Saturday, June 23, 2012

NOT out, standing in a Field, Day

So, today is Amateur Radio Field Day.  It's always the last full weekend of the month.  The idea is for hams to go out and set up in the field someplace and out into practice not only radio communications skills, but also skills which may be necessary for emergency/disaster response.  Also, there's a strong public outreach/educational component, teaching the general public about amateur radio--"They still do that?!"--and, hopefully, recruiting new people to the hobby.

This year, the club was planning on going back to the same park we had been at the last two, which is adjacent to the athletic fields of the middle school Mrs. Drang attended.  We were all happy to hear that a couple of obstructions that limited us to the space we could use were being demolished.

We were dismayed in April to learn that said demolition was in preparation to expand the softball fields, pretty much ruling out using that park for Field Day.

The scramble began to find an alternate venue.  By the May meeting, things were getting desperate.  Then it was discovered at the board/business meeting that most of the club officers and trustees were going to be out of town this weekend.  A poll was taken at the general meeting, following, at which it turned out that there were going to be insufficient club members available to plan and run a club Field Day site.  (I had planned to take the day off; at this point, I changed my mind.)

*s*i*g*h*  (This is what happens when you have a small, but very active, club.  People are active...)

The offer was made that any members who wished to use club equipment, especially if they were willing to host other club members, was welcome to do so; to the best of my knowledge, no one took the club up on the offer.

Based on comments seen on Facespace, the fact that it was raining buckets for most of the day kind of reconciled most members who are in the area to the idea of NOT being outside putting up antennas and operating generators, I think.   (Certainly solar power was not a viable alternative...)

I suspect that the club is going to start verifying the where, not to mention the who and how, etc., earlier next year.  We may also see more active participation by the general membership in planning for events, which would be a plus.


Anonymous said...

Next one is 28-29 July? Somewhere here in South Pugetropolis? It is something I really should drop in on...
-Erik from Seattle

Drang said...

Amateur Radio Field Day is the last full weekend of June.
There is an Emergency Operations Drill the fifth Saturday of the month--which happens about once a quarter.
We'll also be providing communications support to the 5k fun run in Federal Way next Wednesday, Independence Day.