Select Page

Camp communications

Silverwood Lake camp

I was a Scout leader for a long time. I both assisted and ran many events. One thing that was always a challenge was communications. It often involved walking or driving up and down the camp looking for the person you needed to talk to. Cell phones often don’t work in the camps. Sometimes I solved this problem with Amateur radio operators (hams), but often it was difficult to get enough of them and people didn’t want to spend time studying for the test. Many groups tried to solve the problem with FRS radios, but the first hill or turn in the road often blocks them. Our camp at Lake Arrowhead has at least four areas that you can’t talk between with a simplex radio. At the Firestone scout reservation FRS radios will lose contact every time the road bends up the canyon.

We have a solution to this. First we have professional grade digital radios. While the FRS radios are limited to 2 watts, our handheld radios are 5 watts. They are also digitally encoded which will extend the range even further even in simplex mode. While still limited by obstructions these radios will reach further. For extended coverage we have our NexEdge network. Once a radio is connected to the network it can communicate with other radios in your group wherever they are in the network. This can be hundreds of miles, or around that inconvenient obstruction in the camp. This is confusing to most people so we made this entertaining video explaining the difference. We really do recommend you watch this as it will help you understand some of the different radios and issues that occur with radio coverage.

These radios are available for you to rent in either simplex mode, or with full access to the network. Rental rates start at just $6 per day for simplex radios and $15 per day for network radios. There is also a weekly rate that starts at 4 days.

Our rental networked radios have the perfect solution for you! Our NexEdge network ensures extended coverage and with simplex communication, you’ll have direct access to other radios.

Features include:
– Coordination of events and staff communication. Get supplies to where they are needed, find people, make announcements and many more things.
– Exclusive channels – On the network you get channels programed only for your group. No cross talk with anyone else running around with the cheap department store radios.
– “All Call” feature to send messages to all radios on the network. For multichannel setups the all call will talk on all of the channels at once. Useful for emergencies and announcements.
– Stay in touch while in transit to and from camp. Ever have a car in your group get separated on the road? Especially when that happens after you have started in to the mountains you may not be able to contact them to find out if they are lost or having trouble.
– Communication in areas that cell phones don’t cover. Cell phone systems are designed to cover well traveled areas a short distance from the site. Our system uses high level repeater sites that cover broad areas, often from multiple angles. While there may still be coverage holes, our network often works when cell phones don’t
– Assistance in planning event communications and checking camp radio coverage. Not sure how to put together communications for an event, ask us. If you tell us where you will be and where you need to communicate we can make a recommendation for you. For short distances you may be able to use FRS radios, but it is nice to know if the plan will work before you get to the site. With satellite maps, radio coverage simulations and experience we can help you avoid unexpected communication failure.
– Emergency use. We always hope there won’t be any emergencies, but they do happen. Whether it is getting help for an injury, or evacuating a camp, communications with help.
– Communication from camp to home. Our coverage is from the Mexican boarder up in to San Luis Obispo. The Pacific Ocean waters off the coast, to the Arizona border. Up the Eastern Sierras to Bridgeport. If you have someone within our footprint keeping track of your status to and from camp, you can talk with them.

We currently have coverage at:
Hubert Eaton Scout Reservation and other camps in the Lake Arrowhead area
Irvine Ranch
Long Beach Sea Base
Cabbrillo Beach
Camp Josepho
Emerald Bay
Balboa Scout camp San Diego
Mataguay Scout Camp
Newport sea base
Oso Lake Scout Camp
We can also check coverage at other locations upon request. Just let us know where

We can also design communications systems for difficult areas and large events. Contact us if you need help

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x