Scouts Take to the Air This Weekend for Jamboree on the Air 2013
Scouting's largest worldwide event — Jamboree on the Air (JOTA) — takes to the airwaves this weekend (October 19-20) starting at 0000 local time Saturday to 2400 local time Sunday. Some 750,000 Scouts at 6000 stations in 150 countries around the world are expected to take part in this, the 56th Jamboree on the Air. JOTA provides an opportunity for members of the Boy Scouts of America to experience Amateur Radio firsthand, perhaps planting the seed for a lifetime of hamming. Not a contest, JOTA’s goal is to foster Scout-to-Scout communication across borders.
“The idea is to contact other Scout stations and allow as many Scouts as possible to talk to other Scouts and learn about who they are and what they are doing,” the BSA says in its JOTA guidelines, which offer suggested frequencies.
Veteran radio amateur mentors often open their stations to Scouts on JOTA weekend, serving as control operators. Radio operation will be on 80 through 6 meters and 2 meters and 70 centimeters FM simplex, all modes. Through its Radio Scouting sponsorship, Icom America is providing stations for JOTA and other Scouting events, including the loan of five stations that will be on the air for JOTA 2013.
Last year approximately 18,500 US Scouts took part in JOTA from more than 200 stations, up by nearly 500 percent from a year earlier.