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The Boy Scouts of America and the American Radio Relay League Team Up to Help Scouts Learn Radio Communications Skills

The two organizations celebrate a long history of working together 

IRVING, Texas, and NEWINGTON, Connecticut—February 15, 2011 — After working together for nearly a century to provide Scouts with the ability to learn radio communication skills, the Boy Scouts of America and the American Radio Relay League (ARRL)—the national association for amateur radio—have officially teamed up after signing a memorandum of understanding (MOU). This MOU designates the ARRL as a key resource for the BSA’s radio station, K2BSA, and Radio merit badge training at the BSA national Scout jamboree, and establishes the ARRL as the go-to source for Scouts interested in learning about and becoming involved in radio communication.

BSA Chief Scout Executive Bob Mazzuca and ARRL President Kay Craigie launched the alliance today by holding a signing ceremony that took place at separate locations. During the ceremony, Mazzuca and Craigie took the opportunity to talk about the importance of each organization to the ongoing development of the other.

“Throughout the years, going all the way back to the Wireless merit badge in 1918, the ARRL has worked hand-in-hand with Boy Scouts of America to help teach Scouts the skills and joys of radio communication,” Mazzuca said. “Today, we are making official a relationship that has been beneficial for both of our organizations for nearly a century.”

The BSA, by virtue of its active membership and its outdoor program, represents a significant source of potential new radio operators looking to utilize amateur radio for emergency communications while in the field, as well as for education, experimentation, and friendship. As part of this strategic alliance, the BSA will encourage Scouts and Scouters to become familiar with opportunities for public and community service, learning, and personal growth through involvement in amateur radio.

“We’re excited by the opportunity to make official a relationship that has existed informally for many years,” Craigie said. “Scouts and Scouters have been some of the strongest proponents and practitioners of radio communication, and we know they will continue to help foster a love and understanding for the essential nature of radio communication for generations to come.”

The BSA established the strategic alliance with the ARRL because the mission of the ARRL is complementary to the mission and goals of the BSA. Specifically, the ARRL is organized for the establishment of networks to provide communications in the event of disasters or other emergencies; the advancement of the radio art and of the public welfare; the fostering of education; the promotion and conduct of research and development; the dissemination of technical, educational, and scientific information relating to electronic communication; the representation of radio amateurs in regulatory matters; and the promotion of fraternalism and high standards of conduct among radio amateurs.

In addition to its national Scout jamboree involvement, the ARRL will continue to promote participation in the annual Jamboree-on-the-Air event. The ARRL will serve as contributing editor to the Radio merit badge pamphlet, and will assist with the review, creation, and modification of requirements as necessary and in the development of course materials, lesson plans, and other resources for teaching the Radio merit badge to Scouts. The ARRL also will contribute to the content of the Electricity, Electronics, Emergency Preparedness, and Communications merit badge pamphlets. To view the video of the signing, please visit www.scouting.org/scoutsource/International/ProgramEnrichment/ARRL.aspx.

About the American Radio Relay League

The ARRL is a non‐commercial membership association of radio amateurs, organized for the promotion of interest in amateur radio communication and experimentation. The ARRL is the principal representative of the Amateur Service and Amateur Satellite Services in the United States, and is the Secretariat for the International Amateur Radio Union (IARU), the worldwide federation of national amateur radio societies. The ARRL is organized for the establishment of networks to provide communications in the event of disasters or other emergencies; the advancement of the radio art and of the public welfare; the fostering of education; the promotion and conduct of research and development; and the dissemination of technical, educational, and scientific information relating to electronic communication, the representation of radio amateurs in regulatory matters, and the promotion of fraternalism and high standards of conduct among radio amateurs. It serves its members by protecting and enhancing radio spectrum access and providing a national resource to the public. http://www.arrl.org

About the Boy Scouts of America

The Boy Scouts of America prepares young people for life by providing the nation’s foremost youth program of character development and values-based leadership training. The Scouting organization is composed of 2.7 million youth members between the ages of 7 and 21, and more than a million volunteers, in nearly 300 local councils throughout the United States and its territories. For more information on the Boy Scouts of America, please visit www.scouting.org.

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