A Monthly Update from the President’s Shack

As of today, we are nearly 42% through 2020. At this point, 2020 is already going down as a year that history aficionados will thrive upon in discussions of local, regional, national, and worldwide impacts. Over the past two months, the PRA has learned to be flexible, versatile, and intuitive. Even though our program venues have changed from face-to-face to online, we are still getting on the air, having rag-chews, and getting a lot of contacts in the logbook. What continues to remain important for the PRA and its membership, is that we need to continue to encourage our new and potential hams, continue to check-in on one another, and share some of your newly found discoveries while we have had extra time in the shack or work bench.

This week, we learned of our ARRL Section Manager, Jack Ciaccia-WM0G, is stepping down from his position. For those of you that have not had the opportunity to meet Jack or get to know him, you missed out on meeting an Amateur Radio institution in Colorado. Rewind the PRA timeline back to January 2014. A group of 13 of us met in a conference room of a church in Parker, CO to discuss the feasibility of starting an amateur radio club in the southeast area of Denver’s suburbs. I invited Jack to participate in this inaugural meeting because, well, he was our Section Manager and definitely had some insight into what we were trying to pull off. I went into this meeting with some healthy optimism, but I was nagged by one comment given to me by email, “just what the Denver area needs, another ham radio club…SMH (shake-my-head).” Needless to say, within five minutes of the start of the meeting, Jack gave us words of encouragement, some pointers and the resources of the ARRL. With that, how could we not be successful?

I had an email exchange with Jack this week and one comment he provided summarizes the PRA perfectly. “The Parker Radio Association has become a force among our amateur radio clubs.” This statement is a testament to the 157+ members and their individual and collective efforts over the past six years. It is obvious that our success did not happen by accident and it did not happen perfectly. We grew by making mistakes, learning, supporting one another, and following our mission in “Playing Radio, Having Fun, and Keeping the Squelch Loose.”

At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, we could have taken the easy route in dialing in all meetings and events. We leveraged technology in bringing monthly meetings and Elmer Nights to YouTube Live. Just like the amateur radio service itself, we remained versatile, we tried new means to bring solid content to our members and continue to make impacts in learning about this great service.

This same mindset will carry into this year’s ARRL Field Day event. We are remaining on schedule for our annual excursion to Colorado Campground in Woodland Park. Obviously, a tremendous amount of efforts and coordination has been executed by our Field Day Committee team, lead by Brent-KB4SMK. What makes this year unique is that the ARRL has a temporary rule change that allows individuals to participate in Field Day at their home (or other location) while still contributing towards the points, counts and overall success of their Club; even if you’re not at Field Day in the woods with the PRA, you can still help us score BIG points and memorable contacts. More information on the temporary rule change can be found here: http://www.arrl.org/news/temporary-rule-waivers-announced-for-2020-arrl-field-day

The year is still relatively young and there are more changes to come. I am hopeful and optimistic that these coming changes will have positive and lasting impact on our amateur radio community. Hopefully, with some of the coming changes, the PRA and amateur radio as a whole, will continue to thrive and be, as Jack would put it, the “force” in our communities. If you have any suggestions on making your PRA stronger or have an idea for additional content platforms, let us know! Again, continue to encourage our new and potential hams, continue to check-in on one another, and share some of your newly found discoveries while we have had extra time in the shack or work bench.

Dan – N2SRK
Parker Radio Association

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