This page is to help those at school districts or those with youth programs, create, and establish an amateur radio club. Meaning, getting your club "On the Air". We will list items in order to help you get started, once you are on-line, we hope that you come back and use our resources and other items to help enhance your club.
You do not have to follow these steps 100%. We are providing them in the order that we have used to establish a "new" club for a school district. These steps can be used as a guideline to help you out with your new endeavor. Before you begin, let us take the opportunity to "Thank You" on behalf of the Amateur Radio Community. You are making great advances for the common good through your dedication to this project. Again, you should be commended for what you are doing!
The information contained within The Bacon Station is based on a project that a group of operators performed during the 2016-2017 school year. They came together and started an amateur radio club and program at a school district and wanted to share their experiences with others who may want to tackle the same project (see link). One thing that you need to be aware of when you approach this project is, you always have to be prepared.
As you start your research, the following topics are going to be addressed, and as the club adviser, trustee, or teacher, you will need to be an expert in the following areas in order to have a successful club:
Know how to establish and communicate with parents.
Know how to communicate with local amateur operators and club.
Know how to communicate with the media.
Know how to communicate with amateur radio organizations.
Know how to communicate with local community groups.
Know how to communicate effectively with your school's administration. From board members to building principals, to maintenance supervisors.
Have working knowledge of all aspects of amateur radio.
Know how to create and have engaging activities with the students.
Know how to get the students to learn, study, and retain the information to pass the FCC amateur radio operator tests.
You do not need to be the expert in all of these areas to start you club; however, we hope you get the point that others, will expect that you are the expert in those areas. So, as long as you have working knowledge, you will do fine, and we are here to help you with any questions you may have.
Get to Know the American Radio Relay League
Another thing that we are going to mention here is the American Radio Relay League (later referred to ARRL). ARRL is the national association for Amateur Radio in the US. Founded in 1914 by Hiram Percy Maxim as The American Radio Relay League, ARRL is a noncommercial organization of radio amateurs. ARRL numbers within its ranks the vast majority of active radio amateurs in the nation and has a proud history of achievement as the standard-bearer in amateur affairs. ARRL’s underpinnings as Amateur Radio’s witness, partner and forum are defined by five pillars: Public Service, Advocacy, Education, Technology, and Membership.
You will find a lot of links on The Bacon Station that point back to ARRL. We are not here to replace the organization, only help organize the Amateur Radio Education so that can be easier applied to schools and organizations that are exposing children to the Amateur Radio Practices.
Where to begin
You have to start someplace right? Well, we have established a little checklist here that will help you get started with this project. For more information, see Where to Begin.