Scouts to hit the airwaves for JOTA-JOTI
Published Thu 21 Sep 2023
Millions of Scouts worldwide will be connecting over the airwaves for one weekend in October.
This year marks the 66th Jamboree on the Air (JOTA), the world’s largest digital and amateur radio Scouting event.
JOTA expanded to become JOTA-JOTI in recent years, broadening its reach to include Jamboree on the Internet – a new way for generations of Scouts to connect with their counterparts worldwide.
Over the weekend of 20-22 October, Scouts and Girl Guides from more than 170 countries will use amateur radio frequencies to exchange greetings and learn about each other.
The event connects millions of young people around the world for online and on-air activities that promote friendship and global citizenship.
JOTA-JOTI engages youth in educational activities that build teamwork, cross-cultural understanding and skills for the future.
Scouts participating in the JOTA-JOTI program could use this experience to work towards a Special Interest Area Achievement Pathway in STEM and Innovation and may even be able to start on their pathway to becoming an Amateur Radio Operator!
Find out more about JOTA-JOTI and activities happening around the world here.
In NSW, there are a range of JOTA-JOTI events taking place to give youth members a chance to connect and communicate with their peers internationally.
Boree Regatta – Bonna Point Reserve, Kurnell
A JOTA station for South Metropolitan Region will be operated by members of the St George Amateur Radio Society as part of the Endeavour Boree Regatta.
Open to all age sections, the Boree Regatta includes a separate program of land events for Joey Scouts; Cub Scouts and Scouts will have a mix of land and water activities across the two days, while Venturer Scouts will have their own program.
The Boree Regatta JOTA call sign is VK2LE, and activities include:
- On Air – An opportunity to make voice contact with other youth members somewhere in the world and exchange information and ideas about their favourite Scouting activities. Amateur radio operators will use a selection of different communication methods from traditional short wave (HF-SSB), FM (frequency modulations) bands, to modern digital communication modes
- Treasure (Fox) Hunt – Two covert radio transmitters (the Treasure) will be hidden within the Boree Regatta campsite. Scouts will have an opportunity to hunt for the hiding place using radio direction finding equipment. The techniques used are similar to WWII spy transmitter detection, but the equipment is a little more modern.
Garigal and Northern Beaches Districts Scouts – Terrey Hills Public School, Terrey Hills
This JOTA-JOTI camp is available for all Scout-age youth members, with some older Cub Scouts also welcome to attend to link with their Scout Unit if they so desire.
The JOTA call sign for this location is VK2SNR. Activities include:
- Amateur Radio – Manly Warringah Radio Society will set up radio communications to other JOTA sites and a variety of radio-based games
- Internet – “Chat” online to Scouts and Guides from around the world using computers set up and linked to a special JOTI chat room
- Electronics – Learn to solder a simple circuit board to construct an electronic gadget
- A wide game around Terrey Hills
- Visit to the Rural Fire Service station.
GWS and Hume JOTA-JOTI Camp for Scouts and Venturer Scouts – Glenfield Scout Activity Centre, Glenfield
There are a number of licensed Leaders and youth members across Hume and GWS who will be running JOTA activities across the weekend. They will be using two call signs – VK2SRA for GWS and VK2SHR for Hume. A Fusion Wires-X room 69904 will be active as well.
- Radio activities – Using different frequencies to connect with other Scouts via High Frequency (HF) radio to communicate without the internet. The event will also have internet-linked radio systems and will be operating via amateur radio satellites
- Radio Direction Finding – Also known as Fox Hunting, this is a hidden transmitter hunt. It is similar to geocaching/orienteering
- Electronics – Each participant will be able to build an electronics project to take home
- The Australian Defence Force will attend to support an activity and display their tech gear
- JOTI – Areas will be set up with computers and projects, as well as Wi-Fi for Scouts who want to BYOD.
GWS JOTA-JOTI for Joey Scouts and Cub Scouts – 4 Moore St, Glenbrook
This one-day GWS JOTA-JOTI event for the younger age sections is being hosted by the Blue Mountains Amateur Radio Club on 21 October. It will feature a morning and an afternoon session with the choice of participating in either one.
The call sign is VK2HZ and activities include:
- Communicating with other Scouts worldwide via the radio and internet
- Morse code
- Electronic kit assembly
- Secret codes.
Northern Rivers – Loughman Farm, Murwillumbah
All age sections can enjoy their JOTA-JOTI activities amongst the fun of a camp, with the main drawcard being the 50m waterslide!
In the Northern Rivers, the focus will be predominantly on JOTI, with events following some of the activities planned by ScoutWired. Leaders at the event have been trained in how to moderate and keep youth members safe online, operating under a two-deep rule. Activities include:
- Text and voice chats to connect with Scouts and Guides worldwide
- ScoutWired activities – MC Build Battle, Fall Guys, Kahoot and a trucking simulator to name a few
- A world map to mark off the countries connected with
- Morse Code Name Key Chains – beads threaded on a string following the Morse Code chart
- Lego flags – Youth will be challenged to make flags from around the world with Lego bricks
- Radio Pacman – A blindfolded youth member is guided around a Pacman-style maze via walkie talkie to “eat” the dots – putting water balloons in a bucket.
Hume JOTA 2023 – Berrima Scout Camp
The Hume Region Scout Fellowship is assisting with bringing JOTA to the Southern Highlands. The amateur radio activities will include HF radio, digital and other radio activities to reach Scouts from everywhere.
The JOTA call sign for this location is VK2HU. Activities include:
- Water Activities
- Monkey Bridge
- Horizontal Bungie
- Scavenger Hunt
- Code Breaking
- Fox Hunt (Hidden Transmitter)
- Visit from Rural Fire Service (RFS) Brigade to show off equipment and skills. The Southern Highlands RFS Communications Unit will also visit to show their communications equipment.
Orama JOTA/JOTI Port Macquarie - 1st Port Macquarie Sea Scout Boat Shed, McInherney Close, Port Macquarie
Running from 10am to 3.30pm, JOTA-JOTI at Port Macquarie will feature a day of fun activities, inlcuding a barbecue running at lunch time. Cost to attend will be minimal to cover the cost of food and drink. All family members are welcome and encouraged to attend. Everyone must be registered to attend. Activities include:
- On-shore Activities
- Talking to Scouts from all over the world.