Thursday, May 27, 2010

Letter from Handiham Radio Camp

Dear Family & Friends,

Here I am at Handiham Radio Camp, and I've been having a great time. It's hard to believe that we are already leaving camp tomorrow morning. The week has gone by so fast!

Several of us arrived a day early to begin setup of antennas and stations. The photo I've included here shows Phil, K9HI, Matt, KA0PQW, and Don, N0BVE, posing midway between antenna projects and smiling for the camera. The volunteers who help us through the week are really the experts at making things happen - whether it is setting up computer networks, running coax, stringing up Field Day antennas, setting up and testing station gear, teaching licensing classes, teaching operating skills, getting campers out onto the lake to operate marine mobile, and all of the other things that happen during the week.

Nancy, our Handiham Secretary, met the campers for the first time this week. She had never been at a radio camp session before and was quite a celebrity, since everyone knew her voice from talking with her on the phone. When the radio camp was at Courage North, it was too far for Nancy to drive. Now that we are at Camp Courage, we are close enough to Minneapolis to make the drive practical.

This morning we met the V.E. team for breakfast, then the campers who were taking exams gave it their best shot. Those who got the good news were really happy, and those who didn't quite make it - well, they were happy to have an excuse to come back to camp next year. After lunch, we started taking down the antennas, at least the temporary ones, and packing up the station gear. It seemed as if we had just gotten that stuff out of the boxes and set it up, but that's the way it goes: Time really does go fast when you are having fun.

The afternoon weather is perfect today, and we are having a pool party. The campers and staff are enjoying our swimming pool while I am packing boxes. Poor me. Oh, heck, I really didn't want to go swimming anyway. While I was packing, I was listening to Jerry, N0VOE, conducting a mini-net connecting a group of our campers with an elementary school class studying geography. Arlene, KE7KNM, teaches school in Salt Lake City, UT, and invited us to speak with her students, who would locate our home QTHs on a map.

Joe, N3AIN, agreed to share a few thoughts about radio camp week with you, so keep listening, and have a great Memorial Day weekend.

The Handiham office will be closed through Tuesday, opening again on June 2.


Patrick Tice, Handiham Manager