Each year in July & September several Scouters hike (or drive) to the top of a peak and signal between peaks using mirrors. You can also signal peaks from the ground (if you know which peaks will have people). While usually reserved for Varsity Scouts, I think this would be great for LDS 11 year old Patrol and Boy Scout Troops as well. This could be part of the Signs, Signals, and Codes merit badge. Home Depot has 1′ x 1′ plates. These are easier to cut and are pretty durable. With some mirros, reflective tape, you can make a Fireball Aimer at an upcoming meeting. These are fun to use and practice with.
SoCal On-Target Coordinator: Richard A. Fowell [rafowell at aol.com]
Making a Retro-Reflective Fireball Aimer – Mirror:
Buy a small personal mirror (2″ x 3″), not good for On-Target (I put this in my Scoutpants zipper pocket). The other mirrors are 4 12″ mirrors in a 2′ x 2′ array. The other is a 3’x3′ array. You can field assemble these or transport them via a vehicle.
Time to Get Ready for OT
It’s scheduling time again. As you plan your yearly calendar, don’t forget to set aside July 16th for Operation On Target. Operation On Target is one of my favorite activities of the year. For those of you that are unaware of what Operation On Target is, Varsity Scouts and Venturers climb the peak of their choice, signal other units on peaks that are line of site with specially designed mirrors, confirm signals by communication on Amateur Radios. Most teams or crews will have a Mountain Top Experience.
- Get Ham Radio Certification. (One day classes are taught on various dates throughout the year at BYU The course is free, but there is a cost for the test of $14.00. The test can be taken right after the class. Contact Steve Whitehead at NV7V@NV7V.org for times, dates and registration.)
- Pick a Peak. (You want to pick a peak that your team can climb or drive to that your insures entire team can participation (take into consideration any handicaps or limitations of the team.), Peak location is a must, you want to find an area that is able to be seen by numerous peaks.
- Make numerous trips to the peak to insure that there are no obstacles or problems that you may encounter.
- Practice communication via Ham Radio.
- Register early. The On Target website is ontargetbsa.org
- Make mirrors. On Target Kickoff will be May 21, 2016 or contact me and I will go to your scout meeting to help you make them.
- Research information about On Target. The website is a great tool.
Numerous awards and merit badges can be earned in conjunction with the On Target Varsity Letter pin.
- Instructions: http://varsity.sdicbsa.org/PDF/OnTargetHelp.pdf
- Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_On-Target
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/varsityontarget
- Official: http://www.bsaontarget.org/
- Photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/signalmirror/albums/72157658854356595
- Contact for SoCal: Richard A. Fowell [rafowell at aol.com]