Amateur Radio: One of Life’s Best-Kept Secrets?

I don’t get many phone calls from women who are excited to talk to me, but that’s exactly what happened a couple of weeks ago. What made the phone call even stranger is that she was excited to be talking to an amateur radio operator!

The woman was an elementary school librarian—they call them media specialists now, though—and she was working with a second-grade class here in Ann Arbor. As it turns out, they had just read the book, Mr. Crumb’s Secret, a book starring Fribble, a little mouse in the second grade, and Mr. Crumb, his neighbor across the street.

It seems that Mr. Crumb is taking up a new hobby, but when Fribble asks what it is, Mr. Crumb says that he wants to keep it a secret until he learns all about it. He does, however, challenge Fribble to try to figure it out.

Fribble, being the curious little mouslet that he is, takes up the challenge. With a little conniving, and the help of a friendly librarian errrrr, media specialist, Fribble does, in the end, figure out—and I hope I’m not giving away too much here—that Mr. Crumb’s secret is that his new hobby is amateur radio.

It really is a cool, little book. I like the way that it taught the kids how to use library resources, and of course, I was glad to see that the object of Fribble’s research was amateur radio. The media specialist said that the kids also really liked the book and were very excited about learning more about amateur radio.

She then asked if I, or someone else from our club, could talk to them. How could I refuse an offer like that? This will be the youngest group I’ve talked to so far, but I think it will be fun, especially since they already know something about amateur radio.


  1. Kris KF4ZOH says:

    Hi Dan! I just wanted to say I have been reading your blogs on getting kids into Ham Radio and I cant agree with you more! I really think that todays youth could really benefit by being introduced to this hobby! I am just getting back to it myself after a long time. Life sort of prevented my doing much with my license for awhile but my son is about to turn 10 and I am doing all I can to get him hooked! I have just found a club in our area and I am going to be doing some refresher studying as well as studying to get my General class license. Maybe by the start of the school year I can have some ideas on how to present ham radio to the kids at my sons school. The earlier the better! Keep the blogs comin!


  2. Dan KB6NU says:

    Hi, Kris. Thanks for your comments. What I do is always bring a Morse Code practice oscillator and QSL cards. The kids seem to love code, and the QSL cards get them interested in the worldwide nature of amateur radio.

    I also like to tell them about how they can build stuff. The code practice oscillator that I bring is the no solder code practice oscillator (, and it’s plain to see how to build it.

    These seem to strike a chord, but I’d love to get more ideas from parents about what works with their kids.

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