When a team from The Intrepid DX Group embarks on its South Sandwich/South Georgia VP8SGI/VP8STI DXpedition in January, it will incorporate a youth and community participation aspect into the adventure, as it has done since the 1990s. During the South Sandwich/South Georgia Island DXpedition, the team’s honorary school will be one it’s worked with since 2011 — Dorothy Grant Elementary School in Fontana, California. VP8SGI/VP8STI team co-leader Paul Ewing, N6PSE, said the 4th grade class of Bev Matheson, WA6BK, has prepared a school flag that will travel to the islands and back to the US.
“In addition, the students have prepared a small weather-tracking experiment for the DXpedition to participate,” Ewing said. “We hope to continue to ignite the interest of these students in Amateur Radio.”
Matheson, an elementary school teacher since 1997, was licensed in 2011, inspired by her participation in the W3AO Field Day outing in Maryland earlier that year. She has also attended an ARRL Teachers Institute session. Dorothy Grant Elementary has an Amateur Radio club, K6DGE, with nearly 40 after-school participants, and the students have been active working DX as well as domestic contests. VP8 DXpedition co-leader David Collingham, K3LP, is the K6DGE club license trustee and an alumnus of the school.
Ewing has said the team will depart the Falkland Islands on January 9, arriving on South Georgia about 5 days later, where it will take part in a safety and biodiversity briefing with government officials. The DXpeditioners then will sail another 3 days to Southern Thule Island in the South Sandwich Islands, arriving on January 17, weather and sea conditions permitting.
The team will spend 10 days on South Sandwich, operating as VP8STI before sailing to South Georgia Island to start operations as VP8SGI about February 1.
“Our main priority is to make a great impact to the need for South Sandwich contacts, and we will sacrifice our time at South Georgia to ensure that we make that impact from South Sandwich,” Ewing said.
South Sandwich Islands is No 3 on ClubLog’s Most Wanted DXCC List; South Georgia is No 8. — Thanks to VP8 Team Co-Leader Paul Ewing, N6PSE