The benefits of Amateur Radio Week are twofold, according to local ham radio enthusiast John Manton.
Events this weekend and June 27-28 give radio operators a chance to test their emergency response capabilities, as well as an opportunity to turn others on to the hobby.
Amateur Radio Week is an exciting time for Manton and members of the Forsyth County Amateur Radio Emergency Service, who will help with a public demonstration this weekend and chaperone new "hams" onto the airwaves during next weekend's field day. Both events are free.
The demonstration is scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday and Sunday in the old Hollywood Video parking lot on Market Place Boulevard. Saturday is kids day.
"A lot of kids never forget the first time they give it a try," Manton said.
Field Day is another chance for the public to try out amateur radio. The local organization will set up in the Cumming Fairgrounds RV Park from noon June 27 to noon June 28.
Manton said pulling an "all nighter" is a good "training exercise ... it helps us remember what it's like to work all night," he said.
The National Association of Amateur Radio encourages local radio organizations to participate in field day as a kind of practice session for when actual emergencies occur.
According to Manton, the idea is to use only basic power supplies to build emergency stations at the event.
County commissioners honored local amateur radio enthusiasts at Thursday night's meeting by adopting a proclamation that officially makes June 21-28 Amateur Radio Week in Forsyth County.