Word just arrived that the Lawton, Oklahoma Viking ARC again took 1st Place prize in the Middle/Intermediate/ Junior High category for the February 2012 Spring Roundup Contest. Fresh from their win in the October 2011 School Roundup, KF5CRF came in with 196,132 points, they bested their nearest competitor by almost 100,000 points. Over the contest period, the club made a total of 707 QSO’s, covering 48 states and 6 Canadian Provinces.
This past February’s contest saw more radio active schools than at any time during previous years of competition. The middle school strategy, call CQ and keep calling CQ, someone will talk to you. The pace is quick, make the contact complete the exchange and move on, slowing only for school clubs or to answer questions. The long term success of the program is to continually maintain and renew the excitement of amateur radio. “Get in there and grab that contact, call for schools only, listen for kids on the radio, pay attention to the conversation.” shouts team leader, Clifton Harper, KE5YZB.
Always on the lookout for future operators, when a potential 6th grader shows interest, the pace crawls! An experienced student takes the new student off to the side. The new student is taught how to introduce themselves by correctly exchanging their name phonetically, age and grade. After a couple of rehearsals with the student teacher, they’ll either do a “watch me” or with encouragement from their
student coach, “you’re ready, let’s go for it”. After three or four attempts, a critique by the student coach and new student is primed to give it a try each day during the contest week. Of course the other students offer positive reinforcement too, “THAT WAS GREAT! You sure you haven’t done this before?”
Also, notable is that the Feeder Elementary School, mentored by the W5KS Lawton Fort Sill ARC, placed 6th in the category of Elementary / Primary schools. When the demonstration was over, every teacher asked where they could find information about the phonetic alphabet! One teacher remarked about how engaged every student was to learn about amateur radio and further recognized the students’ eagerness to participate – even the shy ones that never raise their hands.
Looking towards the future; All Aboard! KF5CRF will have many of their 15 licensed students participating from inside the USS Batfish during the 2012 Museum Ships Weekend, June 2 and 3, 2012 (0000Z June 2, through 2359Z June 3, 2012). Coordination for this high tempo activity began when Wade Harris KF5IF, meet with several students of the Viking Radio Club at HamCom in Plano, TX June (2011). Harris, trustee for the USS Batfish WW2SUB and Memorial station, USS Oklahoma, WW2OK invited the students to join his team for the 2012 Museum Ships Weekend event in Muskogee, OK. The group arrives on Saturday about mid-morning and receives a tour of the facility, submarine and memorial. Once settled, students will take to the air waves. Expect to hear young voices, with ages of 12 -14 – except KF5LLG age 10. Look for updates on WGD website or Facebook page during the event if possible.
KF5CRF is mentored by Clifton Harper KE5YZB and Paul Goulet KC5CYY. The program is complimented with support from W5KS members and non-Amateur parents.
Congratulations to everyone involved in this amazing program! Please be sure to be on the lookout for Viking Club badges at HamCom and congratulate this great group of kids on their accomplishments.
Listen to KF5CRF daily from about 0830 – 0920 CST at 14.290 MHz, during their Viking Net. School is out at on May 25, 2012 so get in there quick and make that contact.
(Contributed by Paul Goulet, KC5CYY)