8.5%. That percentage marks how far into 2019 we are. When I think about it as a number, it does not seem like much, but it all depends on your perspective. If I had 8.5% more DX contacts, I would have my illusive DXCC Award (100 country confirmation)…if I studied 8.5% more, I’d work the rust off my CW copying skills…if I saved for another 8.5%, I could have bought a nicer radio; my point in all of this is to not call out the ‘what-if’s,’ but to call out how close we really are in better ourselves and bettering our hobby.

I have been licensed since 1992 and I have had a very blessed life in this hobby. From the countless Elmers that allowed a naturally curious, awkward teenager to ask countless questions helped form me into the operator I am today. It is these encounters that made an impact on me and anytime I have an opportunity to visit with the next generation of ham radio operators, no matter the age, I jump at the chance. Many new hams often ask me for advice on radio selections, programming tips, methods of studying for a test, and antenna selections, to name a few. What’s important to a lot of new hams is that they feel they are being treated with respect (while mutually giving it), feel welcomed, and having fun with the hobby that we have grown to respect and cherish.

At the Parker Radio Association, our focus remains the same from day one; Have Fun, Play Radio, and Keep the Squelch Loose. We also understand that as an organization, it is important to connect people and resources to further enhance individual enjoyment of the hobby, so as to enhance the greater common good of the membership base. Events such as our monthly Elmering Night sparked a great number of ideas, suggestions, and ways that the PRA can continue to better welcome new amateur radio operators, and also spread the kindness and service commitment we have to the community. Through our hobby, we can share our resources, talents, and time to spread this kindness to complete strangers, usually unnoticed and under the radar.

Our membership base ranges from new amateur radio operators to those that are seventy years in the hobby. What amazes me is that no matter how long we have been licensed, we can all learn from one another. Much like the 8.5% mentioned above, it all depends on your perspective and your attitude in the hobby. Changing our perspectives towards the common good of our hobby not only promotes the amateur radio service, but promotes learning and development for the amateur radio population. I cannot help but think that if we all took time out of our lives to spread a bit of amateur radio kindness (net control operator, Volunteer Examiner, Elmer Support, giving a presentation, helping program a radio, joining a committee, etc.) we would all be much happier in the next 8.5% of this year. With that in mind, the future would be even better than the past!

Dan – N2SRK
Parker Radio Association

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