[Boatanchors] Radio Merit Badge

Tom Chesek tchesek at epix.net
Fri Jun 20 09:22:01 EDT 2014

As a Boy Scout I attended summer camp at our council's camp during the early 
60's.  I wanted to just stomp around the woods and enjoy being outdoors but 
our troop leaders required us to learn things and take merit badge classes 
offered.  I do remember learning Morse Code at summer camp for advancement 
to First Class rank although I did not take the Radio Merit Badge class. 
Code was taught as dots and dashes.  I don't think leadership was worried at 
that time if you attained speed of any kind, they just wanted you to learn 
an emergency method of communicating.  Flash forward to 2002...I took the 
technician and general elements for my ham license.  Since I only had 1 year 
to take the 5 WPM code element without having to retest the general element 
I took the code element in 2003 and passed.  I truly enjoy the hobby but 
have not put much time or effort into CW.  I still find myself converting 
from dots and dashes to letters.  As an incentive to better myself I 
purchased an ARRL Centennial Vibroplex paddle.  It looks shiny and nice 
sitting on my desk.  One day I'll be a better man and master it.

I have a 1961 printing of the Radio Merit Badge booklet with my brother's 
signature on it mounted in a frame decorating my radio room.  It is his 
boyhood signature from the early 60's.  He (KB3QAJ) completed the Eagle 
Scout requirements but this thread has me wondering if he has the radio 
merit badge.  I'll have to call him and ask.

K3TVC - Extra Lite, former General Lite

-----Original Message----- 
From: Robert Lawson
Sent: Thursday, June 19, 2014 22:14
To: boatanchors at puck.nether.net
Subject: Re: [Boatanchors] Radio Merit Badge

Yes, Dave those were the 'days'.  Circa '62 I was in a Troupe which the
Adult Leadership basically quit.  But we told our parents only that we
had a local Jamboree coming up ie transportation.  Our rag tag group
with no adult leader ended up winning 2nd place with our tents all
setup, pine tree trunk tri-pod and kettle, and my homemade crystal set
the same with the wire aerial stung out to the tripod from the tent.
Headphones to boot.  Of note, we told the Judges that our Troop master
was in the bathroom.....   I kid you not.   Of course our parents found
out later but none of us were 'fussed at'.
Never did get my Radio Merit Badge and I think about that even to this day.

Yall, here's the latest on the Boy Scout Radio Merit Badge.  In this day
and age I think the requirements are most sufficient.  No 'cake walk'
for a young  man in today's electronic game and communication
distracting environment.

73 Robert W4RL WPE4FGR


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