Many of you do not know what goes on in planning a Field Day so I thought I would review some of the processes of this past Winter Field Day.

When someone volunteers to head up the committee, in this case Joe McGee NX4T, they map out what they would like to see happen. Joe wanted to see as many different hams as well as club members attend the Field Day and have a good experience. He first thought of how to bring that about and came up with an idea to reach out by Post Cards to hams all over the Broward County area. Normally we had only used the emails we have in our database in the past. The Board agreed to support the project and Joe went to work designing the post cards with the help of Tom Savoca K9TJS, our PIO and webmaster over the December break period. After the design was complete it was sent off to the printer and when they were received by Joe, he went busily to work hand addressing the Post cards using the info from the FCC database for all the general and extra license holders in Broward County. He addressed some 400 cards and since he had not included call signs on them and the general thought was that it would be a better way to bring attention to the cards, a great friend to the club and most gregarious member, Aurora Figueiredo WD4AGF, then took the cards and added all of the call signs to them and sorted them by zip code for easy mailing. I then took all to the post office and put them in the mail.

Of course, although the hopes were that people would RSVP for food prep purposes, we did not get any and thought perhaps the Post cards may not yield any results. On WFD, we found that we got a 3% response in attendees and the visiting hams were delighted to be invited and meet our worker bees for the club. Some had issues with their antennas and other things in their shack but they were introduced to Jeff Stahl K4BH, Ricky Eaton KD4HGR, Tom McClain N3HPR, and Joe McGee NX4T to discuss the issues and get better ideas and the promise of future help with the problems.

It was wonderful to have satisfied people in our midst and we felt the Post Card effort was not in vain.

Joe McGee NX4T also felt that it was of the utmost importance for all visiting hams get a chance on the air during a Field Day so Joe again enlisted the able aid of Tom Savoca K9TJS to write a program where people could register for a time slot on the air of their choosing in half hour increments. This would, one, insure everyone got a chance to get on the air when convenient for them and two, the radio would be busy all day and night long. Thanks to these two gentlemen, who worked all through the Christmas holidays on the program project, its objective was met. Someone was on the radio at all times supporting the club by operating. We had over 15 different operators as opposed to the usual 3 or 5 we normally had on the radio. Some were first time operators and were given a chance to get their feet wet on the air. The GCARA Board were all happy with the result of the efforts of Joe and Tom and the support staff at the WFD. It was a first and it won’t be the last!

Now, if this intrigues you, we would like to invite your participation in the summer ARRL FIELD DAY. With the new ideas Joe spawned for inviting and operating, we managed to gather 54 visitors, all of whom were treated to a good time. The opportunities to shine are endless and Joe has more fun up his sleeve for the summer, as a consultant, to the contest. I admire his enthusiasm and genuine desire to mentor hams. He works with many newbies or shut ins who need help with equipment or whatever. He is one of the most socially active hams among us and I am so pleased he serves as a director in the club. I am also pleased with the hard work and creative designs of Tom Savoca KJ9TJS who saw these 2 involved projects through all of the time constraints and effort it took with such positive feedback and energy. Gentlemen, GCARA thanks you.

……….and that’s the rest of the story!

Submitted by Melanie Fernandez KJ4VCT

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