What is the “First Step” in insuring the future of Amateur Radio? That is simple, it is getting youth involved!
Education about Amateur Radio is task #1 for attracting youth. From simply making amateur radio known to the youth, to maing sure training & informational materials are out in the community, to running classes – whether HamCram or long-format, to simply Elmering the interested, Education is #1 for Encouraging Young Amateurs.
Amateur Radio License Testing is a common fear, and common excuse amoung interested youth. If you hearken back to when you learned to drive, for many of us our driving instructor took us out on “Mock Road Tests” so we could perfect our technique. Mock Licensing Tests abound on the web, with a favorites being the tests at QRZ.com and tests at eHam.net .
The Reward of being Licensed – use the Carrot!!
Of course becoming licensed is a reward in itself, but certainly we can add to the experience!
Our local club Mancorad W9DK gives each newly licensed amateur a year membership as a gift from the club. Other than students who move away for college, where they hopefully join their college club – specially as we tip off their college club to search them out – all the new gift membership members have renewed & stayed active in the club.
On a personal level I dangle a new Handitalkie for each of our children who gets their Technician License (I’ve had to ante-up twice for with new HT’s) and a new Entry Level High Frequency Rig if they go on to General or better (still hoping to have to make good on this!). I would have found them radios when the licensed, but somehow adding the “Carrot” made it a real motivator and a lot more fun!
The next steps for each of us it to see how we can become a “dangler of carrots” in encouraging youth to take up amateur radio. We each have various resources to draw from, with time, talent and money each playing a role.
Put to good use a carrot dangled can bring up the interest level, provide encouragement, get the young amateur involved and on the air!
Have at it team! Carrots Up & Dangling!