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Amateur Radio Operator Outings Ideas and Suggestions


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Hello All,

I just wanted to pop in and give some suggestions for ideas for Amateur Radio related outings that I have done in the past, or would be willing to do again in my future.

  1. Amateur Radio Field Trips: Retired Military Museum Ships often have radio rooms where a small group of volunteers can operate under their callsign for a shift or two for the day. It is an absolute blast and well worth doing with your club memberships. The Queen Mary Hotel (Boat) in Long Beach, CA has a radio room you can do this with as well.
  2. Antenna Shoot Out Events: Have everyone from your club come out with their portable antennas and test them against each other for a chance to win bragging rights and a special treat for the lowest SWR reading.
  3. Have a mode party: Pick One and have your club meet at a local park to do voice operations, CW, or Digital Modes. This is great for those who want to experience something they are not familiar with, and allows them to play a little bit as well. For CW day I have additional training opportunities and educational outreach for all ages to get them engaged in the history and thrill of CW operations. Including a flashlight game where your write your CW message on a piece of paper and then stand across from one another trying to figure out each others message. 
  4. Host a HAM Pot Luck at your house: Everyone loves food and having an amateur radio themed dinner party is a kick. We have our club members and community hams over at least once a year for a pig roast and we watch movies or share our favorite YouTube videos about amateur radio with each other.
  5. Radio Museums: When we lived in the Bay Area we had a radio museum that covered old radios including amateur radios and we would take visiting hams there when they were in town to share the fun. I would suggest to see if something similar is available in your area and visit it often.
  6. STEM Party: As we all know Amateur Radio is all about STEM education so we host a STEM party for our local scouts (Boys and Girls) where they can come to a park and learn about amateur radio. Many of them obtain their merit patches for the opportunity and it is great to share both the love of the hobby and the many different things we do with it to those who have never before been exposed to it. It is like magic for all of us!
  7. Nerdly Nights: We get a bunch of hams together and find a project we want to build together and set a date. Then we host a nerdy night event where we all come together and make our projects together. We have done simple night like making baluns, tape measure yagi beam antennas, kite winder ground radial antenna wire holder and deployer, or more robust projects like building a more robust base for our wolf river coil antennas, or various Sparkfun builds. 
  8. Amateur Radio Camp Out: Now that it is summer get your group of hamtastic friends and plan a trip to the lake, the deal is that each of you choose a different area to get your campsite around the lake. This allows you to set up your area and transmit when you wish, but allows you to come together for meals at one another's campsites for hosting. The more the merrier and the best part is you can operate without stepping on one another so everyone has a fantastic time.
  9. Nursing Home Community Service: Once a year we get a bunch of amateur radio operators to go to a nursing home and set up our rigs often within their courtyards and have the nursing staff bring in home residents come out to play with us. The stories they share and the friendships you make keep us coming back year after year. When we lived in Southern California (Lancaster) there was a nursing home for old vets (Pete Knight Veterans Home) and they really got a kick out of us coming and it started a tradition. 
  10. Fox Hunts: It is always fun to get out with a bunch of tape measure antennas in a group to chase that elusive transmitter beacon. It is hilarious to watch those not in your group staring at the crazy happenings going on as they try to figure out what on earth we are doing. So much fun!
  11. Community Support: Help with communications at parades, festivals, stock shows, marathons, triathlons, or bike races within your community. It is really fun to do this with a ham buddy to relieve each other when needed, and have someone to talk to when you are standing by.
  12. Celebrate your state's QSO party with your club from a local park: Have everyone show your states pride with decorations, clothing, blankets, local foods, and offer a brief intro into your state history and what amateur radio is all about for those who curiously stumble across the party.
  13. Caravan Club: Get a few hams together and go on a long road trip together crisscrossing across the nation to destinations unknown in your own RV's, overloading vehicles, or family station wagons. Stay at KOA's or travel friendly locations to bunk down for the night. Use your radios to keep in touch along the journey and each night you can set the next day's set of repeaters in everyones radios together. This is fantastic to do with our National Parks!
  14. Participate in a Parachute Mobile Mission: This is a ham bucket list item that everyone should do at least once in your life. It is a thrill a minute and well worth the traveling to do it. 
  15. Go to your favorite amateur radio convention with pals and have a theme day... you choose what that looks like, the crazier the better, and it makes everyone easier to find in a crowd! Plus it makes for some memorable pictures!
  16. Name your favorite handheld, and take it on a trip! Don't forget to document your escapades on social media or in a blog much like Flat Stanley. Find funny places and make up stories about its adventures in your everyday life. 

These are just a few random ideas to get you started collaborating and connecting... tell me a few that I missed!


Desiree, N3DEZ

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