The 2012 Jamboree-on-the-Air will be held October 20–21. Last year’s effort saw a 600 percent increase in reported Scout participation in the U.S., with more than 3,000 Scouts taking part in exciting activities and a superb introduction to the science and technology of amateur radio. Worldwide participation reached just short of 750,000 Scouts operating from more than 6,000 amateur radio stations across 150 countries. Ham radio contacts included several with astronaut Mike Fossum on the International Space Station!
JOTA introduces Scouts to radio technology and to other Scouts around the country and the world. They get a chance to talk with one another and share information that broadens their perspective on other cultures, on geography, and on the technology and hobby that provides the means for their communication.
The most successful JOTA events in the U.S. occurred during camporees or other troop, district, or council events. This allowed a wide range of Scouts to tour ham radio stations and, if they desired, talk on the radio with a microphone or even with a keyboard using digital communication. Several JOTA events offered foxhunting—amateur radio direction finding used to locate hidden transmitters, which is a fantastic outdoor Scouting activity.
I encourage you to reach out to your local amateur radio clubs and get your council involved in the largest Scouting event in the world. If you need help identifying ham radio clubs in your community, let me know and I’ll provide a list.
Nothing in Scouting gets done without a patch. Here’s the official USA patch design for the 55th Jamboree-on-the-Air.
For more information, visit the JOTA website at Scouting.org.
Jim Wilson, K5ND
National JOTA Organizer