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A Place for Young Hams:

Ray Swan (NV2A) on July 24, 2014
View comments about this article!

So we need more youth in ham radio to save our future?

I don't hear a lot of youth on the bands these days but I think there's a reason for it. Even if they have a license there aren't many guys who will talk with 13-18 year olds other than to say "study hard in school and try to upgrade" Meaningful conversations on a youngsters level seem to be few and far between by my observation. But there may be a good fix.

We have sections of the ham bands sectioned off for every purpose under the sun but one. Why not "encourage" the use of the upper band limits of each mode for youth and those willing, and able to talk to youth. This would mean when you hear a young voice in this area that they are looking for contacts. Some of old crusty men who don't pay much mind to the youth of our country could stay away from those areas or at least know who hangs around that area. I include myself in this because I am not particularly adept at talking to young people. I wish I was but I'm not. I always feel backward around children but I know many of you aren't and I envy you the ability to hold their interest.

It just seems to me that a 15 year old talking to a 16 year old would have far more in common then when speaking to an old duffer with his FTDX5000 and ACOM 2000a amp feeding stacked arrays! Youngsters talking to youngsters are much easier and able to compare their progress in Amateur radio with each other than with us stuff shirts.

I am not suggesting any hard and fast rule nor do I think it would be productive. I'm just suggesting, if you are a youngster, head up to the upper band limits of the mode you are in and you are likely to find either other youngsters or old men who are willing to give you their time and help.

If you like the idea, talk it up and maybe it can happen and benefit all of us Amateur radio junkies. The Novice bands have a wide gamut if individuals and don't particularly fill the need I'm suggesting.

73 de nv2a

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A Place for Young Hams:  
by AF7EC on July 24, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
I think having older hams who are willing to talk to you youngsters would be a great idea, along with youngsters talking to each other.

Us older folks need to be careful. When people are at a young age, one bad contact with a grumpy ol' guss could push the young person away, and they could possibly lose interest in amateur radio.

Unfortunate, these aren't like the 'golden days', when it was interesting and fun to make your own equipment. These days it's all about instant gratification, and going down to HRO with good ol' dad or that elmer to buy the latest Yaesu, Icom, etc.

If we want to invest in amateur radio's future, it calls for investing time and patience in our youthful operators. :-)
 
A Place for Young Hams:  
by N5SOM on July 24, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
So you "old guys" never been young? Think back to what triggered your curiosity. You might be surprised how many kids are into history...for instance, the influence that ham radio had on cellphones and cell tower placement, or some of the early research in amateur satellite or television communication. Look what model rockets and hams are doing today with telemetry, robotics...... just the tip.... just the tip...why is CW growing again?

The thing that makes my blood boil about amateur radio is the same thing that turns them off....we call them LIDS they find them boring. The FCC is starting to cleanup 40 meters maybe they are doing something we should have addressed decades ago. IMHO if we start acting like grownups the youth would catch our enthusiasm. Leaders lead best when are allowed to follow. Okay kids show me what you've got.....ask me your questions, the ball is in your court!

 
A Place for Young Hams:  
by AE5QB on July 25, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
As an 8th grade science teacher and school club sponsor, I am always seeking new ways to get kids involved in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). I don't know if suggesting any particular section of the band is an answer, maybe. Once I get my students away from the myriad of other competing activities and sitting in front of the radio, it is usually not an issue to get them talking to someone. The good news is that there are so many facets of amateur radio that can be used to get students interested. If you are a grumpy old fart and don't particularly like talking to anybody but your regular buddy across the street, then you can help get more teachers and kiddos into ham radio simply by sending a small donation to the ARRL Education and Technology Fund. I have had the opportunity to attend these Teacher Institutes and they are fantastic and go a long way to engage more kiddos in our hobby. The Teacher Institutes are funded by donations only, no dues or general funds are involved. So any donation, no matter how small, will help achieve the goal of furthering the future of the hobby and getting more youth involved.
 
Segregation on the bands? Ugh.  
by AI2IA on July 25, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
There are plenty of opportunities for younger hams to get with activities on the bands and if they choose, to form their own nets.

