Now is the time to plan for Field Day !!!!
What did you say???? Field Day is not till June and that is five months away. Yup, now is the time to start your planning. Sure…you don’t have to fill in the sign up sheets for the 20 meter CW station at this time but there are many things that should be started now, in the dead of winter, rather than wait till June. The best Field Days are the ones that are planned far in advance so that when the time comes there will be no surprises.
This will not be the first year that most clubs will have Field Day. It is often assumed that since Field Day worked well last year that it will work well again this year. This may not be the case! Good advanced planning can assure a smooth running Field Day.
What should your club be doing in January or February to prepare for Field Day in June? Well the first thing is to secure a Field Day Chairman. This person has overall charge of Field Day……….but should not have all the responsibilities! He/she should be a volunteer from the club or someone who is appointed by the President. He/she should have the full support of the President and the executive board for this is a high responsibility position. The Field Day chairman should be able to appoint a staff of club members who each have an individual portion of the Field day responsibility. It has been my experience that there should be one person “The Station Chief” who is responsible for each station that is on the air. He/she should be responsible to see that all the components for a station….antennas, shelter, rigs etc. will be available when Field Day rolls around. The Station Chief should only be responsible for one station but he/she has the complete responsibility for that station. Station Chiefs should report directly to the Field Day Chairman. Additional “Chiefs” can be appointed for specific duties at Field Day……such as “Food Chief ” or a “Generator Chief” with similar responsibilities. This way the Field Day Chairman can retain overall responsibility of Field Day without being distracted by all the details.
The other important component of Field Day……that should be dealt with at this time of the year…….is the Field Day site. Often a Field Day site is on public property which is used by other organizations throughout the year. Securing a Field Day site now may well eliminate a lot of grief right before Field Day takes place.
A healthy club will appoint a Field Day Chairman long before Field Day. The executive committee of the club should have the Field Day Chairman sit in on each of their monthly meetings. This way the Chairman can present his/her progress on a monthly basis. It can also be a time where the Chairman can discuss difficulties in assembling all the components of Field Day and enlist the members of the executive committee in securing these components.
EMA Affiliated Club Coordinator