In scouting, we have an Eagle Scout Award. It is a coveted honor that only a very select few ever achieve. (They claim only one out of a hundred receive the honor). The final step in the journey is to create a service project. In recent times, the process has leaned much more on the planning stages of that project. In fact, the mantra generally is, “plan it so that if you cannot attend your project, someone else can pick it up and run it.” Planning is everything. For a 12 – 18-year-old young man, this can be a considerable challenge. And, to be honest, there are times when I wonder if we are expecting too much from these young men. How many adults could ever meet these expectations? Well, I met someone!!
As you know, we recently had our club’s annual action. This is an overwhelming task to organize and price the donated items. First, you must collect the stuff, see if it functions and then price it appropriately. For years, Ron Harroff defined this job and he did it so well, that no one ever thought he would leave! Well, last year he retired to Florida! I was more than a little concerned about who would take this position over, but then Burt Krain spoke up. Now, Burt has been down this block before. He has helped many folks manage their radio estates. He had a passion for helping. Burt jumped into the project and tackled it head on. He and Cary Willis spent hours sorting, labelling, pricing and cataloging our donated items. We had well over 300 items. The work these guys did before the auction was simply amazing.
A week before the auction, we had a Board meeting and one of the main topics was to discuss the auction. Well, Burt was not able to attend. Turns out he was in the hospital. Next morning, we found out that his hospital stay was quite serious, and it was becoming very clear that Burt would not be around to help us with the auction. I know he was deeply upset that he could not attend the project he had been working on for weeks. So, here is the point…Burt did such a terrific job with the planning, that is was incredibly simple for others to pick up and run the auction. We all could learn some lessons from this exercise. That old Boy Scout notion “plan it so anyone could run it” found a real meaning here.
People stepped up to the challenge. It was really inspiring to watch and be part of the process. Burt, it turns out, spent a week in the hospital and was able to keep up with the auction proceedings only by text! Thank you Cary and Burt for all that you did to make this year’s auction a success. Also, thanks to all the donors…. without you there would be no auction!
Burt’s leadership is a lesson for all of us…on many levels. I walked away thinking of the events and activities that I do and how many of them could I leave for others to carry forward? I have some serious work to do on that front!
Our club has been blessed with many terrific leaders through the years. We are about to lose another key player. Ron Settle took on a position with company in Arizona and will be leaving in January. Ron is an accomplished RF engineer and we benefited greatly from his expertise. He will be missed. I had been aware of Ron’s employment situation spent some time working on building a Tech team to support him in the event he had to quickly move from the area. As a result, we have several people now in place who can help manage some of our on-going projects…that in no way diminishes the role Ron has played. We still need a knowledgeable and effective leader, but we take some solace in knowing that Ron will be an email away. We wish Ron the very best with his new endeavors and thank him for his many years of dedicated service to this club. I will miss the friendship and opportunities to learn from a real expert.
Finally, I am writing this in this tiny moment between Christmas and New Year’s. Typically, this is my opportunity get some of the ham projects off my desk. I have a huge pile up of stuff I must get done before Dayton because if they are not done by Dayton…I can’t buy more! So, I am hoping for a quiet and productive Holiday, so I can clean my project desk off. I make the same Resolution every year…so I can’t really call it a New Year’s resolution…but resolve to finish half of the ham kit projects I start! That seems safe.
Thank you all for supporting this Club and ham radio.