We don't need segregation on the bands. They can participate in nets, storm warning, historical events, and other activities. Youth want to strive for adult activities and the more opportunities for them to work up to it, the better. You don't coddle youth. You keep their reach going beyond their grasp.

Rompa rooms are for itsy wimps. Yesterday, today, and in the future let everyone strive to be bigger and better, every day in every way making efforts to advance. Let each rise to their maximum potential.
 
RE: Segregation on the bands? Ugh.  
by K4PIH on July 25, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
One of the best ways to get youth involved in amateur radio is to go to science classes (with the schools permission of course) and ask the teacher if you can provide some "color" to any portion that involves radio waves, magnetics, etc. How many hams build Arduino devices? A lot of the younger ones are into that. Personally I became an assistant scout master at a local troop to teach the electronics, electricity, and communications and disaster related merit badges. I also offer my services to any troop within driving distance. Don’t try to impress them with you multiple racks and tiers of accumulated gear, get down to their level. Take a 10 meter rig to a school or better yet during summer camp and set it up. Show them how to make a simple dipole antenna and then let THEM contact someone across the country or across the ocean. They get curious when you tell them no internet involved and no monthly data limit. We taught a class on how to make a simple crystal radio using household available items where possible and watched as their eyes got wide when they heard that first AM station on something they built. I had one youth ask me, where's the charger when the battery gets low? What a hoot!

So get off your high horse, go out of your way to work with youth wherever you can. The reward is awesome.
 
A Place for Young Hams:  
by KB2DHG on July 25, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
As an old timer myself, I can talk to anyone no mater what age... This is a hobby and getting people to talk is all part of it. I usually ask questions like what other interest do you have, what are you planning to be, etc. This is not the problem... The problem is getting the younger people into this time honored hobby.

We need to get more exposure out and always be a helping hand to ANYONE who wants to come into Amateur Radio
 
RE: A Place for Young Hams:  
by AI4WC on July 25, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Lots of good thoughts here, guys. All I can add is that we should always keep ourselves open to the chance to share and help the younger folks (and older ones, too) see and participate in what we do. Our love of the hobby will spread naturally and we may also learn a thing or two. Keep up the good work!
 
Universal among youth  
by AI2IA on July 25, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
The last thing young people want is some fat, boring slob preaching the obvious to them about amateur radio. They are sick and tired of hearing "educators" all day long pontificating about everything from politics to environment (oh, I forgot Al Gore).

No need to re-invent the wheel. The material and programs long ago set up and improved over time by the ARRL and local ham clubs are more than suitable to encourage interest among youth without boring them to death with tall tales from repulsive and boring instructors. Give them credit for knowing more than you realize. They know what's going on and they know what they want to do.
 
A Place for Young Hams:  
by N0IU on July 25, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
"Why not "encourage" the use of the upper band limits of each mode for youth and those willing, and able to talk to youth."

"Some of old crusty men who don't pay much mind to the youth of our country could stay away from those areas..."

With all due respect (and I know this will make me sound like one of those "crusty old men"), but I did not work this hard to get my license just to be told that I do not have access to 100% of the bandwidth to which I am entitled.

And just how do you propose to "encourage" these newbies to use certain portions of the bands? And again, with all due respect, if you look at some of the questions posted here and on other amateur radio forums, it shocks me sometimes when I see some of these newbies ask where they can operate on HF!

C'mon! This stuff is in the "study material" (and I use that term loosely) so this only proves that a great many newbies just memorize the answers and really have no interest in learning the privileges they are about to "earn" (and again, I use that term very loosely).

So the bottom lines is don't tell me where I can and can not operate within the bands to which I am entitled.
 
RE: Segregation on the bands? Ugh.  
by KI5WW on July 25, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
I absolutely, totally agree with AI2IA
 
A Place for Young Hams:  
by K8QV on July 25, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Ah, if only smart phones and Internet options weren't more effective and relevant than ham radio. We don't see many young people interested in toy trains or stamp collecting, either.
 
RE: A Place for Young Hams:  
by HAMMYGUY on July 25, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
I could see this working, especially if nets were set up to encourage discussion.

