Participating can be as easy as calling out on the national FM simplex calling frequency, 146.520. SSB, CW and other modes are also used. More information an the ARRL website:
How to identify parts for the beginner
By: Joe Joncas WA7MHB
Approximately 45 minutes for beginners
We ordered 10 of these for the club. If we are out the Pixie kit can be bought at https://www.pixiekits.com
You can find useful information there and many other kits and supplies.