Jamboree-on-the-Air (JOTA) – October 20th

This year’s JOTA event in San Antonio will be held at McGimsey Scout Park in Castle Hills, near Northwest Military @ Lockhill Selma.  Members from the San Antonio Radio Club, Alamo Area Radio Organization and others will be setup for a one day event, Saturday October 20th, from around 8am til 5pm ??, helping Scouts get on the Ham Radio and showing them our hobby.

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.

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 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.

When Is It?

The 55th Jamboree-on-the-Air is October 20–21, 2012, but in San Antonio, our event will be Saturday only. 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.  Even if you aren’t able to help out in person, locally, get on the air and be there when other Scouts around the world are looking for folks to talk with, especially if you are a female ham radio operator!  They love to talk with the girls!  Hmm, wonder why that might be?  LOL


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