In the past few months, a lot has happened with Train the Trainer in the USA. Our main focus these past few months has been the YOTA month and what we call “CQ Santa.” CQ Santa is where we set up a station at a local hardware store and let kids of all ages talk to Santa over the air. This year, fourteen kids got to talk to Santa and tell him what they wanted for Christmas, along with any questions they had about him or his reindeer. Our plan is to do this in the coming years as well.
YOTA month was slower than we expected, but we were able to make over 1000 contacts. Many of these contacts were made by young hams helping kids and kids at heart (a.k.a. adults) get on the air for the first time and experience amateur radio. There is nothing like the feeling a kid gets when they call CQ for the first time and someone answers them from another country, or even just another state.
One other thing has contributed to Train the Trainer. Faith Hannah (AE4FH and the author of this report), Hope (KM4IPF), and their dad James (WX4TV) did a four-day DXpedition to the Dry Tortugas (112 km off Key West, Florida in the USA) using the callsign N4T. During this, we were able to educate around five people in person about amateur radio. One of these people was a ham that was camping. He heard us on the air and went scouring the island to find us and ask us what we were doing. Eventually he found us and, after explaining what was going on, we got him on satellite for the first time ever. He was extremely excited to have talked to someone through a 10 cm by 10 cm cube flying through space. Most of the encouraging of youngsters that we did was talking to them on the air. We were able to work around ten kids from all over the USA and Mexico. The girl from Mexico that we worked was excited about talking to another girl. This contact gave me a chance to encourage her to pursue the hobby. Seeing that she was having trouble understanding English over the radio, I talked to her in Spanish when I could to help her out. After all, that could have been her first time on the air.
In the future, we plan to continue our YouTube channel Ham Radio (dot) World, where we have been able to inspire people of all ages to get their license. We are also considering a YOTA day, which was described in the last Train the Trainer report. In the next few years we hope to have a YOTA summer camp in the USA. We plan to have events throughout the year where we set up a station and allow anybody to get on the air for the first time. We also plan to spread the word of ham radio by going to hamfests and encouraging people to get active on the bands.