Field Day is meant to be a test of emergency communications preparedness, where the idea is that hams from all over (the US at least) set up operation off-the-grid, and attempt to make contact with as many stations as possible.
This is a great way to meet the local Ham community, as it is one of the biggest social/public events in Amateur Radio. It's too bad they didn't mention it in the article...
- Check out a few field day setups, different groups have different goals and culture, and you may connect with one more than another.
- Stick around a while. Many hams will stop by the local field day and hang out for a bit. Someone who is interested in something that you want to learn about might stop by at any minute.
- Give it a try, you can operate the gear with permission from one of the licensed operators.
- Definitely check out CW (morse code). It's amazing that it's still in use but it's lots of fun.
Morse is one of those "unreasonably effective" technologies.
* Short of very advanced (and likewise constrained) digital methods, it's the king of long distance.
* You can whack together a radio out of $10 of scrap bits.
* You can't buy it. It's not a circuit or a thing. It's a skill that you need to learn and it takes way more than just learning the alphabet.
But for Amateur Radio in general, it is a very international organization, with widely different areas of interest.