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Caithness News Bulletins February 2006

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Halkirk Brownies and Guides take part in World Thinking Day on the Air
Halkirk Brownies, Guides and Guiders joined up with local Amateur Radio enthusiasts Donnie McKay, Erik McKay, John Crowden, Denny Morrison and Laurie Dickenson in the Ross Institute, Halkirk on Sunday 19th February to take part in ‘World Thinking Day on The Air’. This is an annual event held on the third weekend in February where members of Guiding from all over the world send greetings to each other over the airwaves to celebrate World Thinking Day. World Thinking Day (22nd February) is a special day in the Guiding calendar as it celebrates the birthdays of the founder Lord Baden-Powell and his wife Olave (World Chief Guide).

Denny spoke to the girls about his contact with a spaceman from the International Space Station and let them listen to the recording he had made of the occasion. They were delighted to hear NASA Astronaut Bill McArthur pass on his greetings to everyone in Scotland. The girls were then shown a selection of the QSL cards that enthusiasts send to each other with details of contacts and were asked to design their own special Thinking Day cards for sending out to the radio stations they spoke to. They also learned how to spell their name phonetically and by using Morse code. A ‘crystal radio’ was built which only has 3 simple parts and no battery which allowed the girls to listen to radio 5 and their friends speaking on the radio.

The girls didn’t manage to speak to anyone in a foreign country, even though earlier a station in Tel Aviv, Israel had been spoken to, but contact was made with Brownie units from Paisley and Birmingham as well as passing on messages to Brian Sparks who was listening in at Brough, Dunnet Head. On hearing that Brian was only across the county one Brownie was very disappointed and said “aww, I thought he was a spaceman” which raised a smile from the assembled adults who included Nicola Milne, County Commissioner and Lindsay Kay, Young Leader Adviser. On the whole a very enjoyable afternoon was had by all and the girls all achieved one part of their Communicator Badge as well as receiving their Thinking Day Badges.