But why wait for an "official" rule? Do it right now on a less used section of any band. Toward the upper end might a good start.

It could be coordinated through the various ham websites.
 
A Place for Young Hams:  
by K5NOK on July 25, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
I was on 20 meter phone one night a few weeks ago and heard a pileup. I listened for a few minutes and it was a US operator who was pre-teen, according to his QRZ page. He had US hams waiting to talk to him and did a excellent job.
And that is not the only pileup I've heard around a youth or YL ham.
 
RE: A Place for Young Hams:  
by N4KC on July 25, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
K5NOK: me, too! Look, kids are not that different from what we were when we got started in the hobby (I was 13.) And there are plenty of things already going on in the spectrum that could get them going and keep them interested.

Heck, just tell them to call CQ!

I do think the one big obstacle, just as it was in my day, is that when a kid gets his license, unless his dad and/or mother are also into the hobby, the station possibilities are daunting. That's why so many get a $100 2-meter HT with a helical antenna as a first radio. Then they catch flak when they can do little more than bump the repeaters. The smart phone or game console suddenly looks like a lot more fun.

At least in 1961, there were plenty of DX20s and HQ110s floating around that could be loaned to a new licensee. Guys were more than willing to help build and hang a dipole. Or the clubs had fully functioning stations and hours when kids could operate.

I maintain if we can get them on HF, show them all the modes, let them work a satellite or some TEP on 6, demo a SDR, work the ISS, or just chat with some DX as they get over mike-, key-, or keyboard-fright, they'll see the same magic you and I did.

Many--not all--will be hooked for life.

73,

Don N4KC
www.n4kc.com
www.donkeith.com
(Author of the new book RIDING THE SHORTWAVES:
EXPLORING THE MAGIC OF AMATEUR RADIO)
 
Ask to receive  
by AI2IA on July 25, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
I've been around for awhile, and I am on a friendly basis with more than just a few hams, and I must say this:

There is not a single ham in my circle of ham friends who would not look over his shelf gear and hand over HF rigs and assorted equipment to any local recently licensed youth who desires to get on HF but has trouble affording it. The generosity of especially old time hams is remarkable, but they want to see young hams who have earned their tickets and continue to study and progress. To these old timers it is not just a simple giveaway. They look upon it as recognition of well spent time and effort and continuing interest in the amateur radio service.

All that is needed is for young hams to visit a local ham club or be referred to a neighbor ham or relative ham by anyone who can point him in the right direction, and then he has to ask for it.
 
A Place for Young Hams:  
by N0AH on July 26, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
If you visit our school's club QRZ.COM page, AB0BX, we have incorporated a lot of related programs to amateur radio to provide the inspiration and motivation to do more with RF technology- Be it in rocketry, robotics, or studies of Space in the classroom, it helps youth get involved-
 
RE: Ask to receive  
by KC7MF on July 26, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
It seems that most agree that it is a good idea to attract new hams and particularly young ones. OK, What are you doing in your radio club to do it? How about we start with this. When are your activities scheduled? A radio club near me has events during the work/school day.

How many of your club officers are young? When there is an on-air event, is that new General class young person put in charge or is it old Bill who has done it for a decade? Do you treat the young ham as an equal or as a curiosity?

In a previous post someone said that they did not want to "be denied 100% of the bands to which they are authorized". Great attitude. Do you think maybe the young people feel the same way? I spoke with a teenage Extra the other day. Do you think he wants equal responsibility in the club along with his license? Or did he work that hard just to be treated like a kid?

The technician class is a good first step but fast-tracking new members to the General Class will get them to the fun stuff before they loose interest. This is particularly true for youth. If all I had was an HT and ability to talk to some 70 year old on the local repeater once a day I would walk away too. I think most of us would. My local radio club has a great club station but it is not ever available after 5 PM. To a student or a working person it is worthless. It literally has no value to anyone but a retiree. In these days of antenna restrictions the club station can be the key to participation but it has to be accessible. How cool would it be for that new young General to be able to spend a couple of hours in the evening using the big antenna, amp and nice radio rather than nothing because his/her parents are afraid of the HOA or the apartment in which he/she lives says no to an antenna.

