Today's youth has been speaking out all over the world as it has never before in history. The protests are heard in colleges and even high schools. The pressure is building up and perhaps we can look forward to some explosions in amateur radio.
Youth has been getting the dirty end of the stick from the ruling cliques in many amateur radio clubs. In others, and more usually, they drop out in disgust. Bad scene either way.
The rumble of discontent has been rising steadily at ARRL conventions and the day may not be far away when something breaks. The youth are well aware of the dirty deal they have been getting from the entrenched old timers who are running the League- They've watched the ARRL Incentive Licensing scheme eat dangerously into the ranks of the youngsters and they are angry over the new two year wait for a higher class license. They've watched the FCC figures showing a catastrophic drop in newcomers to our hobby and they point an accusing finger at ARRL HQ.
The rigged ARRL Open Forums at conventions are no longer fobling the youngsters. They want answers. They want action. They want a change in the basic ARRL policies which prevent a Novice or Technician from holding office. They are bitter over the recent change in the by-laws, obviously aimed at them, where the Directors explicity prohibited anyone under 21 from running for the office.
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Have you run into an SCM that refuses to appoint teenage hams to leadership posts EC, SEC, etc.)? If you run into this, and it is not unusual, unfortunately, then get together with some friends and try and get the rascal out of office. Let him know that you care. If you round up the teenage votes you could well win, because many of the older hams are, sunk into disinterest and could care less even if the hobby continues. They may be dead from the neck up, but you aren't and you can run rings around them.
Teenage traffic nets are fun and informative. ! hey are a step in the right direction. There are only a handful at the moment, such as the New England Teenage Net which meets daily on 3905 at 1900 EDT. The Missouri Teenage Traffic Net meets Monday through Saturdays on 3904 at 1900 CST. The Cornhuskers i Nebraska) Teenage Traffic Net gets together daily on 3982 at 1830 MST. The Fennessee Teenage AM Net works Monday, Wednesday and Fridays on 7280 at 22( 0 EDT. If you know of more nets please tell me about them.
We really do need a lot more teenage nets, so how about getting things started in your area and passing along the word to me? We could even use a national teenage net if some of you want to bite off a really big chunk to chew on. Sound groovy? Alright, write to me.
In the meanwhile, how about making a big try at getting some teenagers into the SCM chairs. Do you realize that not one single SCM in the entire 74 ARRL sections is a teenager0 It is really about time that the teenagers got into gear. It takes only five signatures from ARRL members to run for SCM, you know. Don't let them keep you down forever . . . give them a battle this year!
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