Program Ideas

The types of activities during JOTA as well as leading up to and after the event are limited only by your imagination. Here are a few thought starters. You can also find more planning tips at

Before JOTA

  • Ask an amateur radio operator to talk about ham radio communications. In patrols, visit his station to see how it works. Learn about radio waves and their propagation.
  • Design special QSL cards with Scouting themes for the JOTA weekend. QSL cards are exchanged with the other stations and Scouts you contact during JOTA.
  • Find an unusual location for the JOTA station, working closely with your amateur radio partner.
  • Find out about commercial radio and television. How are programs made? Visit a television or radio station. How are programs transmitted? How does a radio receiver work? Build a radio receiver.
  • Learn about electricity. How is it produced? Learn about safety procedures. Visit an electricity generating station.
  • Learn and practice using Morse code. Build a Morse code practice oscillator.
  • Find out about other countries and prepare questions to ask over the air.
  • Practice talking into a microphone using radio operating procedures and terminology.
  • Find out about your local area to be able to answer questions from Scouts in other countries and other parts of the U.S.
  • Send a report of your plan to the local newspaper. Ask them to visit during the event.
  • Learn a few words of greeting in other languages.

During JOTA

  • Arrange a weekend camp or camporee and set up the station at the site.
  • Arrange a program of camp activities to run concurrently.
  • Invite parents and other supporters to visit the station to see what the Scouts are doing.
  • Organize a weekend hike and take portable radio equipment. Log the contacts made for the amateur radio operator.
  • Ask each Scout to prepare his own personal logbook. Include details of the names of the Scouts contacted, the frequency, the station call sign, and the mode of operation.
  • Set up an information section that can quickly find out a few details about the location of the station you’re in contact with, including the country or state.
  • Plot contacts made on a world map or a U.S. map.
  • Complete QSL cards to send to the people contacted.
  • Make a tape recording of the conversations.
  • Build simple electronic kits.
  • Prepare and publish a JOTA newsletter or a story for your troop, district, and council newsletters or websites.
  • Prepare a quiz and ask the questions over the air.
  • Complete participation cards for each Scout who talked. Use the certificate/log forms that can be downloaded from this site.
  • Determine the distance between each radio station and your station.

After JOTA

  • Write the Scouts contacted. Send QSL cards and/or a patch.
  • Start planning to participate again next year.
  • File your report and photos with the national JOTA coordinator using the online system published on this website.


We’ve also prepared a Troop Meeting Plan, which you can find at along with a Cub Scout Program Helps at