The Carroll County Amateur Radio Club will be at Bear Branch Nature Center the weekend of June 23-24 as part of a 24-hour national amateur radio Field Day.
The Carroll County Amateur Radio Club will be at Bear Branch Nature Center the weekend of June 23-24 as part of a 24-hour national amateur radio Field Day. (Courtesy photo)

Look for the Carroll County Amateur Radio Club at Bear Branch Nature Center on Saturday, June 23, beginning at 2 p.m. and on Sunday, June 24. Their operations are part of a 24-hour national amateur radio Field Day event that will run until 2 p.m. Sunday. Bear Branch Nature Center will be open on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m.

On Field Day, amateur radio operators leave their home stations to practice emergency preparedness by setting up portable stations that run on batteries, generators, or solar power. During the event they will try to contact as many other stations as possible, going throughout the night.


According to the Carroll County Amateur Radio Club president, Peter Hiltz, amateur radio is a valued part of Carroll County's emergency preparedness plan with its value shown by recent emergencies, for example, the response to Hurricane Maria's devastation of Puerto Rico last September, when amateur radio provided vital communications between government agencies, the Red Cross, and individuals without power, phone or internet.

“In Puerto Rico, when services were out for weeks, amateur radio was the only means of communication,” Hiltz said. “Many amateurs invest in batteries and design their radio stations to be available in case of emergency where there is no power or communications.”

Central Carroll: Churches set for annual strawberry festivals on June 2

St. Mary’s Evangelical Lutheran Church will hold their annual Strawberry Festival on Saturday, June 2, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the church, 3978 Littlestown Pike, Silver Run.

Hiltz said members will operate during this event with voice, Morse code, and modern digital schemes. Visitors are invited to stop by and learn about amateur “ham” radio and chat on the air.

“We will demonstrate making satellite contacts and other technology,” Hiltz said. “We are planning demonstrations of microcontroller and microcomputer projects and other technologies. The Carroll County Amateur Radio Club lecture series has included discussions of solar power, drones and 3-D printing.”

In addition, the Westminster Astronomical Society will open their observatory for solar observation during daytime hours and for planetary observation in the evening. Bear Branch will hold a Summer Solstice History Hike from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday, June 23, and a Meet the Beekeeper seminar at 10 a.m. on that day. Both require preregistration by visiting or calling 410-386-2103.

“For me, with this event, my biggest excitement is the teaming opportunity between the radio club, the Astronomical Society, and the Carroll County Rec and Parks folks,” Hiltz said. “Between the three groups there is an opportunity to engage the public and have folks learn about amateur radio, their local astronomers, and the resources that [are] the Rec Council and the Nature Center.”

This is a family event for all ages, and it is free.

“Our two newest amateurs, one about 13 and one about 9-years-old, might be there,” Hiltz said. “Bear Branch Nature Center and the Carroll County Rec and Parks [offer] great opportunities for the family, and both radio and astronomy are exciting at all ages.”

For information regarding Field Day email or or call 443-280-0385.

Bear Branch Nature Center is located at 300 John Owings Road, off Md. 97 just north of Westminster.

Strawberry Festival

St. John's Lutheran Church will hold its annual Strawberry Festival on Saturday, June 9, from 3:30 to 8 p.m. at the church, 827 Leisters Church Road, Westminster.

Church member Nancy Dean said visitors will be able to get their fill of sweet strawberries with strawberry shortcake, strawberry pie, and strawberries and ice cream plus they’ll have a variety of baked goods. Enjoy lunch while you are there, too. The menu offers turkey corn soup, turkey sandwiches, hamburgers, hotdogs, hamburger barbeque, pulled pork barbeque plus an assortment of beverages.

Bring lawn chairs and enjoy music by the Never Too Late Band from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. and the Alesia Band from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Look for games for the kids, camaraderie and family time together.

Proceeds will benefit the 2018 National Youth Gathering, the Women's and Children's shelter and the needs of the church.


For more information, call the church at 410-848-6402.

Pancake Breakfast

The Meadow Branch Church of the Brethren will hold the last of their spring session of All-You-Can-Eat Pancake breakfasts on Saturday, June 9, from 6 to 10 a.m. at the church, 818 Old Taneytown Road, Westminster.

Look for a full menu of buckwheat and buttermilk pancakes, biscuits and sausage gravy, scrambled eggs, sausage, hominy and pudding, oatmeal, stewed apples, home fries and hot and cold beverages. Adults eat for $8, Kids ages 7 and under eat free.

Meadow Branch Church of the Brethren holds their pancake breakfasts on the second Saturday of each month, from March through June and again from September through December. Join them for great food and fellowship.

For more information call the church on Monday, Wednesday or Friday from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. at 410-848-7478 or email them at


CatKnits meets at 1 p.m. Wednesday, June 6, at the Carroll County Humane Society. This dedicated group of knitters and crocheters meets on the first and third Wednesday each month from 1 to 3 p.m.

While crafters can work on any project they like, most members of this close-knit group craft cat blankets, beds and toys that travel with the cats as they move on to new adoptive homes. All talent levels are welcome.

The Humane Society of Carroll County is located at 2517 Littlestown Pike (Md. 97), just north of Westminster.

For more information, call 410-848-4810.