The Jamboree-on-the-Air, or JOTA, is an annual Scouting event that uses amateur radio to link Scouts around the world, around the nation, and in your own community. Held on the third full weekend of October each year, this worldwide jamboree requires no travel, other than to a nearby radio amateur’s ham shack. Many times the hams will come to you by setting up at a Scout camporee, or perhaps they already have a ham shack at your council’s camp. There are many ways to get your Scouts involved in JOTA.
Scouts of any age can participate, from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts and Venturers. Once at the ham radio station, the communication typically requires speaking into a microphone and listening on the station speakers. However, many forms of specialized communication can also take place, such as video communication, digital communication using typed words on the computer screen transmitted by radio, communication through a satellite relay or an earth-based relay (called a repeater), and many others. The exchanges include such information as name, location (called QTH in ham speak), Scout rank, age, and hobbies. The stations you’ll be communicating with can be other Scouts across town, across the country, or even around the world! The World Scout Bureau reported that the 2011 JOTA had nesrly 750,000 Scout participants from over 6,000 amateur radio stations! A participant patch is available, as is a certificate/log sheet that can also be used to fulfill a Radio merit badge requirement.
The 55th Jamboree-on-the-Air is October 20–21, 2012. The official hours are from Saturday at 00:00 hours local time (right at midnight Friday) to Sunday 24:00 (midnight Sunday evening). So you’ve got the whole weekend to make JOTA contacts.
The Crossroads of America Council, Boy Scouts of America are looking for volunteers to support the WD9BSA amateur radio station. The purpose of the WD9BSA station is to inspire a new generation of Hams through the Boy Scouts of America. The official opening for the station will be October 20, 2012, this will be the official Jamboree on The Air weekend for the World Scouting Organization. As you know, there are many aspects of Ham Radio, and while we don't know what will be of most interest to the kids (Yes, boys and girls, as the club/organization will be supported by the BSA through their Venturing program), so we will need lots of help. Also, this is a new effort, so there are many things to do and many opportunities to get involved before the JOTA weekend.
If, you would like to make a difference with our local youth, please consider being a part of this group. The Groups next meeting is May 12th at 1:00 pm -
3:00 pm at the Crossroads Council office at 7125 Fall Creek Road North Indianapolis, IN 46259 If you have questions please feel free to contact Randy Biggs KA7BSA for details at KA7BSA@sbcglobal.net.