Finally, most clubs just give lip-service to recruiting new members not to mention young ones. If it is nobody's job nobody will do it. Simple as that. So when someone brings a young person to a meeting, there needs to be something fun for them to do every time. Maybe a bit like Sunday school, when the club starts the class by old Bill about cleaning old radio chassis, someone is delegated to take the new folks aside, into the club station or an HF mobile in the parking lot if necessary and put them on the air. They came to learn about talking on the radio not talking about them. That will come later.

We don't get young people because we just give them lip service. It is as simple as that.
 
The problem is imaginary.  
by AI2IA on July 26, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Just about all the mere opinions in this thread attempt to solve an imaginary problem. Where are all these young wimps who have to be taken by the hand and "guided" into ham radio, or be given their own patch at the top of various HF bands? Just where are they? It is an illusion.

Look at the young hams who are already in ham radio and HF. They are all self-motivated or they would not be there.

There is a place for young hams, the same place as for racial minority hams, the same place for disabled hams, the same place all hams. They don't need anything special. Everything anyone needs is in place and waiting for those who want to come and get.

All this is just spinning wheels.
 
A Place for Young Hams:  
by JOHNZ on July 26, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
I read AI2IA's comments, and I found myself in complete
<gasp> agreement.

Take a look around club meetings. It is an old white man's hobby. However, clubs in my area do have females,
black Americans, and youthful members in attendance. They are there because they are motivated to learn more and enjoy the hobby. Clubs in my area do not discriminate in any way, all that is required is an interest in the hobby. Everyone is welcome.

Yes, motivated is the key word.
 
RE: A Place for Young Hams:  
by KC7MF on July 26, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Good Lord. Two posts in a row about how we have no responsibility to encourage the hobby. And we wonder why we have problems. (Insert eye-roll here).

The spectrum we use is worth a billions of dollars. The best protection for it is a robust and vital US amateur community.

The idea that there are plenty of young people in the hobby is a joke. There are not many young people in the clubs and to even posit the notion that there are is a absurd. Here and there maybe. Where the club works for it. On the whole. No.

Frankly if this is to be a club for old men I think they should sell the spectrum. The airwaves belong to all people. It is up to us to remain relevant, useful and growing. New hams are the key to this.

The only people buying nonsense such as "radio sport" are us. We have to prove ourselves worthy of the huge investment the people if this country are making in us.
 
RE: A Place for Young Hams:  
by K8QV on July 27, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
In my experience, any young people who have wandered into the hobby have been treated royally. I doubt that the treatment from the old white men is the problem. It's just impossible to create much radio interest in a generation that has grown up with technology superior to radio. We old farts didn't grow up in this world of instant gratification with no effort and the ability to video chat with anyone at any time. Should one of the young people take an interest anyway, we seem to welcome them with open arms.
 
RE: A Place for Young Hams:  
by NN4RH on July 27, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Kids are not stupid and apathetic. They will develop interest in ham radio on their own if THEY think it is interesting or useful.

The idea that a bunch of old guys even has any clue how to motivate young people to get into ham radio is nuts.

The best thing we can do for the kids is to just stay out of their way unless they come to us an ask for help or advice.
 
RE: A Place for Young Hams:  
by WA5VGO on July 27, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
I can remember when teens made up at least 25% of the ham population (I was one of them). Just like plastic model building, ham radio holds no interest to mainstream teens anymore and never will again. Stop dreaming and just enjoy what's left of the hobby.
 
RE: A Place for Young Hams:  
by N4KC on July 27, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
WA5VGO, I could not disagree more. First, I doubt teens ever made up 25% of the hobby, though I have no more stats to back up my statement than you do yours. And I was there in the '60s, too.

