In an effort to encourage more stations to participate in the annual scouting Jamboree on the Air (JOTA), the West Gulf Division has established the “West Gulf Division Jamboree on the Air Challenge”.
The “Challenge” was suggested by the West Gulf Division Director, K5RAV, at the 2012 HamCom Convention in Plano, TX. The purpose is to get more stations on the air during JOTA, which is always the third full weekend of October, to allow scouts to find out about amateur radio and talk with other scouts via amateur radio.
2012 marks the 55th anniversary of JOTA. Over 500,000 Scouts take part in JOTA around the world. The USA has always had a significant number of stations participating, but poor propagation on the HF bands has often made it difficult for groups with scouts to easily locate other stations desiring to participate in JOTA.
Jamboree on the Air is not a contest. It’s not a matter of who can make the greatest number of contacts during the weekend, but rather to give scouts exposure to amateur radio and the chance to talk with other scouts over the air. For most scouts, this will be their first opportunity to talk with someone using Ham Radio.
The West Gulf Division consists of 24 BSA Councils. The “Challenge” for 2012 is to have at least one formal JOTA station setup in each of the West Gulf Councils. Think of it as “Field Day in October”. It’s a great way for clubs, teams and individuals to setup in the field and operate. Lord Baden-Powell, the founder of Boy Scouting, is attributed to have said “Scouting is a game with a purpose.” We can think of the WGD Challenge as “Operating with a purpose;” the purpose being to expose scouts to amateur radio via Jamboree on the Air.
Internet links to Jamboree on the Air resources and recommendations for the WGD JOTA Challenge are available on the West Gulf Division’s web site under the EDUCATION tab.
Take some time to review the details about JOTA. Learn how to operate JOTA and review the Recommendations for the Challenge. Then, discuss with your club or, better, get a group together to operate. Individual operation is one form of operation; however, team or Club operation in the outdoors is the primary emphasis.
Notify your local BSA Council of your plans and ask the Council to promote your operation. The best person to contact at local Councils is the staff member responsible for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). Need help? – Contact your Section’s Assistant Section Manager for Radio Scouting. The list of these ASMs is available on the West Gulf Division’s Scouting web page.
And, don’t forget to register your planned operation and file your post-JOTA report with the BSA and ARRL.
(Submitted by Frank Krizan, KR1ZAN, AD Radio Scouting)