Troop 7 Prepares for Zombie Attack during Scouting Radio Jamboree

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Coral Gables Florida has one of the oldest Boy Scout troops in the nation. Next weekend Troop 7 will be working with First Responders, public safety communications professionals and amateur radio operators to earn their radio merit badges as part of scouting's world-wide Jamboree on the Air.

A scout is always prepared, and next week the George Merrick Troop 7 Boy Scouts will be earning their Radio Merit Badges as they practice a Zombie Attack Drill while working with local communications professionals.

Troop 7 will spend the weekend of October 15 learning all about wireless communications technology, starting with the basics, right through to professional broadcast and public safety radio systems as part of the annual Jamboree On The Air sponsored by Boy Scouts of America and the ARRL. (American Radio Relay League).

The troop has invited local First Defenders to participate. “If there are Zombies around, we definitely think that the police and fire departments should be involved,” said Dan Deveson, an assistant scoutmaster with the troop. “We wanted to find a way that the boys could learn how the pros use their radios, and few things are so important to a 12-year-old as thwarting Zombie attacks.”

The troop will be broadcasting Zombie Action Reports around the world using amateur radio equipment provided by licensed radio operator volunteers. “In case of hurricanes, or Zombies, amateur radio operators often work with public safety professionals to provide community support. That’s exactly the sort of activity that modern scouting is all about,” said Deveson.

Troop 7 is one of the oldest Boy Scout troops in the United States, formed in 1922 by George Merrick. “The radio merit badge was created the following year, and we’re going into our 90th anniversary. This shows how resilient scouting is when the very first high-tech badge created is now taught with the most modern communications technologies,“ said Robin Burr, Scoutmaster of Troop 7.

The boys will be taught by engineering professionals as part of a South Florida high-tech community outreach. Police Chief Dennis Weiner and Fire Chief Walter Reed can closely monitor the Zombie situation from dispatch. Coral Cables and Miami-Dade have substantial radio systems, and city and county communications staff volunteers, industry associates and friends have contributed to this unique community effort.

The troop hopes to engage in some lively Zombie reporting as Coral Gables police and fire personnel spend a few spare minutes to give the boys the thrill of a lifetime -- and the Zombies the scare of their undead existence.

“We’re inviting local TV remote crews to visit, so we can inspect their vehicles and study their broadcast technologies as part of the merit badge requirements,” said Deveson. “But if they bring any Zombies, we’ll 'be prepared'.”

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