Boy Scouts earn radio merit badges rapidly
By BOB COUPLAND
CANFIELD — Area Boy Scouts were able to earn their radio merit badges in one day thanks to a weekend program at Camp Stambaugh in coordination with local amateur radio association groups.
Frank Sole of Poland with the Mahoning Valley Amateur Radio Association said three clubs –the MVARA, Western Reserve Amateur Radio Assocation and 20 Over 9 Radio Club all had representatives at the camp to work with the Scouts.
“Many of the Scouts are here this weekend to earn their radio merit badge,” he said.
Warren Boy Scout Troop 15 member Zach Baritell, 15, said “It was a good experience to be able to learn how the radio operates. I was lucky to be able to do this and see how radios work.”
Dylan Smith, 13, of Warren with Scout Troop 15 said he liked that he was able to finish the merit badge requirements in one day.
Sole said the Scouts were able to receive radio operating experience and communicate with Scouts in other states.
Ian Katz of Hudson said said he learned how a radio works, about radio equipment, demonstrated his ability to show how a radio works and be able to take to someone on the radio.
He was able to communicate with Scouts in western Pennsylvania who were attending a Scout Jamboree.
Sole said the Scouts learned the basic knowledge of how a radio operates and how to operate the equipment.
“Normally a radio merit badge can take a week or month to complete. We were able to condense the training into a weekend. They show competency in a number of different areas,” he said.
More than 60 Boy Scouts and 12 troop leaders took part in the event, some coming from Columbus.
Sole said the Scouts learned about broadcast radio, two-way radio, frequency and wavelength.
“They saw the basics of radio and how it is involved in a lot of different things such as cellphones and microwaves,” he said.
Lordstown resident Richard Albrecht with the MVARA showed the Scouts how the radios operate and how to communicate.
“Each Scout has to make a contact via the radio. It was a challenge with 60 Scouts,” Sole said.
Rebecca Benjamin of Kenton brought her Scout troop to the event making a three-hour drive.
“They have learned that scouting is part of the world and not just their neighborhood. They get to meet Scouts from other troops. It was a fun event where they learned a lot and earned their merit badges,” she said.