We have a bunch of Scouts coming to the Battleship Iowa on Saturday to take the test for their Radio Merit Badge, so I'll be there all day running the radio, and coaching the Scouts.
Some of them are very good on the radio, and some are almost terminally "mic shy". Still, they man up, and talk on the radio, and we do our best to encourage them. Usually the more talkative types will go first, and if we're lucky (we usually are), and have a Ham on the other end who knows what we're doing, the other Ham will coach them along, too.
Last year we were very fortunate to stumble across a Ham in Vancouver, B.C. who was a Scoutmaster, and the kids had a great time. Signals were strong and steady, and he hung in with us for almost 4 hours!
This class we only have 10 Scouts, so we won't need the Propagation Deities smiling quite so broadly.
And our friends on the Hornet will be listening for us, to try and help, as they're doing the same thing.
Might be the first "Scout-to-Scout" AND "Warship-to-Warship" contacts ever made for the Radio Merit Badge program, so all us Old Greybeards have our fingers crossed!
We're also working out the details of a "Four Sisters" award that will be issued to Hams who contact the Iowa, New Jersey, Missouri, and Wisconsin.
As it is now, every time one of the ships gets on the Amateur Radio frequencies, they get swamped with people calling. This award will just make it that much more popular!