MassJam and the 2023 Head of the Charles Regatta

Note: This was supposed to be published in the November issue of The SPARC, the Boston Amateur Radio Club newsletter, however, due to unforeseen circumstances, it was never published, so here it is for the first time in print! 

It was a busy public service month for me. First off was MassJam 2023, the multi-state scout jamboree that is held every five years at the Cape Cod Fairgrounds in Falmouth.

While the communication staff was made up of entirely of hams, the event did not use amateur radio for its operation as obviously, while there are hams in Scouting, not everyone is a ham and therefore, commercial band radio was a must for the event. Using radios provided by DC Rentals (who seem to provide the commercial radios for practically every large event in Boston) MassJam got underway. Net control was a 24/7 operation with shifts scheduled in blocks and food for the net controllers was cooked on site. Despite some hiccups, the event itself was mostly successful, including exodus from the campground was went really well and finished practically on schedule.

After a week and a half off, it was time for the next major public service event, the 2023 Head of the Charles Regatta. I was stationed all 3 days at the Attager (which is Regatta spelled backwards) Row First Aid tent. A ham’s job at the regatta is to be the primary link for the first aid tents to net control and from there to the event’s roving bike teams on commercial radio (again, provided by DC Rentals) and if needed to our public safety partners such as the Massachusetts State Police (who provide their command post for the weekend where a ham is stationed as a link between net control and them), Boston EMS and Cambridge Fire. Joined by a rotating motley crew of hams, including our very own public service chair, Ethan KC1OIP, we made the best of it despite pouring rain on Saturday and cold winds on Sunday.

All in all, a good month of public service. I recommend the Regatta as a good place to start if you’re interested in the public service side of this great hobby. Now to look forward to next year’s public service season with the Boston Marathon!


Popular posts from this blog

2019 Head of the Charles Regatta

A beginning

2019 Boston Marathon After Action