Dayton Drill

320-056-HangerThe Miami Valley Scout Council in Dayton, Ohio hosted the K2BSA Jamboree Operation at their Cricket Holler Harry F. Schiewetz Leadership Training Center the week of May 13 to May 19, 2013. They also accepted shipment of amateur radio items from our various sponsors and arranged for a local troop to supply a trailer to pack all the equipment to be driven to the Jamboree in July.

The Cricket Holler center provided training rooms, kitchen, and four sleeping cabins. The center is located just 3 miles from HARA Arena, the site of the Dayton Hamvention, which is held on May 17, 18, and 19th. This arrangement allowed staff members to fully assemble and test the stations, then pick up needed items at the nearby Hamvention. The cost for the event was split among the K2BSA staff members that attended, some 20 staff members from previous Jamborees as well as those signed up for 2013. The Dayton Drill @ Cricket Holler was an incredible experience with staff members assembling antennas and stations within minutes of arrival on Monday, May 13.

Tuesday and Wednesday were spent getting more equipment setup and operational along with some problem solving experiences.

Bill Bode, N4WEB, and his demonstration team, supported by Russ Mickiewicz, N7QR, and his support team, got all the Icom rigs and the SteppIRs running along with N1MM and the network. We also established the K2BSA D-Star registration with a little help from our friends at K5TIT (pioneers in D-Star with the first D-STAR repeater in the world outside Japan). Echolink is all ready to go, courtesy of Bill Ragsdale, K6KN. Bob Bruninga, WB4APR, spent time with Keith Kaiser, WA0TJT, setting up the APRS Digipeater. Mike Yammine, KB8CMS, along with Keith, WA0TJT, got all the Icom R6 receivers and the Foxhunting antennas ready to go. Tim O'Rourke, W4YN, and Rick Smith, N6GSE, have become our SteppIR experts. Quote of the week comes from Tim --- when asked if he'd read the manual said "I'm not the right gender to read the manual." However, after consulting the manual, troubleshooting was successful.

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Ron Wood, K0BRO, and his Radio Merit Badge team went through the slide deck and approach to training. On the fly I saw them taking photos of components and moving the images into the slides, always finding ways to improve the presentation for our Scouts. We ended the week with two local Scouts going through the training so we could get real experience and make still further adjustments before the Jamboree.

At one point I spotted Bill Bode and team in the middle of the nearby field with chairs and traffic cones laying out the full dimensions of the demonstration station tent set up. Then they replicated a scale model in the building coming up with breakthrough changes to optimize the efficiency and effectiveness of the demonstration.

On Thursday it was more of the same during the morning and early afternoon with a break for a tour of the Voice of America Museum, hosted by Icom. As our team were leaving the museum, Ray Novak from Icom was arriving and later he reported to me that he was mobbed by our guys, thanking him for his superb support of all our Radio Scouting efforts. I will note that I'd asked them to give him a hug --- which a couple of guys did in the Icom Booth on Friday. Ray said we completed our task on that front. ; - )

By the time Friday rolled around we had accomplished all our key tasks and everyone headed to the Hamvention. Several supported the Radio Scouting booth in the ARRL Exhibit. Everyone had a purchase list for their own items and we had a small shopping list for the K2BSA operation.

Saturday, we packed up the trailer that was located by the Miami Valley Council and provided by a local troop. We will be able to store all our gear there and it will meet us at the Summit.

A huge shout out to Doug Nelson, Scout Executive of the Miami Valley Council, and his staff and Scouters for their hospitality and work on our behalf.

Bob Bereit, K3RMB, has produced an excellent video of the K2BSA Dayton Drill. Check it out!

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