[amsat-bb] Re: The future of AMSAT is NOW . . .

Edward Cole kl7uw at acsalaska.net
Sun Feb 8 09:40:08 PST 2009

At 06:54 AM 2/8/2009, Bob Bruninga wrote:
> > The youth... are not interested in the
> > how and the why of the toys they play with...
> > China and Taiwan are now the center
> > of the electronics hardware industry.
> > ... we must find a way to seed Amateur
> > Radio into the minds of today's youth
> > or lose Amateur Radio tomorrow.
>One thing I have noticed in doing amateur radio for scout events is 
>that the real pay-back is not necessarily in the kids, who's 
>attention span cannot last through a single contact, but in the 
>interest of the middle-aged Dad's (and Mom's).
>So, yes, by all means, target the youth, but keep your focus more 
>broadly and reel in those parents who seem to take an 
>interest.  Bring in the parents and someday the kids may follow.
>In light of the above, I think there are some amateur-radio-for kids 
>programs that are shooting so low to the kids, that the parents miss 
>the big picture.  This is not the case with AMSAT, but it is 
>something I have seen elsewhere.
>For my last 45 years being licensed, from my first day to my last, 
>has been the lamentation that all we have in Amateur radio are 
>old-fuds over 50.  And now I am finally realizing that THAT is 
>FACT.  We should not avoid recruiting old-fuds!
>In fact, maybe we should consider targeting them?
>Old fuds that are empty-nesters or retired have the $$$, the time, 
>the motivation and in many cases the need to develop a great hobby 
>interest.  Amateur radio is about the ideal hobby for old fuds.  You 
>can do it almost anywhere, at any range of expense, and meet great people.
>So I do not in any way mean this to denegrate our outreach to 
>youth.  That is fundamental, but ALWAYS keep in mind, the potential 
>to reel-in the older parents and bystanders.
>Bob, Wb4APR
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Good points: I would like to add a couple observations when talking 
with non-hams about my hobby.

This is usually at work where our employees range from 21 to late 
50's, mostly cluster in mid-30 to mid-40's.  When I mention that I 
"talk" via bouncing my signal off the Moon, I get a few apreciative 
replies.  Also, when I tell them that I hope to hear a spacecraft 
orbiting Mars.  Earth satellites and regular ham radio does not 
capture much interest (as cell phones and TV does that).  Otherwise, 
we are often confused with CB radio by many "civilians".

Of course, at work we use commercial VHF-FM HT's and mobile radios 
(and I'm the guy that keeps 'em working).

So I think that excluding adults or seniors to focus on youth, may be 
a mistake.  Often youth have so much teck stuff challenging their 
attention and young adults are busy with career and family (I was in 
my 20-30's), so that 40-60 age group is, perhaps, ready and looking 
for activities.

In my case, I was licensed at age 14 and chose my career as a 
result.  I'm now into my 51st year as a ham.  It has been a steady 
influence throughout my life and career!

1958 - KN8MWA (Novice)
1959 - K8MWA (Technician)
1982 - AL7EB (Gen/Advanced)
2005 - KL7UW (Extra)

73, Ed - KL7UW              BP40iq, 6m - 3cm
144-EME: FT-847, mgf-1801, 4x-xp20, 8877-600w
1296-EME: DEMI-Xvtr, 0.30 dBNF, 4.9m dish, 60/300W  (not QRV)
http://www.kl7uw.com       AK VHF-Up Group
NA Rep. for DUBUS: dubususa at hotmail.com

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