This is a chance for Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, and Venturers to take part in an international jamboree and be introduced to technology that could serve to launch a lifelong hobby or even a career.
Note that radio amateurs spend a lot of time and effort working to achieve their licenses. In addition, they invest a great deal of money in their equipment and stations. Many are so passionately interested in their hobby that they cannot understand that to others it may be incomprehensible or even boring. It sometimes requires the skills of a diplomatic Scout leader to explain this to a keen ham who has given up his or her whole weekend to help with JOTA.
Here’s a few guidelines to follow as you prepare for the event:
- Make contact with local radio amateurs well in advance and discuss a balanced program of activities before and during JOTA.
- Make sure the amateur’s efforts are rewarded by ensuring that Scouts turn up for the event. Build up the event through publicity within your council, district, and unit.
- JOTA is a Scout event, and as such, Scout leaders are in charge. Keep firm control over those attending.
- Don’t assume that all radio amateurs are expert communicators with youth.
- Integrating events around JOTA can be very helpful in maximizing attendance. For example, set up a JOTA station (or several) at a camporee.
- Order participant patches for the number you expect to attend. Include some patches to share with the radio amateurs.
- Download the certificate of participation and log sheet. Duplicate enough for all participants.
- Review the section titled “Amateur Radio Terms.”
- Feed the radio amateurs on the day of the event.
- Thank the radio amateurs for their assistance.
- Register your event beforehand by sending an email with the location, a description of activities, the station call sign, and the expected number of participants to the national JOTA organizer at firstname.lastname@example.org. The full report format is provided on this website. Check this site often to see a list of all the stations that have registered. You may find an opportunity to schedule a ham radio contact during the JOTA weekend.
- File a report of your station’s activities using the format on this site under the tab “JOTA Event Report Form.” When you return your event report, your event will be included, in summary form, in the full U.S. report submitted to the World Scout Bureau. You will receive a copy of the full report by email.
Radio Merit Badge Requirements Met by JOTA Participation
The following requirements can be completed during a typical JOTA event.
7) Visit a radio installation (an amateur radio station, broadcast station, or public communications center, for example) approved in advance by your counselor. Discuss what types of equipment you saw in use, how it was used, what types of licenses are required to operate and maintain the equipment, and the purpose of the station.
9a(2) Using proper call signs, Q signals, and abbreviations, carry on a 10-minute real or simulated radio contact using voice, Morse code, or digital mode. . . . Properly log the real or simulated ham radio contact and record the signal report.
You’re encouraged to send news releases of the event to all local newspapers and television and radio stations. You can encourage photographers to attend the event. You can also forward photos to your local news media, including weekly papers. A sample news release is included on this website.
It’s recommended that you also look over the “Guidelines for Amateur Radio Operators.” While the technical terms may be challenging, it will give you an idea of the necessary preparation by your partners in the event, and perhaps you’ll see areas where you can help.
Best wishes for a great Jamboree-on-the-Air. We look forward to hearing all about it in your JOTA report.