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RHS Radio Club to Activate Touro Historical Site For National Parks Centennial Year/ARRL Event

Touro Synagoge

RHS Radio Club to Activate Touro Historical Site For National Parks Centennial Year/ARRL Event

NEWPORT -- The Rogers High School amateur radio club W1VRC will operate at Touro Synagogue's Patriot Park on Sunday, Aug. 7. This activity is part of a national program to promote national parks and historic sites during the National Park Service's Centennial Year [2016] activities.

Amateurs have made over 500,000 two-way radio contacts in this program so far this year transmitting from some of our nation's most important natural and historic sites. ARRL, the National Association for Amateur Radio — sometimes called ham radio — is coordinating the year-long activity, called National Parks on the Air (NPOTA), in parallel with the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service (NPS).

Touro Synagogue is one of the most historically significant Jewish buildings in America and was designated a National Historic Site In 1946. Dedicated in 1763, the site greets over 30,000 visitors a year, and is one of three NPS designated sites in Rhode Island.

W1VRC  radio club is part of the Junior ROTC program at the school and is open to any student there. This event at Touro is called a Site Activation and involves the club setting up a portable two-way amateur radio station and antenna at Patriot Park. All students are invited to stop by to see the station in operation, according to Forrest Ficke, W1VRC president.

W1VRC Broadcasting from Touro Synagogue As sponsor of the event, W1VRC is working together with the amateur radio club from Middletown's All Saints Academy N1ASA, whose student members recently participated in a two-way radio session with astronauts on the International Space Station.  

Federally licensed radio operators are activating as many of the 408 NPS sites as possible, by establishing a temporary station on-site and communicating with other ham operators.

For many years, hams have combined outdoor activities with these temporary radio setups to help maintain their skills at providing communications during natural disasters, such as hurricanes, fires, or floods.

"The NPOTA event uses ham radio to explore parks and historic sites in a unique, scientific way. It combines the electronics experimentation and fun of ham radio, while helping fulfill the primary NPS Centennial goal: 'Connect with and create the next generation of park visitors, supporters, and advocates,'" according to ARRL.

Created in 1916, the National Park Service was established to "…promote and regulate the use of the Federal areas known as national parks, monuments, and reservations….to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wild life therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations."

Anyone interested in ARRL's NPOTA  event may visit For more information about the NPS Centennial, visit  W1VRC is at

Forrest Ficke
(401) 848-9687