Please accept my apologies for the delay in posting a message on the President’s Page this month. My muse was especially elusive this month. Thanks for your patience.
The thought has occurred to me that this page should be more than just a recap of the monthly meeting. The Club meetings are always fun and informative with great programs, good information shared and rewarding fellowship. Thanks to all the members of PARC for making our meetings fun and worthwhile.
In my search for inspiration I remembered comments made by Dale Durham, W5WI, the ARRL West Texas Section Manager, at the Midland Hamfest. In his opinion, one of the biggest threats to Ham Radio is the recruitment, retention, and advancement of new Amateur Radio Operators.
During the 2M Morning Net today it was observed that the number of licensed Amateur Operators in this area is quite large; however, a large percentage of them are seldom, if ever, heard on the radio. Many factors could be in play here, including time, interest, modes of operation, etc.
It was suggested that interest and retention were basically a personal matter. To some degree I agree with that; however, I would like to think that there might be avenues open to us, individually and as a club, that would encourage new (or even existing) Amateur Operators to become more involved and active.
Keeping in mind the old adage “different strokes for different folks”, some possible approaches could be:
- “Welcome” messages sent to new licensees and upgrades.
- Special meetings or forums for new or inactive Hams.
- A section of the Website devoted to interactive participation by new or inactive Hams.
- Club projects such as antenna building, equipment use, etc.
- Creating a network of Club “Elmers” to work with new or inactive Hams both in traditional operations and some of the newer modes, such as DMR and WiresX.
There are so many opportunities available to enjoy this hobby of Ham Radio. It is never easy to discover a person’s “motivational button”. Each of us is different, but all of us respond to genuine interest and communication. It may be you don’t consider this an issue. Whether you do, or do not, please consider sharing any thoughts or suggestions you might have in the comments on this page.
It is my distinct privilege to serve as the President of the Panhandle Amateur Radio Club. Thank you all for your support and participation. 73!!
Kim Opitz, WK5X