As the event coordinators, Robbie, W1RCP, and Eddie, KO4NLL, contacted clubs in the area and asked if they wanted to do a Parks On The Air activation together. Seven clubs were contacted and six clubs participated in the event in some form. At the time of planning the South Georgia Amateur Radio Club already had plans to activate Reed Bingham State Park so they were asked if they would like to join us. It was originally planned that all the clubs would activate Reed Bingham State Park, but that idea was changed early on to allow clubs to activate recognized POTA parks closer to each club’s home.
The South Georgia Amateur Radio Club (W4TFM) activated Reed Bingham State Park with the help of Ken Elsberry, WD4ERM, and Billy Ley, WA4NKL, Chris Tone, N4BIM, Steven Haineault, W4AGR, and Ronnie Thomas, KK4JJG. They were able to make 50 QSOs during the four hours that they operated.
The Albany Amateur Radio Club (W4MM) activated the Chickasawhatchee Wildlife Management Area. They had quite a few members in attendance. Francis Greenslade, N4UWS, John Henderson, KN4OWG, Zack Cook, K4EAR, operated the radio. The other hams in attendance were Clyde Shamlee, KN4UXG, Jim Manuel, W4MNL, Robert Gerbert, KY4RG, Harold Pinson, K4WHP, and Bill Pawley, N4PCB. They made 65 QSOs in a little over an hour of operating time!
Keith Carter, KF4BI, and Darryl Vickers, N4OME, did a pinch hit for the Coastal Plains Amateur Radio Club (W4PVW). Greg Walls, W4GHW, had originally planned to do the activation, but he had another important event come up and had to miss out. Keith and Darryl made a last minute decision to operate for the club so they didn’t have time to operate under the club call. They made 70 QSOs from the Jefferson Davis Memorial State Historic Site in about three hours.
Andy Clark and a couple of members of the Thomasville Amateur Radio Club (W4UCJ) planned to operate from a park in Florida, but reported that no QSOs were made due to technical issues.
The Colquitt County Ham Radio Society (KQ4DMQ) also operated from Reed Bingham State Park, and we had representation from two other clubs alongside Robbie Pitts, W1RCP, and Eddie Stephan, KO4NLL. First and foremost, the Valdosta State University’s “Blazed Hams” were represented by Derek Miller, KQ4DAT, Yasmin Guzman, KQ4DET, and her brother Daniel. Derek operated under the CCHRS club call on FT8, and Yasmin helped make contacts on SSB for the club, but the even more exciting part was watching the three of them make their first HF QSOs on ten meters while chasing DX stations! Together they made contacts with Italy, Germany, France, and Bosnia-Herzegovina. While they didn’t make any POTA QSOs under their own call signs, it was exciting to guide them in making contacts using their Technician Privileges. Randy Brightman, KN4SHQ, represented the Valdosta Amateur Radio Club (W4VLD), but he chose to operate as the Colquitt County Ham Radio Society. CCHRS was the only participant in the multi-transmitter category, and they made 207 QSOs in four and a half hours.