JOTA, Oct 14-16, 2016

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Jamboree-on-the-Air

Jamboree on the Air is the largest Scouting event in the world. In a typical year over 1 million Scouts participate with over 11,000 stations operated by 20,000+ amateur radio operators in operation from 150+ countries around the world.

The National Radio Scouting Committee develops and maintains a great deal of JOTA supporting information online at Jamboree-on-the-Air in addition to all the information and USA Reports posted on this site.  You can see video reports of past year’s activities below.

The official dates for 2016 are October 14, 15, 16. Note that JOTA officially begins on Friday evening at the start of the weekend.

The Jamboree-on-the-Air, or JOTA, is an annual Scouting event that uses amateur radio (HAM) 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.

For details on one of our Local Amateur Radio operations in Big Spring, Texas contact Marshall Horn at senorhorn@yahoo.com.

Tell Me More

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 2014 JOTA had more than 1 million Scout participants from more than 11,500 stations, nearly 20,000 amateur radio operators, and reached 157 countries.

When Is It?

Jamboree-on-the-Air is held the third weekend in October. There are no official hours, so you have the whole weekend to make JOTA contacts. The event officially starts Friday evening and runs through Sunday evening.

How Can I Participate as a Scout?

Contact your local Scout council and see what may already be planned in your area. You can also contact a local ham radio operator or a local amateur radio club. You can find a searchable database of clubs at www.arrl.org/find-a-club . This website is operated by the American Radio Relay League, the national association for amateur radio, which is cooperating closely with the BSA on JOTA and many other activities.

Your local club may be able to direct you to its planned JOTA activities. These can include ham stations set up at camporees or other events. Or, if there are no planned activities, you can either work with them to get something set up or arrange to visit a local radio operator’s ham shack at a scheduled time to participate in JOTA.

How Can I Participate as an Amateur Radio Operator?

Contact your local Scout council and see what may already be planned in your area and how you can help. You can find your council at http://scouting.org/LocalCouncilLocator.aspx .

If nothing is currently planned, or if current plans aren’t reaching your area, you can work with the council or a local unit (pack, troop, crew) to set up a JOTA station or arrange for visits to your ham shack. You can also participate just by making QSOs with the many JOTA stations that will be on the air.