CAS Reflection: ARES 8/22/17
So today at school we had a CAS meeting and discussed the importance of CAS reflections. This evening I went to one of my ham radio meetings for a group called ARES and I figured I’d take some time right after to write a reflection on my experience in ARES as a whole and how it has affected me.
I personally feel that my participation in ARES is one of the most amazing experiences as it related to the IB learner profile and to CAS as it touches on many aspects of the learner profile as well as all three CAS components.
ARES stands for Amateur Radio Emergency Services and it’s goal is to provide our county (Manatee) with emergency communications in case of a natural disaster (primarily hurricane). In ARES we learn how to be clear, concise and effective communicators over the radio. We become knowledgeable and principled as we learn the FCC Part 97 rules that govern our operation and learn how to effectively follow them. Ham radio in general allows you to communicate with people all over the world, exposing you to people and countries from across the globe, fostering open-mindedness and globalization.
Communicators + knowledgeable + principled + open-minded is a pretty good start, but in ARES we also plan events known as “field day” whereby I facilitate planning an out door 48 hour event where we practice communication with people all round the world for fun and points. We plan a potluck and fun activities and consequently my creative side gets some exercise. Every year ARES acts as emergency communicators for the Saint Stevens Falcon 5k race, where we serve them by monitoring the 5k runners and providing status updates to EMS and police if necessary. One activity I did last race was run the entire thing with my radio providing spotting for the last person in the race group. Last year we had one older man who had a heart attack on top of a bridge that the race traverses over and his heart actually stopped. Luckily there was a ham operator from ARES there who was a nurse and he revived the man and we called emergency services over the radio. I serve in other ways by operating a radio during county wide emergency disaster training programs and monitoring for severe weather through another program called Skywarn (more on that in another reflection).
At tonight’s meeting I received my ARES ID card and have posted a picture of that card below as evidence of this activity:
My new ARES ID (my picture is sooo bad)
The backside of the card- interesting info there
This was what tonight’s meeting looked like
One other thing that we as ARES members do is JOTA. JOTA stands for Jamboree on the Air and is an activity where my worlds collide. I am the senior patrol leader for Boy Scout Troop 8 at the time of writing this (I’ll soon become an adult leader at age 18) and I play a double role in this event because JOTA is an event where local ham organizations share amateur radio with as many scout troops as possible in a day long “jamboree”. I facilitate both sides of the equation, serving my troop by organizing the guys for the camp out and by setting up radios, antenna, and lesson plans on the ARES side. JOTA is coming up very soon and I really look forward to participating in it agin this year
That’s all for now
-Ben (yay I’m a senior now)