As I was spinning the dial on the lower part of the 40m General portion of the band today and hearing the normal power hungry (2Kw plus) stations sitting around "rag chewing" about the upcoming election as well as passing by the always reliable "zoo" group that uses any and all vile and disgusting bits of foul language that our English language allows while intentionally jamming and acting extremely immature, I stumbled refreshingly upon a young ham calling CQ rather enthusiastically. The call was KM4SII and after looking up his call on QRZ.com I learned that his name was Mason and only 13 years old.
I stayed around and listened for quite a while as he gracefully went from one contact to another, that of a seasoned ham operator. I noticed that his QRZ page had mentioned "I would appreciate it if you would spot me if you hear me calling CQ", so I did just that as I continued read his QRZ page and listen to him operate. I had every intention of working him before he finally went QRT (which I did) but for now I was content just listening and with each and every QSO I felt a sense of pride knowing that the future of ham radio was not dead so long as there were young hams such as Mason out there, staying away from the shenanigans of the worst operators the hobby has to offer.
Then it dawned on me; Just how does a young operator such as this one react when they stumble across 7.188 Mhz or 7.200 Mhz and subjects their ears to that of the truly deserving hams to be considered deplorable? Does it discourage them and eventually cause them to drop the hobby, or far worse does it represent a class of operators that a young man might find as a role model, if there were not a very concerned and attentive parent (who more than likely is also a ham operator) there to guide them in the right direction?
You can listen here to a brief excerpt of Mason operating and decide for yourself. I have a strong enough feeling that a young operator such as Mason will not be "lured to the dark side" and that the hobby will continue to produce hams that are exemplary role models for not only the future of Ham Radio but for the current operators such as myself that tend to occasionally forget that this hobby is supposed to be fun!