A Monthly Update From the President’s Shack
A few people have noticed that this monthly column is running a bit behind schedule for the month. It is for good intentions. I am a firm believer that in order to truly reflect upon your activities and decisions, you need to step away once in a while in order to better organize your thoughts so as to improve your actions. There is no better way to step away for a bit than to use vacation time to get out of town, turn off work emails and (dare I say), turn off the radio for a bit. As much as we promote amateur radio operators to “get on the air” or “call CQ,” there is a magical process that happens when you walk away from it all for a short period of time.
The PRA is coming off one of its most busiest months in the organization’s history. In the month of June alone, we had at least 15 club activities; from on-the-air nets, face-to-face meeting, Elmer Night, Pedaling-4-Parkinson’s and Field Day. Throw in a couple online meetings to the mix and it is obvious that the month of June was a record pace for the PRA. Speaking of records, we set a much higher bar for future Field Day operations – more of that to follow. In the midst of all this activity, coupled with employer obligations, family obligations, graduation parties, feeling overwhelmed or overbooked was staring me in the face. I knew that if I got to the 4th of July, I would take full advantage of the vacation I had scheduled.
The PRA is in its best shape ever. We have a dedicated leadership team that lives and acts on the organization’s mission; we have an engaged, participatory and excited group of members that are not only eager to participate, but do so willingly. In particular, every month I am blown away at the level of enthusiasm at our monthly Elmer Nights. Experienced operators helping new or potential operators, offering words of encouragement, giving different perspectives or techniques. Even experienced hams getting taught new modes or methods of operating. If you have not attended a PRA Elmer Night, I strongly encourage you to do so.
Speaking of leadership, this year is a PRA election year. All positions are open for nomination and election; what is most refreshing about this is that the entire PRA Board wants new perspectives and is encouraging members to serve in some capacity. If a leadership position seems too steep, offer your help in one of our committees like website, repeater, Scouts, or Field Day, to name a few. When the PRA was founded, we committed that this organization belonged to the membership, not the leadership. This is your amateur radio organization. Nominations will take place at our September meeting and elections in October.
Of our most recent PRA activity, ARRL Field Day, we demonstrated that amateur radio prevails in all types of conditions. We experienced 70 degree weather, rain, thunder/lightening, hail, plummeting temperatures, and even a couple of snow flurries. Through expert planning and execution of the entire Field Day committee, lead by Brent – KB4SMK, not only did we overcome the elements, but the PRA set an all-time new record for the organization. We had a total of 1,032 contacts which is over 35% higher than we had the previous year. Our point total 3,768, driven by not only the QSO totals, but bonus points. Even with the less than ideal weather conditions, we had 30 PRA members and guests participate in a fun filled Field Day weekend that proved that amateur radio is a fail-safe way to communicate.
In my time away the past two weeks from amateur radio, I came to realize in the last days of vacation that I missed it. Taking time to step away gained me a greater appreciate for the hobby, cleared my cluttered mind, and has re-energized me to learn more about the hobby, promote it better, and develop new ways to continue to giveback to a service that has given me so much. That time away was indeed magical and long overdue, but there is nothing more magical than getting back on the air again, when you have been away, and making that first contact again.
Dan – N2SRK
Parker Radio Association