Scouts-L Mail Archive for August of 1999: Plan now for the 42nd Jamboree-On-The-Air (JOTA)
Plan now for the 42nd Jamboree-On-The-Air (JOTA)
Wed, 25 Aug 1999 18:10:57 -0400
What is Jamboree-On-The-Air?
It's an International Scout event that uses Ham Radios for Scouts
and Scouters to communicate with each other World Wide for 2 days
during a weekend. It's a sanctioned event by the World Organization
of the Scout Movement (WOSM) and by Boy Scouts of America (BSA).
It's even for all people in scouting, boys and girls, men and
women. It's not just a Boy Scout event, but one for all age Girl
Scouts and Girl Guides too.
Ham operators use voice, Morse code and other means of communications
to send and receive messages from others the world over. It's very
easy to use voice radio communication to talk to others all over
the United States, Canada, Europe and South America. For even longer
transmissions, like to Hawaii, Australia, or Japan, Morse code is
used because the signal travels further. So a mixture of these two
methods of Ham communications are often used. Because the world has
different time zones communications will be running around the clock
during this event, so that you can communicate with far off lands.
For instance Europe has an 8 hour time difference. So a key to
a successful JOTA is having a warm, dry, location for the event
is often a great advantage in making everyone very comfortable.
When is JOTA?
This year it is the 42nd Annual JOTA and it will be held on
Saturday and Sunday, October 16-17, 1999.
How can a Cub Scout Pack, Boy Scout Unit or Council Participate?
The first thing you have to do is find licensed Ham Radio Operators
who have the radio equipment and the time to help offer a program
for your Scouts on this weekend. There are Ham radio clubs located
all over New England that you can contact to find Hams (people) to
help you. What you need to do is to contact these clubs to see if
you can arrange for their members to setup their radios and operate
them with you.
Next you'll need a location to set up radio stations during JOTA.
Boy Scout camps with cabins or large dining halls and Council
offices are a good place to do it. Or you could do it at your
sponsoring (Charter) organization facilities. Many Hams have
portable battery operated equipment so they can transmit and receive
from just about anywhere. Other Hams have radios that require AC
power for operation. Check with the Hams that are willing to work
with you during JOTA to see what their needs and power requirements
are before you establish the location for the event.
Plan ahead way in advance and make all the arrangements. If possible
meet with the Ham and go over what they need and can do for you and
what you'd like to accomplish. Tell them how many scouts you
anticipate will be attending your event, what type of facilities
they'll have at their disposal, etc... Be very nice to these Ham
operators (men and women) because they are offering your Scouts a
very special opportunity to learn about radio communications and
to try it out. Make sure you supply the Hams with food and
refreshments, make them feel special and thank them often.
Are there awards for JOTA?
Yes, BSA produces a patch and FREE certificates cards every year
for it. BSA advertises and sells their patches in "Scouting"
Magazine for $3 per patch before the event or you can call them
for more details on ordering now (see below). The certificate cards
are free, you just have to send a LASS and pay postage to get them.
The patches often sell out fast, so order yours way before the
event if you intend on awarding them to Scouts, Scouters and your
Ham radio operators. These patches take four weeks to get so
Yes, and don't forget to make special awards for the Hams that made
this all possible. After the event it would be a nice idea to
invite the Hams to a Pack or Troop meeting to present them with
a "Certificate of Appreciation" (your scout shop sells nice ones)
and also present them with a JOTA patch and your Council Shoulder
Patch (CSP) as a little momento for their time and skills they've
donated to you. Showing your appreciation like this goes a long
way in securing their help and friendship for your unit or council
in all future JOTA's.
How can we find Ham operators?
Ask your unit members if they know any. Many times you'll find
Scout leaders who are Hams and would be more than willing to help
you if they were just asked. Ask around about local Ham clubs.
Talk to your police and fire departments because Hams often help
them during times of disasters or emergencies. Contact the ARRL
(American Radio Relay League) they have listings of clubs in your
area (see below).
Where can we find out more information?
Visit the BSA JOTA web site at:
You can even see the patch they're making for this years JOTA there.
You'll also find a list of all the radio frequencies that Hams will
need to know here so they'll be able to find other Scouts and
Scouters that day. So print out this page when you visit it, so
that you can show it to the Hams when you contact them during your
planning phase. It will help them know what radio equipment they
need to put on a great event for you.
Visit the ARRL (American Radio Relay League) at:
Visit the "ARRL Scout Handbook". It will tell you about merit badges
that your Boy Scouts can earn too. Their web site is packed with
JOTA information. Visit it at: http://www.arrl.org/ead/scouthbk/
International Division, S221
Boy Scouts of America
1325 West Walnut Hill Lane
P.O. Box 152079
Irving, Texas 75015-2079
You can request a fact sheet and a copy of "More About
Jamboree-on-the-Air" from them.
Serving You and Scouting,
Founder and President of "Scouts NewEngland" (SNE)
and "The Boy Scout OA and CSP Traders Club"
Assistant Scoutmaster, Troop 1, Littleton, MA
Web Site: http://members.tripod.com/troop1_bsa
Personal E-mail: mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org