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Jamboree On The Air (JOTA) Founder Les Mitchell, G3BHK, SK


With JOTA 2014 a little more than 1 week away comes word that its “founding father,” Les Mitchell, G3BHK, died on October 6. Mitchell started JOTA in 1958, after launching the idea a year earlier at the World Scout Jamboree. That was the first year the Jamboree had an Amateur Radio station on site, and it’s had one every year since.

“Little did I think when I drew up the plans and rules for the first event in 1958 that its popularity would increase and spread around the world,” Mitchell reminisced in 2000. “Even more astonishing is the fact that after all this time it still holds its popularity. In fact it has become the largest international Scout event ever.”

Mitchell said that far fewer Scouts were licensed in 1958, but over the years Scouts taking part in JOTA got so interested that they became radio amateurs themselves.

“JOTA is great fun,” Mitchell said, adding, “If you put nothing into the event you may get nothing out of it! JOTA is your chance to speak to Scouts and Guides over the horizon. Silence makes no friends!”




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