10/21/07 — Scouts talk to the world

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Scouts talk to the world

By Anessa Myers
Published in News on October 21, 2007 2:02 AM

Up a dusty road in Four Oaks Saturday, more than 1,000 eager Boy Scouts took to the field at Camp Tuscarora.

But this time, instead of just practicing local camping skills, they got to communicate with people around the globe.

Scouts and their families from Wayne, Duplin, Sampson and Johnston counties enjoyed the weather and the events. From kite flying to BMX riding and skateboarding, the boys had plenty to tie up their time. But what they didn't expect was to be able to speak to people across the state, country and even the world.

Marking the 50th anniversary of "Jamboree on the Air", the Wayne County Amateur Radio Society came to the event and used the worldwide day of communication to encourage the Scouts to learn how to use hand-operated radios as well as satellites.

Society president Dave Price taught a radio merit badge class earlier in the morning, but said Scouts had been coming in to use the club's six radio and satellite stations in waves throughout the day.

"We had about 180 Scouts in here so far today," he said.

The boys were able to speak with people and Cub Scouts in areas as close as Raleigh and as far away as the South Pacific.

Most of them didn't have long conversations. They spoke long enough to say hello and tell each other where they were from.

They also received cards that they were to fill out to keep track of whom they contacted.

One Scout talked to more than 55 people throughout the day via radio, filling up five cards, he said.

"I talked to people from Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Puerto Rico, England, Italy," said Austin Scott, 10, of Cub Scout Pack 10. "I just told them that I hoped they were having fun in Cub Scouts, but some spoke weird languages. I think the worst and the hardest to understand was Puerto Rico."

Some he got to speak with more than others.

"There was one person who said that he had to get off the phone because his pizza was there," he said.

Scott, who is in his second year as a Cub Scout, didn't plan to stop using the radios and satellites to speak with people.

"I still have cards left, so I will come back tonight," he said.

Other Scouts were able to contact people in Yugoslavia, Switzerland, Antigua and other countries as well as Texas, South Dakota, Arkansas and Wisconsin.

Radio communication had a little more success than satellite communication.

"With the satellites, it's all about timing," said Albert Lioen, who was in charge of the satellite station at the camp.

He said that there is about a 10-minute window for communication as the satellite is passing overhead. After that, communication is lost.

But, the scouts were able to contact a person in Ohio earlier Saturday morning via satellite.

The events were part of a fall council event that will last through today.