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80 Young Radio Amateurs to Attend Youngsters on the Air Camp in South Africa


Eighty young hams between the ages of 16 and 26 will be in South Africa August 8 – 15 for the 2018 Youngsters on the Air (YOTA) Camp, hosted by the South African Radio League (SARL). A summer camp in past years, this time it will become the “YOTA Winter Camp,” since it’s taking place in the Southern Hemisphere. The annual event brings together young people from International Amateur Radio Union Region 1 (IARU-R1) and elsewhere for 1 week, offering an opportunity to become acquainted with different nationalities and cultures, foster international friendships and goodwill, and, of course, learn new Amateur Radio skills.

It’s expected that the young radio amateurs will spend some time at the helm of the camp’s station, ZS9YOTA. SARL President Nico van Rensburg, ZS6QL, said that hosting the 2018 YOTA Winter Camp would be a golden opportunity for the SARL and Amateur Radio in South Africa to make their mark in promoting Amateur Radio among the younger generation.

“This event is a unique opportunity for introducing young people to technical careers in science and technology, and an investment prospect for industry to help shape the future of technology training,” van Rensberg said. SARL pointed out that the 2018 YOTA camp would be a first for Africa and a first for South Africa. This year’s participants will come from Europe, Asia, and Africa. SARL is seeking contributions to help support the event. IARU Region 1 is a major financial contributor of the YOTA event.

Among other activities, the YOTA campers will build a transceiver, create a BACARSat to fly on a high-altitude balloon, learn about each other, and focus on how to take Amateur Radio forward in their own country, SARL said.

In announcing the camp late last year, SARL and the South African YOTA working group promised “an unforgettable African experience that will be remembered for many years to come.” Dr. Gary Immelman, ZS6YI, is the event’s patron.

Last summer, 80 young people attended YOTA Summer Camp in England, sponsored by the Radio Society of Great Britain (RSGB). Two young radio amateurs from the US were among those attending the 2016 YOTA Summer Camp in Austria. — Thanks to IARU Region 1




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