Scouting’s Jamboree on the Air (JOTA) officials are asking JOTA 2016 participants not only to register for this year’s event, but to follow up with a post-JOTA report. As an incentive, all stations filing reports will automatically be entered to win an Icom ID-51A hand-held transceiver. The 59th annual JOTA takes place October 14-16.
“Last year we had 400 stations register but only 200 stations file a report,” said JOTA Coordinator Jim Wilson, K5ND. “We’re going to improve that this year. Icom America and Ray Novak, N9JA, have stepped up to help us with a considerable incentive.”
Wilson pointed out that only BSA stations will be eligible to win. “These prizes are for the station. It’s up to you to determine who gets it or how you share it,” he said. “Of course, everyone who files a report will receive the 2016 Jamboree on the Air Certificate.”
More than 1 million Scouts in 150+ countries — at nearly 18,000 stations — are expected to take part in JOTA 2016, engaging with other Scouts to talk about Amateur Radio and their Scouting experiences. “JOTA is about conversations across town and around the world, rather than about contacts,” Wilson said.
The JOTA reporting system will open right after JOTA weekend; reports are due on November 1, with the prize drawing held that week. “Designate someone on your team to collect the information needed for your report,” Wilson recommended, pointing to a list of “best practices” to ensure a report that “truly captures your event.”
JOTA Guidelines for Amateur Radio Operators are available online. Among other advice, the operating guide points out that US Scouts may speak directly with Scouts in other countries as long as a third-party agreement exists between that country and the US. A Scout station spotting cluster also will be available this year, to show who’s on the air and where. Dave Edwards, KD2E, and Andy O’Brien, K3UK, have developed a Scout scheduling page for teams to post their frequencies.
JOTA stations have been asked to avoid other operating activities taking place over the October 14-16 weekend, including the Worked All Germany contest-free zones. Four state QSO parties also take place over JOTA weekend — Illinois, Iowa, New York, and South Dakota.
Wilson also asked for the cooperation of contesters. “As you participate in these or other contests that weekend, please keep in mind that Scouts will be on the air at the same time,” Wilson advised competitors. “For most, this will be their first experience with Amateur Radio. Please be courteous and where possible provide some contest free space around their ongoing QSOs near the Scouting frequencies. After all, they are the next generation of ham operators — or not.”