Programs Helping Hams and Young People to Develop Skills and Get on The Air

FeaturedDX Experience on the HF Bands

I have had the pleasure to work collaborate with my club and others to create programs to get new people and young people started in Amateur Radio. I’ve been sharing information about these programs with clubs across New England and around the US to provide ideas and inspiration for Amateur Radio clubs to add similar mentoring and Ham Development programs to their activities.

Teaching Amateur Radio License Classes
Teaching Amateur Radio License Classes

Teaching License Classes is a passion of mine. Along with the Nashua Area Radio Society, we’ve provided 7-8 License Training Classes to help folks earn Technician, General, and Extra class licenses each year. Our classes include 1 or 2 classes each year devoted solely to school students who want to earn their Technician License. We do this so that we can teach the Technician Class material in a format suitable for middle school and high school students.

Ham Bootcamp - Getting New Hams On The Air
Ham Bootcamp – Getting New Hams On The Air

I have led the creation of programs such as Ham Bootcamp and Tech Night to provide training and skills development to enable Hams to get on the air and develop new skills.

Students Launch a High-Altitude Balloon carrying Amateur Radio
Students Launch a High-Altitude Balloon carrying Amateur Radio

I believe that that work to support STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) learning in schools through Amateur is an important way to help the next generation of young people to join the Amateur Radio Service and enhance their lives. Kits Builds, High-Altitude Balloons, and other Amateur Radio activities can provide practical applications and support for STEM learning programs that many schools are working to deliver.

Fred, AB1OC Helping a School Make Contact with an Astronaut on the ISS via Amateur Radio
Fred, AB1OC Helping a School Make Contact with an Astronaut on the ISS via Amateur Radio

Through my work as a mentor and ground station in the ARISS program, I’ve been able to help schools and other youth groups around the world to experience and learn about Amateur Radio and use it to communicate with astronauts on the Internation Space Station.

ARRL Rookie Roundup – Introducing contesting to young people and new Hams

I believe that it’s also very important to introduce new hams and young hams to the Amateur Radio activities that many of us enjoy. We routinely make our station here available to new Hams and young people so they can participate in on-air actives. A favorite activity is the ARRL Rookie Roundup – a contest experience that the ARRL sponsors for new Hams to try out and learn about Radiosport.

I’ve been sharing a presentation with clubs and other groups about these and other programs to encourage folks to provide mentoring and new Ham development opportunities.

I recently met with the K1USN Radio Club in Braintree, MA to share this information. The folks there recorded my presentation and have given permission to share it here so that others might benefit from the information that it contains. The K1USN Radio Club is a great example of a group of Hams that are working to provide mentoring and new Ham development programs. Here’s where you can find more about them:

Also, you can download a copy of the presentation in PDF form here.

I hope that our readers will consider creating programs to help bring new people into the Amateur Radio Service and mentor all Hams to help them to develop new skills and enjoy Amateur Radio.

Fred Kemmerer, AB1OC

Featured

Creating a Strong Future for Amateur Radio as ARRL New England Division Director

Fred Kemmerer, AB1OC
Fred Kemmerer, AB1OC

Hello. I am Fred Kemmerer, AB1OC, and I am hoping to become your ARRL New England Division Director. I have a long history of helping people to become licensed, learn new skills, and become active in the Amateur Radio Service. I have also served as the President of the Nashua Area Radio Society, a club that has provided many hams licensing and development programs over the past six years.

Like most Hams, I love Ham Radio and all that it enables. As your Director, I will work hard to protect our hobby and I will work hard to create and promote activities and programs which will maximize our ability to participate in and enjoy Amateur Radio.

Amateur Radio changes people’s lives for the better. It certainly has had a huge positive impact on my life and I want to become Director so that I may work with clubs and individual Hams across New England to help them to bring positive life experiences through Amateur Radio to more people in our division and across the ARRL.

What I Want To Accomplish as New England Director

There is much that needs to be done to create a strong future for Amateur Radio and the ARRL. The following are some of the major goals that I plan to focus on as Director:

  • Bring new people into Amateur Radio by working collaboratively with clubs across New England and the ARRL
  • Create opportunities for STEM learning in schools and colleges through Amateur Radio
  • Create positive public and agency awareness and support for Amateur Radio to protect our spectrum and our rights
  • Ensure effective, open, 2-way communications between the ARRL and its members
  • Establish the New England Division as a leader in providing world-class Amateur Radio programs

It is also very important that we create an environment within New England and the ARRL that promotes and protects on-air activities such as DXing and Contesting that so many Hams (including this one) enjoy. To this end, I will work closely with our DX Advisory Committee and Contest Advisory Committee members to promote and expand Amateur Radio operating activities.

