I’ve been quite busy the last few months with a combination of ARRL Board work, New England Division projects, Mentoring, and some time on the air. I am pleased to report good progress on many fronts. Here’s more about what I’ve been up to.
Mike Walters, W8ZY, and I, as part of an ARRL Foundation Committee, put together the application and decision process for the ARRL Foundation Club Grant program and rolled it out. Thanks to a generous donation by ARDC, the ARRL Foundation is making $500,000 available to Amateur Radio Clubs.
ARRL Club Grant Program at a glance:
- Clubs do not need to be ARRL-affiliated clubs to submit proposals
- Looking to fund projects that create significant impact beyond the applying club: transformative impact on Amateur Radio; create public awareness and support for Amateur Radio; educational and training impact.
- Examples of projects include, but are not limited to: get-on-the-air projects; ham training and skills development through mentoring; STEM and STEAM learning through Amateur Radio; station resources for use by the ham community; emergency communications and public service projects that emphasize training; club revitalization projects.
The response to the first round of this program has been tremendous. We received 127 applications for Club Grants! The first round of grants will be awarded by the end of the summer, and the second tranche of applications and awards will commence in the late summer/early fall.
Board Projects and Meetings
I am working along with other ARRL Board Members and leaders as part of several ARRL Board Committees. First, I am a member of the Administration and Finance Committee, where I am chairing a subcommittee that is looking at ways to grow ARRL membership and increase active participation in Amateur Radio.
I’m also leading a subcommittee within the Emergency Communications and Field Service Committee that is working on a plan to create the next generation of the National Traffic System (NTS). I am working closely with Marcia Forde, KW1U, and other traffic handlers to create a plan for NTS 2.0. We are planning a series of briefings for Traffic Handlers here in New England as well as across other ARRL divisions on the NTS 2.0 project.
Finally, I have been appointed to be one of the ARRL Board members on the newly formed Investment Management Committee. The Investment Management Committee provides oversight of ARRL’s external investment manager and advises ARRL’s Administration and Finance Committee and the Board of Directors on investment policies and portfolio management.
Anita, AB1QB, and I had a great time during Field Day, visiting clubs all over New England. We covered about 1,000 miles during a three-day tour on Field Day weekend. I especially enjoyed meeting folks in person during Field Day and seeing what everyone was doing. It was great to see all of the different ways that clubs across New England approached Field Day. Anita took many great photos during our tour, and you can view those and read more about our Field Day travels here. We operated as AB1OC/M from the mobile HF station in our truck during the trip and had a ton of fun on the air as well.
Assistant Director Teams
Phil Temples, K9HI, and I continued working with our division Assistant Directors as they continued to set up their teams and began sharing information and projects across our division.
- Cory Golob, KU1U – Assistant Director, Emergency Communications and Public Service Activities
- Rob Leiden, K1UI – Assistant Director, Spectrum Protection and Use
- Anita Kemmerer, AB1QB – Assistant Director, Mentoring and Ham Development
- Dan Norman, N0HF – Assistant Director, Youth Outreach and STEM Learning
A great deal of good work is getting accomplished by our Assistant Directors, and each team has projects underway that will benefit hams across New England. Our second quarter 2022 newsletter features articles about what our ADs are doing.
BIG E Space Chat
New England school students will be making live radio contact with an astronaut on the International Space Station from The BIG E during the week of September 26th – September 29th. The “BIG E Space Chat” is part of a program to promote Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) educational activities and Amateur Radio learning activities for young people.
We brokered the creation of this project through a partnership between The BIG E, New England Sci-Tech (a STEM education group in New England), Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS), and Black Helicopter Creative LLC.
Folks are also planning an Amateur Radio booth at The BIG E, and you can learn more about that project and how your club can be part of it here.
Communications, Club Meetings, and Hamfests
We continued with our work to improve communications this quarter. There are three parts to our activities in this area:
- Quarterly Division Cabinet Meetings with Club Presidents, Section Managers and Field Staff Members, and other leaders
- Triannual (every 4 months) Division Town Hall Meetings with all ARRL Members in New England
- Frequent attendance at Club Meetings (at least 6 times a quarter for each DVA team member)
We held our second Cabinet Meeting on April 16th (see what was discussed here). Our next Cabinet Meeting is scheduled for August 13th. We are inviting members of the HQ Staff to these meetings so that they can share information on what they are doing and receive feedback directly from division leaders.
We held our second Town Hall Meeting on June 15th. Attendance was excellent again, with over 140 in attendance. We provided an update on ARRL and New England Division activities and answered questions from the folks who attended. You can see what was discussed, including a recording of the event, here. We are planning to hold our next Town Hall Meeting in November.
We held an ARRL Forum at Spring NEAR-Fest in Deerfield, NH, where we provided an update on ARRL and New England Division projects and answered questions. We joined Peter Stohrer K1PJS at NEAR-Fest to talk with folks and answer questions.
We also attended the Dayton Hamvention, where we helped to staff the ARRL Clubs booth and answer questions about the ARRL Foundation Club Grant program.
I am also planning to host an ARRL Forum at HamXposition in Marlborough, MA. HamXposition will take place on August 26th – 28th. You can see the schedule for the ARRL forum and session hosted by our division ADs here.
Licensing, Mentoring, and Youth
I have continued work on Licensing and Mentoring programs. We taught weekend Technician, General, and Extra License classes this spring and helped 19 hams earn their license or an upgrade.
We also held a spring Ham Bootcamp program, which helps hams across the country to learn how to use their Amateur Radio License to operate, put stations together, and get on the air. We added additional Ham Bootcamp training on getting started in Emergency Communications activities thanks to help from Stu Solomon, W1SHS, and Cory Golob, KU1U’s Emergency Communications and Public Service Activities Team.
AB1OC Amateur Radio Activities
I’ve enjoyed some operating time in the ARRL June VHF Contest and the new ARRL International Digital DX Contest. We also operated as K2K New Hampshire during the 2022 13 Colonies Special Event. We have received hundreds of QSL requests from our K2K operations, and we are working through those now. Finally, the 6m Band has been pretty good this year, and I am enjoying some operating time on 6m on most days as well.
I hope to see you soon at a Hamfest, Club Meeting, Town Hall Meeting, Cabinet Meeting, or some other event in the near future. All the Best and 73,