Have the scout fulfill the following merit badge requirements:
7.a.2.a. Carry on a 10-minute real or simulated ham radio contact using voice; use proper call
signs, Q signals and abbreviations.
7.a.2.b. Properly log the real or simulated ham radio contact and record the signal report.
7.a.3. Explain at least five Q signals or amateur radio terms you hear while listening .
Preparation the Scout Will Have
When the scout arrives at the radio station to make his contact, he will already have attended the following classes: Ham Radio Station Visit and Preparing to Talk On the Radio.
With 20 scouts expected and a 10 minute contact for each, this would amount to 3.5 hours of operation. Depending on propagation, finding folks who will answer our CQ on HF and visit for 10 minutes QSO’s may be difficult. If we can prearrange for some folks to be standing by in other states to make some of the contacts, that would be nice. If possible, we should make HF contacts by CQing as this would be the most exciting to the scouts.
Rather than solely relying on HF and not wanting to just simulate contacts, we will have some Hams standing by at home to make contacts via the club’s repeater (146.700 – 100 tone), 2-meter simplex (146.540), or HF so we can allow each scout to meet this requirement. We will probably have one scout doing this at the club station while another is working from a mobile station in the parking lot.
Those working with the scouts from home should be briefed that we want to use Q signals, phonetics, signal reports etc. and other normal HF procedures so the scouts will meet the QSO and logging requirements (there is a separate mini class guide for the home stations). The at home operators should ask open ended questions and other tactics so the scout is required to give more than one word answers; ideally the scout should do about half the talking. The at home operator should also do some over the air mentoring about proper practices and ask questions to cement the procedures and practices.
Guide the scouts so they use proper Amateur Radio procedures, work in some Q signals, and carry their end of the conservation. They need to also provide/get QSLing information as noted in the contact guide.
Verifying Scouts Have Met the Merit Badge Requirements
When the scout completes the contact and log entry badge requirements (7.a.2.a and 7.a.2.b), sign their record sheet in the appropriate spaces.
Have the scout prepare a QSL card for their contact, self address a stamped envelope, and put the card and SASE into an envelope with the contacted station’s call sign on it so we can mail it and the scout will get a QSL card back.
Requirement 7.a.3 (explaining Q signals and Ham terms) will be reviewed and signed off in another class.
Other Contacts Using the HF Station
It would be nice, when it does not interfere with the scouts working towards their merit badges, to keep the HF station on the air and make a bunch of contacts so the scouts get a further demonstration of amateur radio. If it would not interfere with the scouts’ merit badge activities, they could participate in some of these contacts. Earphones could be used for these contacts if not doing so would interfere with the merit badge activities. Doing some of this in CW would be neat too.