Two young ARRL members are among the more than 100 attending the Youngsters On The Air (YOTA) camp in the Austrian mountains this week. Sterling Coffey, N0SSC, of St Louis, Missouri, and Sam Rose, KC2LRC, of Syracuse, New York, are the first two Americans to take part in the week-long YOTA camp. Participants not only enjoy a variety of Amateur Radio activities, they hone their electronics and contesting skills and make new international friends.
“Being at YOTA is really something beyond amazing,” Coffey tweeted on July 17.
Begun in 2011, YOTA has grown exponentially since, and camps have been held in Romania, The Netherlands-Belgium, Estonia, Finland, and Italy. Since the IARU Region 1 General Conference in Albena, Bulgaria, in 2014, YOTA has been an official International Amateur Radio Union Region 1 (IARU-R1) activity. Open to participants ranging in age from 15 to 25, the sixth YOTA in Austria is the largest ever and the first to include young hams from the US and Asia. The Northern California DX Foundation (NCDXF) subsidized the two Americans’ participation in YOTA 2016. The Yasme Foundation supported the teams from Ethiopia and Tunisia at YOTA 2016.
Rose last year inaugurated the Collegiate Ham Radio Operators Facebook group, aimed at college ham radio club members interested in sharing and collaborating on college ham radio activities. He also spoke on “Advantages of College Ham Radio Clubs” at the Hamvention 2016 Youth Forum. Coffey, who majored in electrical engineering at the Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla, is a past ARRL Youth Editor who handled the “Youth@HamRadio.Fun” web column on the ARRL website. He served as a member of ARRL Ad-Hoc Committee on Youth in the Second Century, prior to the ARRL Centennial.
YOTA 2016 features a full slate of Amateur Radio activities. A successful Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) contact took place on July 18 with astronaut Jeff Williams KD5TVQ on the International Space Station.
The Austrian Amateur Radio Society OeVSV, which is celebrating its 90th anniversary, is hosting the YOTA 2016 summer camp near Salzburg. OE2YOTA has been on air on various bands and modes. YOTA 2016 continues until July 23.