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Scouting’s Jamboree on the Air (JOTA) Looking Forward to Successful 2018 Event

10/12/2018

Some 450 sites in the US are among nearly 3,000 locations around the world that will host Jamboree on the Air (JOTA) or Jamboree on the Internet (JOTI) stations over the October 19 – 21 weekend.

“It looks [like it will] exceed last year’s registration number by next weekend,” JOTA Coordinator Jim Wilson, K5ND, said.

One site that will be activated for JOTA is the Voice of America (VOA) Museum in West Chester, Ohio, which hosts the West Chester Amateur Radio Association’s club station WC8VOA. WCARA member Jocelyn Brault, KD8VRX, grew up in Canada, where, as a 12-year-old, he took part in a JOTA event, making a friend in France and becoming pen pals. Years later, he became a Scout leader and a radio amateur. The station in the VOA station has been hosting JOTA for the past 5 years and allows anyone in Scouting to participate from the museum.

“For JOTA last year, we had over 100 Scouts stop by and get on the air,” he recounted. “They could also explore the VOA Museum.” Brault said that at one point, stations in five states conducted an on-the-air roundtable, sharing stories and experiences. “That was a great way to do it, it made it much more fun for the Scouts and for us as well. I’m looking forward to repeating the experience again this year,” he said.

Wilson urged JOTA station coordinators to review the best practices and to try taking some video of JOTA-JOTI activity. 

“Last year, the event saw 1.5 million Scouts and Girl Scouts on the air from 150 countries with nearly 17,000 Amateur Radio operators helping to make that possible,” Wilson said. “This is a superb way to introduce Scouts to the technology, fun, and magic of Amateur Radio. Wilson suggested that radio amateurs could help by making room for the Scout stations operating around the JOTA frequencies as well as by answering their CQs and engaging Scouts in conversations.

The Worked All Germany Contest takes place this weekend, and contest sponsors have designated contest-free frequencies to avoid the JOTA frequencies.



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