We need a Director who is CollaborativeInnovative, and Action-Oriented to accomplish these and other important goals. I believe that I can bring the right Amateur Radio and professional experience and collaborative leadership skills to accomplish these goals and more. I hope that you will support me as your choice to fulfill this important mission.

Action-Oriented Leadership

It is important that we take immediate action on issues that are important to ARRL members. To this end, I have published a plan for my first 100 days as ARRL New England Division Director that includes specific actions to improve 2-way communications between the ARRL and New England members. My plans include outreach to members of the ARRL Board and Senior Leadership to find common ground to take action on issues that matter to ARRL members. I also plan to appoint several Assistant Directors to focus on promoting programs in important areas such as:

  • New Ham Development
  • Youth Outreach
  • Emergency Communications, and Public Service
  • Spectrum Use and Protection

You can see the details of my plans at elect.ab1oc.org/first-100-days.

Walking the Talk

I believe that Amateur Radio clubs play an essential role in bringing new hams into the Amateur Radio Service and in helping hams to develop new skills.

AB1OC ARISS Ground Station
Helping a school contact an Astronaut on the ISS via Amateur Radio

I serve as an ARISS (Amateur Radio on the International Space Station) Mentor and Ground Station, helping schools around the world participate in STEM learning based upon Amateur Radio. I will help groups and individuals in New England to create projects and programs to bring Amateur Radio to young people across the division. Amateur Radio provides a tremendous opportunity for young people to learn about technical topics and to develop valuable skills that they can use throughout their lives.

Fred, AB1OC with Students at Bishop-Guertin H.S. as they prepare to Launch a High-Altitude Balloon
Working with students at Bishop-Guertin H.S. to Launch a High-Altitude Balloon Carrying Amateur Radio

I continue to spend time in local schools teaching classes and providing activities that bring STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) learning opportunities to students through Amateur Radio. In addition to inspiring young people to pursue STEM careers by becoming Hams, this work also serves to improve the public’s understanding of the importance and value that Amateur Radio provides.

I am devoting considerable time and energy to license new hams and help all hams to upgrade their licenses and get on the air. I’ve had the pleasure to lead a team of hams who have taught license classes, enabling over 350 people to earn a license or upgrade over the past five years. I have worked with a team of folks to create some innovative approaches to new ham development and getting hams on the air. We created a very popular program called Ham Bootcamp. Ham Bootcamp is designed to help both new and experienced hams get on the air, build their stations, and participate in new operating activities. The last Ham Bootcamp drew over 450 participants from across the United States.

As New England Division Director, I will work with clubs and individuals in New England to help them expand their role as mentors and create a world-class environment for learning based on Amateur Radio.

I Need Your Support

There are currently three candidates for the position of ARRL New England Director. Ballots for the election will be mailed to all New England ARRL Members on October 1st.

I am asking you for your help and your vote in making our plans a reality to benefit Amateur Radio folks across New England and the ARRL.

If you are not already an ARRL Member, please consider joining the ARRL and participating in the upcoming New England Director election. You can become an ARRL member here.

Your vote means a great deal to the future of Amateur Radio.

Additional Information

I have been widely endorsed by members of the Amateur Radio community for my work. You can see what Hams such as Dr. Bob Heil, K9EID, Gordon West, WB6NOA, and others are saying about their support for me as ARRL New England Division Director at elect.ab1oc.org/endorsements.

You can learn more about what I am hoping to accomplish as ARRL New England Division director at elect.ab1oc.org.

I welcome everyone’s comments and questions. You can reach me at ab1oc@arrl.net.

About Me

I am an active amateur with a broad range of Amateur Radio interests. I enjoy many aspects of the hobby, including DXing, contesting, EmCom activities and Field Day, satellites, station building, and weak signal operating on the VHF and higher bands. One of Amateur Radio’s most important strengths is its tremendous diversity and range of interests and activities.

