Ria Jairam ~ N2RJ
Ria Jairam, N2RJ started in Amateur Radio as a teenager in secondary school in Trinidad and Tobago.
Ria emigrated to the US in 2001 and has done pretty much everything from emergency communications to building radios, DXing and contesting.
Ria also serves as the ARRL Hudson Division Director, and is an alumnus of the NYU School of Engineering.
During my travels campaigning for ARRL division director, I was invited by local clubs to various events. One of them was the Tri-County Radio Association, TCRA, a general interest club that is centered in Union, New Jersey.
Toward the end of 2018, TCRA hosted a demonstration with several girl scout troops at Girl Scouts Park in Cranford, NJ. We hosted several events for the girls:
HF operation with a remotely controlled software defined radio. This was a good way to get them on HF without having to hassle with large antennas, but it did have problems with poor wifi and cellular receptions. Nonetheless we made some contacts and the radio display and "cool factor" of an SDR wowed many.
HF operation on a local radio. Also great to show off portable operation.
VHF operation on local TCRA repeater. The club allowed girls to make contact over the radio and this was very well received. Simple questions were answered like what is your favorite color, flavor of ice cream etc were fun for the girls. Note - NO personal information should be transmitted over the air, for the safety of the girls.
First names are OK. Location could be as generic as the county, town or state.
But by far - the most popular was a morse code key, the morse alphabet and girls were encouraged to tap out the first letter of their first name. They enjoyed this immensely and were very excited to do it.
Next up is a girl scout event run by TCRA where the girls will be earning their radio patch. This will happen in February. I've asked for a writeup of the event. We will be taking photos.
It is important to note that Girl Scouts and the parents are very reluctant to release photos of the girls for safety reasons.
Therefore, photos of the setup and non identifiable photos (i.e. no faces and names) are all we can obtain.
There was so much interest that TCRA had to TURN DOWN several girl scout troops from a single event and it will be broken down into smaller events. The current event will have around 200 girls or so.
The camp-out in the park had around that number as well.
Many thanks to Kymm Balinth, KY2MMM and the Tri-County Radio Association for hosting this event and contributing to this report.
District 2 chair