement can be done with a simulated  QSO, even to the point of squeezing the PTT switch on an imaginary HT in the Scouts hand.
“Using proper call signs, Q signals, and abbreviations, carry on a 10-minute real or simulated amateur radio contact using voice, Morse code, or digital mode.”
I recently counseled two Scouts remotely where they simulated a QSO with me over FaceTime, then watched me via FaceTime make a real contact and took a tour of my shack remotely for their station visit.

Our sense is that you could easily complete the entire Radio Merit Badge through online options.

Please feel free to add your own thoughts and comments to this post. We’re sure there are many creative options available to continue with Radio Scouting activities during our stay-at-home time as well as engaging in Jamboree on the Air, October 16, 17, 18.
Google+