I am an electrical engineer by training and I hold bachelor’s and master’s degrees in EE. I have served in many business leadership roles, including VP and General Manager of a large data networking and communication business, VP of Strategy and Business Development for a large telecommunication equipment company, as a Chief Technology Officer, and as Project Leader at Bell Laboratories in the development of wireless and wired data communications technologies. I have also served on the FCC’s Technical Advisory Council where I assisted the FCC in developing public policy related to wireless and broadband communications. I hold an Amateur Extra license and have been quite active on the air logging over 100,000 contacts on the HF and higher bands. You can read more about my professional background on LinkedIn here.

Fred Kemmerer, AB1OC

Helping Amateur Radio Grow

Hello, I am Fred Kemmerer, AB1OC. As many of you know, I have been dedicating much of my time and energy to helping folks to get into Amateur Radio, to learn new skills through our hobby, and to experience the joy and sense of accomplishment that Amateur Radio brings.

Technician License Class
Teaching a Technician License Class

I have been able to accomplish many things to help hams and grow Amateur Radio as part of the Nashua Area Radio Society in the past 6 years. We have licensed or upgraded over 350 hams. We’ve provided training and help for hams to get on the air, build stations, and learn new skills. We’ve developed some world-class Amateur Radio training programs through our Tech Nights, Ham Bootcamp, n1fd.org, and more.

Bishop-Guertin High School High-Altitude Balloon project students
Bishop-Guertin High School High-Altitude Balloon project students

We’ve done some great work in local schools to introduce young people to Amateur Radio and to provide STEM learning experiences and licensing opportunities in schools as well.

Helping Hudson Memorial School students to talk to an astronaut on the ISS
Helping Hudson Memorial School students to talk to an astronaut on the ISS

We’ve also supported the ARISS space station contact programs in two schools in our area and this has led me to serve as an ARISS Mentor and Ground Station; helping schools around the world to enjoy the thrill of making contact with an astronaut on the International Space Station.

Amateur Radio changes people’s lives for the better. I know this because it has changed mine in significant ways. It led me to become an Electrical Engineer and helped me to develop many skills that have enriched my life and allowed me to enrich the experiences of others.

Where To Next?

Several friends and supporters have approached me about running for the position of New England Director in the ARRL. Directors serve on the Board of Directors of the ARRL for a three-year term and are elected by the members of the ARRL in the Director’s Division. In our case, this encompasses the sections of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Eastern Massachusetts, Western Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island.

Folks are encouraging me to take on this responsibility for several reasons with a chief one being the expectation that we can create, through this role, an environment among the clubs and the ARRL Membership here in New England that will encourage new people to join the Amateur Radio Service and encourage all hams to grow their skills. The work that we have already done, we believe, can be leveraged through the New England Director’s position to benefit clubs and individual hams across New England and throughout the ARRL.

After much consultation with friends, Nashua Area Radio Society Members, my wife Anita AB1QB, and others who have played major roles in the ARRL, I have decided to take on this challenge by running this fall.

What Will We Do?

I believe that it’s important to work with clubs and individual hams here in New England and across the ARRL to grow the Amateur Radio Service. This means bringing new people into Amateur Radio, helping existing hams get on the air and develop new skills.

I am seeking the office of New England Division Director so that I may work to create an environment in our region and across the ARRL that will help everyone to fully develop our skills to bring a rich Amateur Radio experience to new folks and experienced hams alike. I believe that Amateur Radio clubs and interest groups have always been the foundation of mentoring and skills development in our hobby and I plan to focus on working with clubs across our region to accomplish these goals.

We cannot grow Amateur Radio without embracing and supporting a broad range of Amateur Radio Activities including DXing, Contesting, EmCom, VHF and higher band weak-signal work, and plain old rag chewing via phone, CW, and digital modes. The breadth of activities that Amateur Radio affords is one of its greatest strengths and I will work to support and help to expand interest in all aspects of the hobby.

Regular, two-way open, and honest communication between the ARRL leadership and ARRL members is an essential part of success in meeting these goals. I am committed to creating a process and forums for regular, active 2-way dialog and sharing of activities that are successful in growing Amateur Radio and expanding opportunities for all hams in New England to grow their skills and have fun through Amateur Radio.

I hope that you will consider supporting us in this effort. I very much look forward to the opportunity to serve hams in New England and across the ARRL.

All the Best and 73,

Fred Kemmerer, AB1OC