There are several local amateur radio repeaters in the southern Maryland area. Wikipedia defines amateur radio repeaters as; “an electronic device that receives a weak or low-level amateur radio signal and retransmits it at a higher level or higher power, so that the signal can cover longer distances without degradation.” Local repeaters will allow you to use your handheld transceiver to contact others at distances that the handheld is not capable of reaching on its own. You can also use your mobile station or your base station to reach the local amateur radio repeaters, some of which are linked together to offer even greater reach for amateur radio communication.
If you are planning to travel you can find the amateur radio repeaters of your destination area by visiting the Repeater Book website ahead of time.
Amateur Radio Nets (Ham Nets or Nets) are gathering places for Ham Radio operators. They are mostly conducted on repeaters or on a simplex frequency, but some can be reached digitally through the internet. Nets may be organized by a club or individuals and may have a specific purpose or be open. Some of the purposes provided by Nets include passing on local information, reporting club news, passing traffic, report weather, support emergency communications or the purpose may be just to say hello to a friend. A typical net will have a Net Control (NC) who will make general announcements, take check-ins and coordinate the communications during the net.