“Mentoring the Next Generation” is Hamvention and ARRL 2019 National Convention Theme

With an eye toward helping new and inexperienced hams enjoy the full range of activities that Amateur Radio has to offer, Hamvention® and the ARRL 2019 National Convention will embrace the theme of “Mentoring the Next Generation.” Hamvention hosts the National Convention May 17 – 19 at the Greene County Fairgrounds and Expo Center in Xenia, Ohio. This will mark the third year for Hamvention at its new venue. A contingent of ARRL staff and member-volunteers will join forces to make available many ARRL exhibits and resources to Hamvention visitors. The centerpiece of ARRL’s participation will be ARRL EXPO in Building 2. An extensive roster of exhibits and activities will also educate and entertain.

Instructors from the ARRL Teachers Institute for Wireless Technology will be on hand to bring wireless and electronics theory to life in hands-on demonstrations and lessons. They’ll also touch on satellite communications, microcontrollers, and the fundamentals of robotics. At a Sunday morning forum (10:30 AM – 11:30 AM in Room 2) called “Discovering Radio Communications,” presenters for the Teachers Institute will highlight a variety of instructional experiences and ideas.

As part of its mentoring focus, ARRL has invited members of the Nashua (New Hampshire) Area Radio Society to Hamvention and ARRL EXPO to share the club’s effective and well-developed outreach program. The ARRL Special Service Club, which boasts more than 200 members and is being recognized as the 2019 Hamvention Club of the Year, caters to radio amateurs of all interests and experience levels. NARS will host an interactive exhibit that may serve as a model for other radio clubs to emulate as well as a Friday midday forum, “ARRL Spotlight on Radio Clubs and Mentoring” (11:50 AM – 1:05 PM) in Room 3. Club members will discuss their activities and approach to building membership and club participation.

ARRL-sponsored forums will include the always-entertaining ARRL Laboratory Manager Ed Hare, W1RFI, who will present “The ARRL Lab: Trials, Tribulations and (Tall?) Tales,” on Friday morning (9:15 AM – 10:30 AM) in Room 3. Hare has promised to share with Hamvention visitors the inside information about what goes on in the ARRL Lab, including a few tales you’ll never read about in the pages of QST.

ARRL Great Lakes Director Dale Williams, WA8EFK, will moderate the popular ARRL Forum on Saturday (12 PM – 1:15 PM) in Room 3.

On hand to discuss “ARRL’s New Volunteer Monitor Program and the FCC” will be Riley Hollingsworth, K4ZDH, a familiar face to many Hamvention visitors from his days with the FCC. Hollingsworth is heading up the development of this new program using guidelines provided by the FCC and his years of experience working in the FCC Enforcement Bureau. Among other things, he’ll talk about the importance of helping each other to maintain high standards on the air, issuing “good operator” notices to recognize exemplary behavior, and of course, deterring poor operating practices. This forum is set for Sunday morning (9:15 AM – 10:15 PM) in Room 2.

On Saturday afternoon, ARRL’s new CEO Howard Michel, WB2ITX, will speak on “Engaging Today’s Radio Amateur” (1:30 PM – 2:30 PM) in Room 3. Michel says, “Ham radio shouldn’t abandon the old guardians of the hobby, but at the same time, it needs to have new things that appeal to people who have different interests and different passions.”

Other ARRL-sponsored forum topics will include a panel discussion on ARRL public service communications, moderated by Rob Macedo, KD1CY, on Friday afternoon, (2:25 PM – 3:40 PM) in Room 3. The ARRL Collegiate Amateur Radio Initiative (CARI) forum, moderated by brothers Andy, KK4LWR, and Tony Milluzzi, KD8RTT, will cater to university students and those supporting campus radio clubs on Saturday afternoon (4 PM – 5 PM) in Room 3.

An ARRL Wouff Hong Ceremony will take place Saturday at 9 PM at the Marriott at the University of Dayton (Tradewinds Pavilion), sponsored by the ARRL Ohio Section. The traditional Wouff Hong ceremony is steeped in mystery and represents a tradition that goes back to the early days of ARRL history. Register online. A limited number of remaining seats may be available from the ARRL Field Organization Volunteers booth during the convention (ARRL EXPO in Building 2).

The Wouff Hong is a fictional tool used to “punish” Amateur Radio operators who demonstrate poor operating practices. According to legend, ARRL Co-Founder Hiram Percy Maxim, 1AW, under the pseudonym “The Old Man,” unveiled the Wouff Hong just as radio amateurs were getting back on the air after World War I, early in 1919. The “specimen of a real live Wouff Hong” he wrote about in QST was presented to the ARRL Board, which voted that it be framed and hung in the office of the Secretary of the League. The artifact remains on display at ARRL Headquarters today, a constant reminder to radio amateurs to be mindful of operating etiquette.

For more information, see the 2019 ARRL National Convention: Exhibit & Activities Guide.

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