On October 15 of 2022, the Chelsea Amateur Radio Club (CARC) gave a presentation to the Dexter Cub Scout Pack 477. The event started with a brief explanation by CARC President James Grissom (WD8RFW) of the fundamental concepts of amateur radio and how it serves the community.
As part of Jim’s presentation, he explained how amateurs use phonetics to facilitate precise communication. He recited the alphabet for each NATO-recognized phonetic and then gave a test to see who was paying attention. We were amazed and awe-stricken when one of the girl scouts answered the test question correctly. For her reward, we placed her at the head of the line of scouts for 3rd-party QSO under our direction (see below).
Wesley Cardone (N8QM) then explained to the cub scouts what our radio setup was, which the club had set up for demonstration.
We then accepted questions from the scouts. The scouts did not disappoint and asked some very penetrating questions from astute minds. One particularly memorable question was how radio waves could be bounced off the moon. Wes dropped his jaw at this question, as he was not expecting such depth from the scouts. Another question was particularly insightful and timed quite nicely. The question was how a repeater works. This question came just as Wes was about to launch into a brief presentation on the repeater concept.
The entire Chelsea Amateur Radio Club then helped out when we began conducting 3rd-party QSOs, offering the scouts opportunities to talk with regional amateurs via the amateur radio station we set up working through the Chelsea Repeater. Club members within Washtenaw and Jackson counties were at their stations to talk to the scouts. This is possible because the Chelsea Repeater coverage is nearly to the eastern edge of Washtenaw County and halfway into Jackson County. The scoutmaster lined up the kids for an ordered process. However, the girl scout who correctly answered Jim’s phonetic question was moved to the head of the line.
At the conclusion, the scoutmaster informed us that he was surprised at the attention that we were able to capture of these very astute young people.