>>"ham radio holds no interest to mainstream teens anymore and never will again"<<

I doubt the hobby EVER held much interest for most "mainstream teens." There are a limited number of people who are prospects for getting serious about ham radio. So long as we make sure every one of them--regardless his or her age, sex, race, or technical ability--is informed about what the hobby is about today, and that we be helpful to those who do show an interest, then we should be all right. That includes making sure they understand that though it is a "technical" pastime, only limited technical knowledge or interest is necessary. There are many aspects of ham radio that requires no technical skills at all...and that is fine! But if someone wants to explore, learn and experiment, the means and opportunities are there.

Obviously lots of us love the hobby. There are many more who would, too, if they knew more about it and what it has to offer. Fun, competition, challenge, excitement, fellowship, accomplishment, knowledge, preparation for vibrant careers...just a few of the things I believe many, many people--and especially younger people--are looking for in a chosen avocation.

Not everybody, but certainly enough to keep the hobby healthy and growing.

73,

Don N4KC
www.n4kc.com
www.donkeith.com
(Author of the new book RIDING THE SHORTWAVES:
EXPLORING THE MAGIC OF AMATEUR RADIO)

 
A Place for Young Hams:  
by JOHNZ on July 27, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
@WA5VGO

Yes, you bring tears to the eyes. Revell plastic models. All the boys built them.

Novice class license and away we go on 75, 40, & 15 c.w. bands, building up speed for the General class. Or, you could get the Technician and park on 6 meter a.m., along with all the local techno geek teens. Wow, if your OM was a ham, he might even let you get a trailer hitch and mount a Saturn 6 Halo on the family buggy.

Innocent years, college and a B.S. in electrical engineering followed, for those of us who made it home from Viet Nam.

Memories.

 
Compulsory ham license for youth  
by AI2IA on July 27, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
In the U.S.A., just like in most countries, amateur radio is there for those who want to look into it. It is structured to encourage further study and increase proficiency. Those who want it will find it as they always have.

What are we to do in addition to that? Engage in mass advertising? Create compulsory ham license classes at the high school level? Make licenses free for youth and/or other groups of people including illegal aliens?

Why are so many obsessed with the notion that ham radio will become extinct if more isn't don't to recruit, or if more efforts are not made to dilute it and make it easier and easier? How about disposable licenses? How about short time trial licenses with coupons from manufacturers for HF transceivers for "qualified" young people? This whole mindset is absurd and destructive. Don't you folks who take this position realize that something has real value only if you have to work hard to get it? If you gave a prize to every race runner no one would want it. It would be worthless. People want what's tough to get.

Youth don't need and don't want handouts. They want to earn what they go after. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
 
A Place for Young Hams:  
by K6CRC on July 27, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
I understand the concern about recruiting younger people. I also see two arguments on why there are not more young hams.
1. Who needs it? I can talk to the world on my iPhone
2. The hobby is full of weird old guys who talk down to young people.

Both of those are quotes from younger people I know. Both are unfair, of course, to the hobby. But, Marketing 101... perception is reality. I know that most hams are great people who would do anything to help someone start in the hobby. I also know that 15 minutes of listening to 40 or 80 meters on a random evening would make most kids run away screaming.

My conclusion is that the hobby should just do what it is doing, and those young people who are interested will come and join. You cannot force people and marketing will not help here. One on one introductions and personal help is what will encourage some young people to join.

Many to most hobbies are slowly dying. Just social evolution, not anything that is wrong. Collecting hobbies, ham radio, working on cars, all that is slowly dying. Don't fight it, just enjoy the hobby.
 
A Place for Young Hams:  
by KD6EVH on July 27, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
I remember several years ago a group of my friends and I, all Hams, decided to use ham radio in a novel, and youthful way. We used it as our communication while playing a networked form of Mech-Warrior (a form of sci-fi tank).

We were doing nothing illegal, we were even constantly using our callsigns (using them as names for our ‘mechs). Further, we were using an unused simplex frequency. However, it didn’t take long for a group of older hams to come and play lawyer-ball right on top of us and they followed us as we changed frequency. They intentionally talked over our attempt at communication, all the while insisting to us that what we were doing was illegal (the point they were trying to stick to was that since computer games are commercial products, then using them as we played was clearly, in their minds, illegal).

