Remember to keep it simple. This is not the place to demonstrate your knowledge of computing
impedances using a Smith Chart. It is the place to carefully describe the fun of talking on a repeater to beginners.
Be enthusiastic about our hobby, but avoid coming across as a zealot. For most of the boys
this is their first encounter with a ham. Many look at our non-traditional, somewhat esoteric hobby as being slightly
eccentric. This is our chance to dispel this, not reinforce it.
If you can, avoid habits and dress that kids might consider "nerdy". These include pocket
protectors, taped glasses, and poor grooming, etc. Having one instructor under the age of 30 will automatically help
you with this.
Encourage and reinforce their discoveries. Act excited when they correctly talk across town.
Be careful in explaining the expense of radios. While hams certainly can spend tens of thousands
of dollars on radios and antennas, explain that most hams get started for about $200 or even less if used equipment is
available. Don't forget to emphasize HT's and mobile radios to those with antenna restrictions. And if your local
ham club has collected a few "loaner rigs" for a ham to use for their first month on the air, let them know about it!
Avoid having kids standing around. No more than two Scouts should ever be watching another
kid talk on the radio. So increase the number of stations or schedule the on air times to match the number of Scouts
participating. Adding a mini- fox hunt for those boys waiting to talk is also fun!
Consider other options. In Requirement 9, Radio Merit Badge actually gives the Scout
the three options of Amateur Radio, Broadcasting or Shortwave Listening (SWL). Class 1, Intro to Radio, and
Class 2, Components,Safety and Careers, are common to all three.
Class 3 is the Amateur Radio option. Most Scouts choose this as it's the easiest, but if a Scout wants to record
his own half hour simulated radio show for the Broadcast option or to log four hours of SWL listening instead, try to
find a way to accomodate him.
Have a Technician License Course scheduled as a follow-on. Radio Merit Badge is designed
to whet a Scout's appetitite. So beforehand, make sure that your local club has a Technican License prep course scheduled
to start a few weeks after your Radio Merit Badge course. You can then hand out flyers about the license prep course at
the Merit Badge class. Hand them out to the parents and Scouters as well!