It is my great privilege to welcome all of you to SECARS, the Southeastern CT Amateur Radio Society. We are the largest amateur radio club in Southeastern CT, and we are very active. Our members bring a lot of diverse experience to the hobby, and we are willing to share that with you, benefit from your experience and enhance the practice of amateur radio in our region. Our officers are here to support your growth in the hobby and facilitate organizing activities that will enrich your experience and enjoyment of amateur radio. My goal as president of SECARS is to facilitate further growth of the club and to ensure that we support every member in achieving their personal goals with the hobby. I have been a licensed radio amateur for 42 years, and I am continuously learning from others who have greater and different experiences. I am hopeful that you will find the same situation for yourself as you interact with other members of our club.
Members are the lifeblood of any club, and activities are what enhances membership and the experience they have with our organization. SECARS is a very active club, and we have something to offer for everyone. These activities include Field Day, Island on the Air, Lighthouses on the Air, Museum Ships on the Air, various nets, training courses, foxhunts, VE sessions, public service events, assisting new amateurs with operating practices and setting up their stations, a biannual auction, an annual picnic and many others. Our members are also talking about Parks on the Air and Summits on the Air. These are great ways to get some exercise while enjoying amateur radio!
In one month, we will be engaging in Field Day, what many regard as the premier activity in amateur radio. SECARS will have a lot going on at Field Day – a GOTA (Get on the Air) station, six other HF stations, a VHF station, a satellite station, foxhunting and other activities for kids and adults, a public information table, invited guests, great food and an opportunity for everyone to learn and get on the air. We will even have a satellite station, where you can help us make contacts through space to receive bonus points. I really hope you can join us. Details are in the Announcements section of our website.
I had the thrill of co-hosting (with Dave K1DCT) our first foxhunt today. We had about a dozen hunters at the Ansonia Preserve in Ledyard. Our hidden transmitters were distributed throughout the Red and Blue trails, and we had six of them chirping for about 3 hours. I walked about 5 miles to find the four foxes that I did not hide. We had some beginners in the crowd, and several of the more experienced members helped orient them to foxhunting. We even had two members of the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) experimenting with training options for new Cadets. You can find a few pictures of the event in the Photo Gallery – check out the foxhunting section there.
If you are new to amateur radio or would like to upgrade your license, we have courses. Our General license course is well underway with about 10 students. Our Technician course is archived. We helped at least three people get their ticket through this course. All lessons are video archived and will be made available on our group shared drive when it goes live. We have also made a New Ham Kit – it is available on our website. Please look for it if you are new to the hobby. Do you need a mentor? We have a mentoring program with mentor names and interests listed on the site. Sign up for a mentor at the bottom of that page.
SECARS has a lot to offer, and I encourage you to get involved, take advantage of our capabilities and add to them. Anyone is welcome to offer ideas (we have a spot for that on our website as well), help lead activities or just engage in them. Our new club has the critical mass needed to bring leadership across many different dimensions of the hobby. I look forward to working with you on strengthening amateur radio in Southeastern CT and to helping you grow further in this fantastic hobby.