Saturday, January 05, 2008

Radio Merit Badge Day at the David Sarnoff Library

We just qualified 55 Boy Scouts from all over the Central New Jersey Council for their radio merit badges today! The David Sarnoff Library, with the generous support of Sarnoff Corporation, hosts this wonderful event on the first Saturday of every January because it can provide the space for the Boy Scout leaders and their amateur radio volunteers to set up four work stations and four radio stations, as well as two or even three classrooms for the scouts to work through the requirements of the radio merit badge. In four years, over 250 scouts have qualified, and many of them have pursued their amateur radio operator's licenses as well.
First the staff had to set up their posts, like this one on the Library patio, bright and early in the morning.

Then the scouts and their parents have to appear and sign in, and when they've gathered in the auditorium, organizer Gary Wilson, K2GW, welcomes them and explains the day's schedule. The Library's executive director, Alex Magoun, introduces the crowd to David Sarnoff's amazing career in radio, starting as an office boy and wireless operator and ending as a seer of our internetworked wireless world in the 21st century.

With that story fresh in their minds, the scouts make their appointed rounds: to the Lounge,the patio, the office suite, and the museum, among others.

At the end of the day, the scouts gathered again in the Auditorium to receive their certificates (the badges are in the mail). But they received far more than they bargained for, because Princeton University's Dr. Joe Taylor, K1JT and Nobel Laureate, dropped by to explain how his radio hobby and experiments as a child got him started on a wonderfully fulfilling career in physics and radio astronomy, in which he and fellow Nobel Laureate Dr. Russell Hulse discovered the first binary pulsar. O, the places you can go in wireless!

1 comment:

N2GJ said...

Thank you, Alex, and the Sarnoff Corporation for your generous use of the facilities! I have posted some additional photos at this URL:

http://www.gjurrens.com/oragallery/BSA_Radio_2008

Enjoy! See you next year! 73,

Gerry Jurrens, N2GJ
Radio Merit Badge Counselor