2022-10-14 JOTA – Scouts Jamboree On The Air

Friday to Sunday, October 14-16, 2022

VE3CBK Chris and youth from the 137th Ottawa – photo courtesy VE3HYS

Event write up

The following event write up was provided by Rod Wilson VE3RXN, Group Commissioner, National Museum of Scouting

The Scouting world held the 65th annual Scout Jamboree on the Air, and Jamboree on the Internet (JOTA-JOTI) October 15th-17th 2022. A Jamboree is a large gathering of Scouts, either global or national, and traces its roots back to the early days of Scouting in the last century. The first World Scout Jamboree was held in 1920, and it still takes place every four years, the next is 2023 in South Korea.

As ham radio became popular among Scouts, the idea of holding a Jamboree remotely, using ham radio, the “Jamboree on the Air”, was born in Ottawa, then the location of the Scout world headquarters. It was first held in 1957. Later, when the internet became popular, the “Jamboree on the Internet” was created in 1995. Today, the two events have merged into a single experience called JOTA-JOTI. Canadian boys and girls have many more extra-curricular options today than they did in the 1950’s and 1960’s and there are not as many Scouts as back then. But Scouting remains popular and there are active scout groups in more than a thousand towns and cities across Canada, and JOTA-JOTI is an event that connects Canadian Scouts with brother and sister Scouts around the globe.

JOTA 2022

Scouts Canada National Museum, in the headquarters office on Baseline Road is the QTH of VE3SHQ and the centre of Ottawa’s JOTA activity for 2022. VE3SHQ has a well-equipped tower covering 23cm to 80m bands via a Tri-band Diamond XC2000, TH6DX Yagi and a DXCC trapped dipole. Primary JOTA operation was on 20m & 40m but we also worked across the whole spectrum given variable band conditions. The shack is equipped with 2 transceivers, an Icom IC-7300 and Kenwood TS-2000, which we attempted to use simultaneously thanks to the loan of two band-pass filters from the OARC. VE3SHQ APRS digipeater continues to beacon via a D130 Discone. VE2CRA was monitored, but not used for QSOs. VE3SHQ’s operation was supported by Harrie VE3HYS, Thane VA3TTM, Tom VA3TXL, Roger VA3EGY and Rod VE3RXN, who worked shifts to ensure continuous operation Saturday October 16th and Sunday October 17th 2022.

A total of 38 Cub Scouts (8-11), Scouts (11-14) and Venturer Scouts (14-18) plus parents, leaders and bystanders came to VE3SHQ. This is an encouraging turn out, particularly after the Pandemic lockdowns curtailed scout group activities for 2 years. The younger youth were particularly entranced by the ability to operate the rotator and spin the TH6DX Yagi (it had quite the workout). Older youth were interested in the science of radio, time zones and making contacts. DX conditions were not excellent, but Scouts were able to make several American and local contacts. Thank you Ernie VE3EJJ for chatting with one of our Scout visitors. The Jamboree is also an Internet event and featured live streams, from many countries including Geneva, Kenya and Malaysia, and online chat groups which kept Scouts not using the radios interested and engaged. The global 2022 tally is still being tabulated, but the World Scout Office in Geneva previous report detailed participation of 151 countries, logged 753,710 youth participants involving 29,453 Amateur Radio operators. In Canada, there were 95 JOTA events, 125 licensed radio operators, and over 2500 Scouts on the air.

While Scouting continues to focus on camping, outdoors, leadership, and skills for life, interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) appears to be increasing and we are pleased to report JOTA-JOTI 2022 in Ottawa a success. Members of the OARC who would like to make JOTA-JOTI 2023 an even bigger success are welcome to reach out me (VE3RXN@RAC.CA) to volunteer for October 2023.

Rod Wilson VE3RXN, Group Commissioner, Scouts Canada National Museum

Original event notice

The Jamboree on the Air, or JOTA, is an annual Scouting event that uses amateur radio to link Scouts around the world, around Canada, 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 amateur radio shack, Scout meeting place, camp or community center. JOTA started in 1958 (with the World JOTA Bureau located right here in Ottawa, Canada), making this year’s event the 65TH annual JOTA.

Scouts will be operating from Scout HQ at 1345 Baseline Road for the weekend. They are welcoming other amateur radio operators and the general public to join them, either on the air or in person at Scout HQ. This is the first time the Scout museum will be open since the start of COVID. It will also be the last time that the museum will be open at this location, as the site is going to be sold.

JOTA news flash from the organizers:

The PDF has a full list of operating frequencies and loads of other details.

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