Scouting and Amateur Radio

Explore the Ultimate Wireless Connection!

There are over 700,000 ham radio operators in the United States and 3 million worldwide who share their excitement for the magic of wireless communication.  Here are just some of the things that scouts can do with Amateur Radio:

  • Talk around the world without the internet
  • Explorer wireless technology
  • Talk with astronauts onboard the International Space Station
  • Use your radio to help your community
  • Complete on the air for awards
  • Earns badges and patches
  • Talk to other scouts around the world during Jamboree On the Air
  • Use portable radios to communicate when camping or hiking

The WD9BSA crew would like to provide Scouts with the ultimate Radio Scouting experience.   We have put together programs that will be of interest to Scouts from Tiger Cub up through Eagle.  Technology is an important part of the future we wish to share with all ages and ranks of Scouting.  We are also currently recruiting boys and girls to form a new Venturing Crew.

Below is just a partial list of activities we’re planning for the year.  We invite individual Scouts to visit the station as well as larger groups such as Dens, Packs, Patrols, and troops.  In the future we’d also like to have a mobile station that we could transport to different events for portable radio operation.  This could be used for camping/outdoor events, public service or PR work, or to accommodate units in some of the outlying districts that are not so close to the Indianapolis east side.

Cub Scouts

  • Tiger
    • Achievement 4G:  Go See It!  Visit a television station, radio station, or newspaper office.  Find out how people there communicate to others.
  • Bear
    • Elective 3:  Radio
      • Build a crystal/diode radio.
      • Make and operate a battery powered radio.
    • We do not currently have these kits at the station, but we’d be happy to help you locate and construct them.

Scouts BSA

  • Radio Merit Badge
    • Transmitter hunting (or fox hunting as some call it).  One person carries a transmitter that is beaconing a signal–he’s the wily fox.  The others work together or in competition with each other using a receiver with directional antenna to “hunt” the fox.  This can be a challenge due to terrain, weather conditions, and trying to track a moving target.
    • Operating the radios inside the WD9BSA station.  Here you can operate voice as well as modern digital modes.  Contact radio stations in other states as well as around the world.
    • Jamboree on the Air (JOTA).  An international event for Scout to get on the air making contact with one another.
    • Building fun projects.  This can be anything from crystal radio that are powered by “free energy” to constructing new or experimental antennas for the station.
    • Earn merit badges such as Radio and Electronics.
  • Emergency Preparedness
    • No specific Merit Badge Requirement, however HAM Radios are great for emergencies
    • Opportunities to learn and practice emergency radio communication.
  • Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)
    • Emergency Response Training for Scouts is sometimes offered.