[CQ-Contest] Important Issues

W4ZW w4zw at comcast.net
Wed Oct 26 11:54:02 EDT 2005

> My daughter's middle school has a ham radio club. Kids are more  
> interested than you'd think. Biggest problem is overcoming 
> the "nerd"  
> image of amateur radio.

I disagree.  

I routinely have a half dozen or more middle schoolers and high schoolers
here for many SSB contests.  They don't think it's "nerdy."  "Nerd" is an in
thing right now in this age of computers and high technology. In fact after
running the physics classes for a day at my kids' school and demonstrating
ham radio as the practical part of electromagnetic radiation,  I had over 50
kids sign up for license classes.  Almost all returned with news from their
parents that either they wouldn't permit outdoor antennas or their
homeowners association wouldn't permit outdoor antennas.  The HOA
restrictions on towers and outdoor antennas is the single thing squashing
the interest of  many of our young would-be hams who are entranced by the
same magic we all experienced at that age.  They want DX SSB and some kind
of outdoor antenna is a must with low power.

Now my kids are a different set!  They have seen it all their lives and
after that first burst of enthusiasm, it quickly became "ho-hum."  I still
hold out hope for them now that they are both in high school.

Jon Hamlet, W4ZW

Casey Key Island, FL
"A little piece of paradise in the Gulf of Mexico" 

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