This year, students from Ouachita Hills Academy have been able to participate occasionally in “Hobby Night” as a Saturday night activity. Hobby Night is for the purpose of exposing students to various hobbies that might be beneficial to them. Some of the hobbies that students have had opportunity to participate in this year or in the past have been international cooking, leather binding, leatherwork, calligraphy, origami, weaving, sign language, macramé, medical missionary training, puzzles, knitting, crocheting and needle point. This year we started the Ouachita Hills Amateur Radio Club (OHARC) to provide interested students and staff with the information and resources necessary in order to become licensed FCC amateur radio operators.

Taught by Rob Neall (KG4IUE), the OHARC hosted a local Ham Radio expert from Nashville AR who fascinated the students with stories of his experiences in ham radio. Recently, participants were able to get on the air, live, and have a QSO (a radio communication) with other ham operators in Nashville, Arkansas, about 40 miles away. They have also studied information necessary to pass the test for their amateur radio license.

Recently, 2 staff and 3 students traveled to Nash TX to take the Technicians Class Amateur Radio Exam.
We were so excited to find out that all 5 passed the test! Congratulations go to Elijah, Josh, Christine, Kevin, and Marcelino!

These join two other staff and three other students on campus who already have their ham radio licenses.

Ham Radio can be useful hobby especially for missionaries in remote locations who may not have other means of reliable communication with the outside world. It is also a good opportunity to be a witness as operators have opportunities to become acquainted with other ham operators in their area. For OHA it will be particularly useful during our annual spring backpacking trip. Out in the Catey Creek Wilderness where we go, there is no cell phone reception but we should be able to not only keep in contact as we hike on the trail but also we should be able to make contact with our home base in Amity via the 2-meter Tall Peak repeater. This would be particularly useful if we had an emergency.

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