It's with mixed feelings that we have decided to cancel the Kids Roundup Radio Contest after six years.
When we started this contest in 2004 we set a goal regarding the level of participation. We had hoped to see steady growth in the number of participants with a goal of 35-50 participants by the end of 2008. Unfortunately we have never achieved that goal. The number of participants submitting a log peaked at 16 in 2006. Since we started the Kids Roundup in 2004, we have averaged 9-10 participants each year. With a very small number of exceptions we had very few return participants despite some very kind words from the participants and their parents or grandparents.
In an effort to attract more participants, we changed the date from early April to the end of May. We advertised the contest in several major ham radio publications and websites and at the Dayton Hamvention with special emphasis at the annual Youth Forum. Unfortunately, we see nothing to suggest that the level of participation is going to increase and so we've reached the inevitable conclusion that there is very little interest in this type of amateur radio activity.
We would be remiss if we didn't recognize the outstanding support of one very special person for his support of the Kids Roundup over the past few years:
Over the past 2-3 years, Ralph Clark (NM5RC) has opened up his home to about 20-25 kids and with the assistance of some other hams, operated several transmitters at his QTH and helped these kids get on the air and make contacts with other kids and hams during the Kids Roundup. Ralph did this when his local radio club decided not to provide support to youth which has to be the dumbest idea we've heard with respect to amateur radio. So Ralph became a one man recruiting machine in the greater Albuquerque area with the help of some other hams, to bring amateur radio to youth in the area. Thanks Ralph for your support! We've thoroughly enjoyed working with you these past few years. You are a beacon of hope. Keep up the good work!
Ralph is not the only hero in this story. Every parent, grandparent, or other ham who encouraged and helped kids get on the radio and make contacts with other kids (licensed and unlicensed) and other hams also deserves recognition. For a while you kept the dream alive. And finally, thanks to each of you who participated in the Kids Roundup.
It's been fun but now it's time to say farewell.