Members of the Greater Bridgeport Amateur Radio Club combined the best of a Simulated Emergency Test (SET), Jamboree On The Air (JOTA), and Parks On The Air (POTA), while operating from three state parks on October 16, 2021:
Sherwood Island SP (Park K-1715)
Silver Sands SP (Park K-1716)
West Rock SP (Park K-1727) (2 stations)
“Our goal [was] to provide community outreach for ham radio, and to help train our new operators,” explained GBARC president Emily Clarke, N1DID.
During the POTA Event the groups also participated in the CT ARES SET using simplex VHF/UHF as well as DMR.
“I wanted to do the SET from a distance away from our ARES region (Region 1) so we could simulate simplex communications outside our region. I was in Region 2, and all our other stations were in CT State Parks in Region 1 or were mobile enroute. After the SET we turned our attention to our main reason for being in the park, our POTA event,” says Clarke.
According to N1DID, the JOTA contact wasn’t actually planned.
“We were doing HF communications for POTA when a huge troop of Scouts walked by. We asked, ‘Does anyone want to learn about ham radio?’ and they all ran and formed a very disciplined semi-circle around us. I gave them an explanation about HF communications, then gave a short talk explaining how we and other radio amateurs were active on the air promoting our beautiful state parks.”
“We gave additional information about emergency communications. how parents and even scouts can get their technician licenses, and about how they can reach out to local clubs for help with their radio merit badge.
Clarke and her group took questions from the kids and parents and got a big thank you. Clarke encouraged them to reach out to the club in the future. “Afterwards the Scout leader came up and took my email address and said ‘I always wanted to do this.’”
Although N1DID and the other GBARC members got to interact with the public at the other parks “The 40+ Scouts and parents we met was the icing on the cake of a wonderful day in the park.”