Where has all the Hair Gone!

Every morning I get up and go through my daily routine and one of the last things I do is brush my hair.  Looking into the mirror I see a vast swath of scalp down the center of the top of my head that used to be covered by my hair.  I am starting to accept the fact that it is gone forever, but it has taken awhile.

What does this have to do with Amateur Radio?  Well this morning it reminded me that I am getting to that stage in life where I can legitimately consider myself an “Elmer”.  Thinking back to my youth when I got started in the hobby, brings to mind many Elemers who were gracious enough to help me along the road.  The WWII generation seemed to have a special insight into what was important and what wasn’t.  They had seen more than most generations and realized that community service and guiding youth was a noble endevour.

So now I wonder, will we live up to that standard?  Today we have so many distractions in every day life, it is easy to forget about our youth and surround ourselves with busy body activities that only meet our own interests.  The batton is being passed to the baby boomer generation and we better be ready to run with it.

I hear some Hams say that the younger generation isn’t interested in ham radio because they have things like the internet and video games.  While that may be a obstical we have to work to over come, it can also be an advatage.  All we have to do is learn how to embrace the internet using technologies such as IRLP, Echolink, and even net enabled software such as Ham Radio Deluxe.

Some older hams amoung us will argue that these technologies are not “Ham Radio”.  Well I always thought that one of the aims of the Amateur Radio Service was to advance the technology, and that is what we have done over that last century.  The internet is just one more technology that we need to embrace.

Having said that, it doesn’t mean we need to forget about all of the technology that we helped to design and implement over the last 50 years.  On the contrary, I find that the younger generation is equally interested in my old SB-104 as they are the latest SDR transceiver.  We just need to use computers and the internet as the “Hook” to get them interested in the first place.

Finally, most clubs and organizations should consider creating “Reverse Elmer” commitees.  Today’s kids have all grown up with computers and they are great resources for training more “Experienced” Ham radio operators on the use of computers and the internet.  It’s a win-win situation for all of us.

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