A few times each year Post 187 in Wake Forest, N.C., holds a technician licensing class through the TALARC chapter. But they do not do it alone. They have the support and assistance of amateur radio operators in the area.
The Franklin County Amateur Radio Club (FCARC.net) and the Occoneechee Amateur Radio Society (OARS) join the class to instruct up to 30 students. This instruction enhances the information learned in the books they have all read to give them the opportunity to take and pass their technician test, and a few their general test also.
Most of the members of TALARC Post 187 are members of the other local radio clubs also, and these people enjoy educating and mentoring new people into the world of amateur radio.
The FCC exams are administered on the third weekend after lunch by the W4CEC Volunteer Examiner Team (W4CEC.com), which is a member of the Laurel VEC. Typically, once they pass the exam on that Saturday they have their call sign on Monday, or at the latest on Tuesday. This is exciting for the newly licensed operator and allows them to get into the hobby as soon as possible.
The TALARC club holds an exam session once each quarter throughout the year, and twice each year in conjunction with the exam they hold the technician licensing classes the two weeks prior. Scouts, as in BSA and GSUSA youth, who attend and participate in three Saturday sessions receive the Radio Merit Badge (BSA) or the Radio Award (GSUSA). The January sessions will be the 11th, 18th and 25th.
For youth, this is an important event and some units make it a point to participate annually, as each year they have new members in their unit. In 2019, at this session, they awarded 32 merit badges to the boys and girls in their Scouts BSA units. A few of them passed their exam and are licensed, as are a few of their parents who sat there and listened during the class. A new family hobby!
Laurel VEC (laurelvec.com), established in 1984, provides testing of the FCC exam for amateur radio at no cost.
W4CECVET is affiliated with the Laurel VEC and provides free testing for anyone who registers and takes the exam.
OARS is the radio club for the Occoneechee Council, BSA, in Raleigh, N.C.