In the spirit of the holiday season, some amateur radio (ham) operators have found a way to bring joy to disadvantaged and shut-in children. Thanks to the world-wide range of amateur radio equipment, it’s possible for hams to communicate with other hams almost anywhere on earth, including Santa Claus at the North Pole. Thus was born the North Pole Network (NPN) which purports to use special satellite links to allow kids to talk one-on-one with St. Nick.
On the afternoon of Dec. 21, a group of Morgan and Ogden amateur radio operators activated the North Pole Network at the Family Connection in Clearfield. Twenty-one volunteers from Morgan and Ogden set up their portable radio sets to allow 13 children and several adults to talk directly to the man.
Each kid donned a “special” elf hat while talking to Santa, and afterwards was given a gift bag filled with goodies as well as a custom button declaring he or she had talked with Santa over amateur radio.
Advance work by his elves as well as on-the-spot observations by the volunteers ensured that Santa knew exactly who he was talking with and removed all doubt that the child was talking with the real Santa.
This was the first event of its kind in Northern Utah and the volunteers hope to make it an annual event serving one or more facilities each year.