Scouts and guides in the radio world

Alpha, bravo, charlie: Scouts learn the phonetic alphabet at the Blue Mountains Amateur Radio Club in Glenbrook.
Alpha, bravo, charlie: Scouts learn the phonetic alphabet at the Blue Mountains Amateur Radio Club in Glenbrook.

From the very old to the very modern: Scouts from the Penrith district learnt all about the world of radio at the annual Jamboree of the Air last Saturday.

At a special day hosted by the Blue Mountains Amateur Radio Club at its Glenbrook clubhouse, scouts and guides tapped out Morse code, conversed through tin cans via a string phone, played with walkie talkies and mastered the phonetic alphabet (alpha, tango, foxtrot).

They were then taken into the current day, using the club’s modern radio equipment and the internet to speak to fellow scouts around the state.

Club secretary, Irene van Ekris (call sign VK2 VAN), said the day was “part of our community engagement”.

“Amateur radio can be a community hobby but, as with so many hobbies, it has an ageing membership. This is an opportunity to open the world of amateur radio to the new generation.”

Jamboree of the Air has been running for more than 60 years and is an international event. At Glenbrook, the scouts and guides were talking over the radio to their counterparts at Austral, near Liverpool.

They shared stories about their scouting activities, their families, even their pets.

The BM Amateur Radio Club has monthly meetings on the first Friday of the month. The club also offers training for people wishing to get an amateur radio licence.

The clubhouse at 4 Moore St, Glenbrook, is also open on the 1st and 3rd Saturdays from 10am-1pm for anyone to drop in and see radio work in action.