In about three weeks a 13-year old Scout working on his Radio merit badge is going to be visiting my station. We’ve never met but his mother and my wife are co-workers so we do have some common ground. Several days prior to visiting me he will have spent a few hours at a club’s Field Day set-up about two hours from where we both live.
From all reports, he’s a tinkerer like most of us once were (still are!) which bodes well and suggests a possible interest in radio beyond merely satisfying the requirements of the merit badge. At least that’s my hope.
My shack is set up for CW and nothing else. In other words, completely unimpressive to a potential new ham. So my plan is to unbox my old FT-840 (since I have a mic for it), then tune the various bands as I explain the general characteristics of each. Make a few phone contacts perhaps with a DX station, maybe listen in and decode some digital signals. Show him some QSL cards…
What I don’t want to do is squander an opportunity to draw a member of the younger generation into the fold. I honestly don’t know what impresses a 2014-vintage teen in these days of texting, global email and other technology that has stolen the thunder of radio for many younger folks.
I will probably give him my WSPR receiver and offer to set it up for him but I can see that being interesting for maybe 5 milliseconds.
Other than these things, I’m open to suggestion on how to gain interest in the hobby among his age group.
Anyone who has experience – I’m all ears…