Being a Good Scout

This year, our club’s Tech class has a bevy of Boy Scouts–13 to be precise. That being the case, Roger W8ZRF thought it would be a good idea for us to participate in the Jamboree on the Air (JOTA). According to the website,

JOTA is an annual event in which about 500,000 Scouts and Guides all over the world make contact with each other by means of amateur radio. It is a real Jamboree during which Scouting experiences are exchanged and ideas are shared, thus contributing to the world brotherhood of Scouting The JOTA is a world-wide event. Units may operate for 48 hours or any part thereof, from Saturday 00.00 h until Sunday 24.00 h local time. It is for members of the World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM), and also for members of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS).

We scrambled a bit to arrange a time and place, but in the end, it was decided to meet at 2pm at the University of Michigan’s club shack.

Being so hastily arranged, only two scouts showed up at 2 pm–Ray and Max of Troop 8 here in Ann Arbor. We were joined by ARROW member Jeff W8SGZ and U-M club member Jon KG6URI. I was a bit disappointed that more didn’t turn out, but it probably was for the best. Any more and each would have gotten little actual mike time. We made four contacts overall, with stations in Ohio, MI, NJ, and IN. Unfortunately, W8UM is not able to operate 20m, and 15m wasn’t open, so we weren’t able to work any DX. Jon did fire up his laptop, though, and made contact with an LZ station via EchoLink.

This was a lot of fun. The kids were very enthusiastic, and I hope they persevere and get their licenses.

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