Amateur radio group helps girl guides go international

Amateur radio group visits girl guides. The trailer pictured was bought using money from the RSGB to

Amateur radio group visits girl guides. The trailer pictured was bought using money from the RSGB to help bring amateur radio to the younger generation. Picture: Peter Stainton - Credit: Archant

Eight members of a north Norfolk-based amateur radio group have been teaching girl guides how to contact colleagues around the world as part of Thinking on The Air Day.

The team from Bittern DX's educational outreach project made the journey to the village hall in Saham Toney, near Swaffham, to speak to about 60 rainbows, brownies, guides and their adult leaders.

Thinking on the Air Day is an opportunity for the members of girlguiding from the youngest rainbow to the oldest trefoil guild member to talk to other members of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts via amateur radio.

On this day each year members remember the founders of the movement and take part in various activities to think about their sisters throughout the world.

The girl guides were given the chance to find a transmitter 50 yards away, shown how the Morse code works, and they all keyed their name correctly, earning a certificate.

They were then allowed to talk on air to each other using handsets before being introduced to VHF working with each participant correctly conducting a meaningful conservation with a club member outside on a handheld.

One brownie had a short conversation with an amateur in Germany.

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Next they were shown the principles and techniques behind satellite working with three conversations conducted.

Peter Stainton, publicity officer for the Bittern DX, said: 'Club members found it very rewarding to see the young people take part in our hobby.

'One brownie said it had blown her mind away to see what we could do. But as a counterbalance, when being told how we could talk around the world and beyond, one commented 'I just use Skype'.'

The group's outreach project is aimed at bringing an amateur radio experience to the general public and was given a boost last year with a grant of almost £10,000 from the National Lottery's Awards for All fund for new club equipment.

The group also received money from the Radio Society of Great Britain Legacy Fund (RSGB) to help buy a trailer and new generator.

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