The clubhouse was at full capacity, and we were treated to an excellent and interesting presentation by Riley Hollingsworth K4ZDH on the ARRL’s recently-launched Volunteer Monitors (VM) program. Hollingsworth is overseeing the development and implementation of this program, which will replace the Official Observers (OO) program.
He reported that they have had an excellent response from well-qualified volunteers to man the program and assured club members that our geographic area would be well represented. He feels the ability of the amateur radio community to keep its own operating standards high will ensure a long and healthy relationship with the FCC. His years as ARRL Atlantic Division Vice Director dealing with Amateur Radio enforcement for the FCC makes him highly qualified for this position.
In addressing the future of Amateur Radio, he said that even though the number of enthusiasts is not shrinking dramatically, the demographics are definitely changing towards an older average age. His biggest concern is that those of us in our retirement years are not replacing ourselves with young hams who understand the full scope of what they can do with their amateur radio license. He encourages clubs everywhere to look for ways to engage our young people and to tap into the interest in STEM education by reaching out to local schools and youth programs.