ARRL Field Day, as described by the Amateur Radio Relay League [ARRL], is "the single most popular on-the-air event held annually in the U.S. and Canada. On the fourth weekend of June of each year, more than 35,000 radio amateurs gather with their clubs, groups or simply with friends to operate from remote locations. Field Day is a picnic, a campout, practice for emergencies, an informal contest and, most of all, FUN!
"It is a time where many aspects of amateur radio come together to highlight our many roles. While some will treat it as a contest, other groups use the opportunity to practice their emergency response capabilities. It is an excellent opportunity to demonstrate amateur radio to the organizations it might serve in an emergency, as well as the general public.
"For many clubs, ARRL Field Day is one of the highlights of their annual calendar. The contest part is simply to contact as many other stations as possible, and to learn to operate our radio gear in abnormal situations and less-than-optimal conditions. We use these same skills when we help with events such as marathons and bike-a-thons; fundraisers such as walk-a-thons; celebrations such as parades; and exhibits at fairs, malls and museums — these are all large, preplanned, non-emergency activities. But despite the development of very complex, modern communications systems — or maybe because they ARE so complex — ham radio has been called into action again and again to provide communications in crises when it really matters. Amateur radio people (also called 'hams') are well known for our communications support in real disaster and post-disaster situations."
Many of you, no doubt, will be involved with Field Day in your area. If so, please share any photos or videos with other TALARC members by sending them to firstname.lastname@example.org for posting on the TALARC website. For those of you who are not familiar with the event but would like to know more about it, a good way to do so is to visit a Field Day site in your area. The ARRL website has a Field Day Locator map with more than 900 sites listed around the country. You can see what's happening in your area at: http://www.arrl.org/field-day-locator.