Well, finally the harassment won, that and the outright jamming on top of us (We tried a few times, including when we tried it with Tribes [That game should give you an idea how long ago tis was]). Those good hams managed to turn several new hams pretty cold to the hobby (yes, a bunch of no-coders “no better than a bunch of $%^^&&* cb’ers” yes, we heard plenty of that too).

I know a lot here are harrumphing . . . well, computer game . . . that’s not a serious use of the radio . . . it seems wrong to me . . . and then setting out to try to find some way to reason that is shouldn’t be done; because it isn’t something that you would enjoy. Here it is; just because it isn’t something you would enjoy doesn’t make it illegal, or even wrong.

We went through a period where the established hams put a lot of effort into making gen X hams unwelcome (“That no code isn’t a ham radio license, its just a license to learn” . . . Here it comes, I don’t need a “license” to learn.). I think it might be appropriate to set aside some space and not be judgmental jerks about what is done there. A Wheaton’s Law zone; however, it might work even better to just apply the same rule everywhere.

Yes, I think it is a good Idea; but I think the most important thing is to be welcoming and helpful . . . and remember Wheaton's Law.
 
RE: A Place for Young Hams:  
by K6CRC on July 27, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Here in the SF area, W1AW portable operations are being purposely interfered with by a group of hams. The nature of their conversations (short phrases, simple language) and the lack of call sign use tells me they are socially challenged. They seem to enjoy their actions, and start screaming about their 'rights' to the frequency anytime they are asked to simply move up or down the band. At one point, a clearly young ham was cut off from a W1AW contact by the group.

Want to kill the hobby? Clone these clowns.
 
A Place for Young Hams:  
by KB4XV on July 27, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
The discouraging of young potential hams has been going on a long time. When I was about ten years old in 1960 my dad took me to a coworkers house that was a ham. He was in his 60s or 70s at the time. He had been a ham since the beginning of ham radio. I was wanting to get into ham radio at the time. He showed around the shack, made a few contacts and talked all about ham radio. He let a comment slip out where he said that school kids don't have time for ham radio and should wait until we get out of school. That comment stuck with me and discourage me from getting into ham radio for a long time. 1981 to be exact. So you have to remember young kids are generally shy around older folks and tend to take things the wrong way that are said to them. The old ham I visited liked to show off his station and talk a lot about ham radio but never offered me any encouragement or help in getting started. I got the feeling from him that he did not think young kids should be on the air which makes one think the feeling will be mutual on the air. Had he been helpful and encouraged me I would have been a ham at an early age.
 
A Place for Young Hams:  
by NF6M on July 28, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
I don't think we need to segregate the bands. I started in ham radio when I was 13. I stayed with it because I found lots of cool 'Elmers' who were willing to talk to me on the bands and share their knowledge. Within a couple of years I was up to 20+ wpm CW and got my Extra Class license. A little common courtesy and understanding goes a long way toward bridging any age gap. We need more of that on the bands. We shouldn't be dismissive toward anyone regardless of age. CW is great for mixing things up because you can't tell an operator's age from their 'fist.'
 
A Place for Young Hams:  
by KC5CQD on July 28, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
It's been my observation that the biggest issue seems to be that young people want to make friends via ham radio and most older hams aren't looking for friendships with children. Although they don't mind doing a little Elmering, a 50+ year old guy with a wife, kids, mortgage, career and all the stresses that accompany those things just isn't usually all too keen on becoming best buddies with a 14 year old. And these kids are looking for friendships. It's just the nature of being a kid! So what happens? When they realize that there aren't many friends to be made out there on the airwaves, they go back to the places that attract people more their own age.
 
RE: A Place for Young Hams:  
by K9MHZ on July 30, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Being a parent of one of these young people who's starting at Purdue in a few weeks, I think something I've noticed over recent years might be applicable.....

Kids are very, very image conscious. If they see the hobby populated by people as AI2IA described above, OR if the other youth they see in the hobby also matches that description (minus the "old"), then they're not interested.

