Upcoming Events

Monthly Meeting

WECG meets the second Thursday of every month at 7 PM (19:00) at the SAR building: 1041 W Smith Rd, Bellingham.  Our meetings usually run about an hour and a half to two hours, with about half of that time devoted to general group topics and the other half to training.

Minutes and recordings to meetings are available on the WCSAR SharePoint site. For more information, contact meetings@wecg.org.

Our next monthly general meeting is Thursday, October 12, 2023.



Trainings occur at our monthly general meeting and other times as available and are open to anyone who would like to attend, including non-members. An email will go out to members. Topics include antennas, SAR Topo, GoKits, the WECG Comm Van, and HamWan, Vara-HF, VaraC, and much more.  We also cover WECG equipment and its use. We plan to cover SSTV, and along those lines it’s almost certain that we shall cover directional beam usage, and perhaps satellite/ISS/EME reflections, all in the context of emergency resonse.  At this time, the primary focus of all trainings is to bring our membership up to fully qualified state and sister-group levels specifically for emergency response and community events-support. If you’re interested in more general radio knowledge and training, check out the Mount Baker Amateur Radio Club, which actively supports helping amateur radio operators become more proficient.

Our October 12, 2023 General Meeting training will be before the meeting, rather than after general business, and will consist of cross-unit classroom and field events.  More details will be forthcoming in email.

Our September 14, 2023 General Meeting training was the previously canceled drone presentation, expertly presented by Robbie Hochreit.

Our August 10, 2023 General Meeting training was planned to be a presentation on the use of drones to gain insight into emergency operations, which information can then be relayed by radio operators to Incident Command, but our presenter had to cancel, so it turned into another general discussion.

Our July 13, 2023 General Meeting training was an informal debrief and discussion of the many events that WECG has taken part in since the last general meeting, in particular the Field Day.  It was a great time to learn what things worked, which ones didn’t, and to become better prepared for subsequent excursions.

Our June 8, 2023 General Meeting was a presentation of the history of WECG and how we’ve been a part of the community.  This is a preface to our overall push to redesign our training to better prepare our members for the role that we play in the emergency-response groups in our community.  When COVID-19 hit, a lot of our older members with knowledge of this history retired from active volunteering, so this is a way to communicate some of that knowledge from the experienced members who remain.

Our May 11, 2023 General Meeting did not have a training, due to time constraints.

Our April 13, 2023 General Meeting training was a sort of meta-training about general training requirements expected of our membership, and how best we can work together to ensure that members are certified/fully qualified to state and county levels.

At our March 9, 2023 General Meeting, our training included:

  • Tours of the SAR building radio room and our Communications van
  • A brief overview of DMR (Digital Mobile Radio)

At our February 9, 2023 General Meeting we conducted a show-and-tell of WECG and members’ personal GoKits.  A GoKit is a portable collection of everything you need to communicate in the field (batteries, radios, antennas, laptops, ancillary gear) that is often mounted snugly in a waterproof, handheld case.

We also have future plans for a much more advanced deep-dive into how to use DMR (possibly over several days) as well as a weekend orientation on the van: opening it up, getting it to a mission area, and using the radios inside it.  We also plan to have another GoKit demonstration given the success of that training at the February meeting. You do NOT have to be a member of WECG to take part in these trainings, which usually happen on the same evening as the general meeting (second Thursday of the month)!  There is no cost, and everyone is welcome, not just licensed radio amateurs.  We also have special trainings, including the SAR Base Camp class that is occasionally offered by our sister SAR organizations.  The SAR Base Camp class of April 3, 2023, which was conducted by Summit to Sound, was extremely informative and useful.  We will post dates here when it is offered again in the future (usually quarterly).


Upcoming Broader Training Opportunities

These training opportunities are generally only open to WECG members and other unit volunteers with WC or BAC numbers and tactical calls.  We list them here to give prospective members an idea of the sorts of broader trainings that we and our sister units offer.

  • October 7, 2023: FCC Amateur Licensing exam in Whatcom county.  This is not being run by WECG, but we note it here because it is of general interest and because we haven’t had a license exam in Whatcom for some time.  Please see this ARRL link for more information.


Regional Events

Find amateur radio events around the northwest here.  Among the upcoming events that WECG members will be supporting or attending are:

  • The Chuckanut 50k race (March 16, 2024).  WECG will field radio support teams to track participants along the course.
  • The Ski to Sea race (May 26, 2024).  WECG will field radio support teams to call in bib numbers as participants approach handover points.
  • Field Day 2024 (June 22-23, 2024).  WECG will participate in contesting using SSB and digital modes over VHF, UHF, and HF bands.

Previous events that we have recently supported with radio field teams or attended in support of our communities:

  • July 23, 2023: SARTopo training at the SAR building.
  • July 8, 2023
    • DART (Disaster Airlift Response Team) Thunder Run at Lake Whatcom.  This was training for airlifting food and supplies into areas stranded by regional disasters like earthquakes.  There were WECG amateur radio operators facilitating communications between flights and the ground teams.
    • Everson Summer Festival  The SAR Council had a table set up to raise awareness of Search and Rescue, and WECG members represented our group.  The WECG “Red Van” participated in the parade.
  • Field Day 2023 (June 24-25, 2023).
  • The Ski to Sea race (Last relayed May 28, 2023).
  • The Whatcom Classic race (Last paddled May 6, 2023).
  • The Chuckanut 50k race (Last run March 18, 2023).


Field Day 2024

Field Day 2024 is the weekend of June 22-23.  Field day is an opportunity to test our gear and operations in simulated emergency conditions; in the heat of 2021 there were widespread power outages, but our WECG members didn’t even notice because we were running on batteries, solar power, and generators, all the while taking part in the normal ARRL Field Day radio activities.  It’s also a great excuse to socialize!

Communications Van
Food is always a big part of Field Day.


Field Day is a time to put up big towers
For a different kind of DXs




When dispatched by the Whatcom County Sheriff Department, call-out coordinators will assess our resources and respond accordingly. The call-out coordinators operate on a rotating schedule:

Would you like to be a call-out coordinator or a van driver or a net control operator or a support person? If so, contact volunteer@wecg.org. There is always a need for volunteers.