Radio Merit Badge Day
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Ideas to help sell Radio to kids!
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!

Suggested Timetable

Radio Merit Badge Day