It's no secret that the hobby has always had a (deserved) perception problem, so the challenge is to connect with normal, well-adjusted ambassadors of the hobby. Some of the brightest, kindest, and most interesting hams I know today are also the most normal and pleasant people you'll find anywhere. As an observation, they're all very experienced from their professional lives, education, etc. None have tossed the real world aside and cocooned in a ham shack. There's a lesson there.
 
RE: A Place for Young Hams:  
by N1DVJ on July 30, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
AI2IA wrote:
"The last thing young people want is some fat, boring slob preaching the obvious to them about amateur radio. They are sick and tired of hearing "educators" all day long pontificating about everything from politics to environment (oh, I forgot Al Gore). "

Wow, he nailed it!! Unfortunately the situation is dead on with the description. Old 'established' hams that have an inflated opinion of their worth trying to 'hold court' with the younguns.... They want to help, fine, but they demand a sacrifice. Unfortunately it's not a shrubbery. It's worship at the alter of kissing their posterior. It's not about teaching the newbies, at least to them. It's not about correcting them. It's not about helping them. It's about making themselves out to be more important than they really are. And they do that by trying to gather newbie groupies, which the kids quickly recognize and don't respect at all. They rebel and leave, sometimes without making a single contact, or worse, stick around and put actions to their rebellion.

You know what it reminds me of? The way preachers were portrayed in some of the westerns. Where the preacher came into town and gathered 'his flock' and then tried to control the lives of their sheep.
 
Ham radio is the place for all hams - young & old  
by AI2IA on July 31, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Ham radio is one place across its allocations. There is no prohibition on young hams, female hams, emcomm hams, etc., from starting and maintaining their own associations, but once on the air it really is one community and that, by the way, includes all DX hams. We are all one community.

So, a large ham club, let us say, with a cross section of hams can better help its members than an older group of hams focusing on just a few young hams. Think of it this way, imagine a group of say twelve young hams attempting to teach one or two old geek hams (such as myself) something about advanced digital techniques. Of course, it can be done. Maybe it has been done, but it would be an awkward, unbalanced situation that would require a lot of skill and diplomacy. Formalizing segregated slots for age determined hams is not a good way to go.

So much depends on the individuals! I once watched a man trying to teach his 14 year old son how to shoot a rifle. Oh, it was horrible. The father was impatient, gruff, and demanding. The son was timid, unsure of himself, and uncomfortable in front of strangers. The session was an utter failure. I felt sorry for the boy, but there was nothing I felt I could do. I never want to see something like that again, and certainly not in ham radio. Easy does it, folks! Be kind and patient to one another. - Ray, ai2ia
 
RE: Ham radio is the place for all hams - young & old  
by NV2A on August 2, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Gee, some of you guys should read the main post twice before offering an opinion.

I was not suggesting an official FCC ruling or anything of the sort, simply a s u g g e s t i o n that younger operators might find more of their own age people (kids) up on the upper reaches of each band. Simply a suggestion of where kids might find more kids like themselves with similar interest and budgets.

There is a tremendous amount of RF turf and at least one type of ham already has his turf carved out for evening use. If you're a drinker and bit of a foul mouth with a big amp there seems to be only one area on the ham bands where that exist and I don't have to tell you where. My suggestion was simply that young people could have a similar RF neighborhood to gather at and nothing more.
 
RE: Ham radio is the place for all hams - young & old  
by ONAIR on August 2, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
There was once a time when many young people got exposure to radio at an early age. Lots of kids had cheap CB "walkie talkies" which they used to chat with their friends! Because of their non selective receivers, they could hear regular CBers and even Hams in the background, and they naturally wanted to be able to talk to them! Many youngsters soon became CBers, and that is exactly how so many of today's Hams got their start. Unfortunately today, that no longer is a viable path into the hobby.
 
A Place for Young Hams:  
by KB9MQL on August 2, 2014 Mail this to a friend!
Hmm sounds like a way to push them off and isolate them. maybe some sort of nets intermingled with experienced ops getting it rolled out and helping would work? some of the long nets could have youth check in's for a portion of the net Free wheelers, brothers night watch rotten apples etc. just a thought. and they can make contacts to other stations during the youth segment ... most likely it would be weekend thing when some nets have longer sessions.
 
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