What: Annual Scouting event that uses amateur radio to link Scouts around the world, across the country and in your own community.
When: Third full weekend of October (this year it’s Oct. 19-21, 2018). There are no official hours, so you have the whole weekend to make JOTA contacts. The event officially starts Friday evening and runs through Sunday evening.
Who: Scouts and Venturers of any age, plus their families.
How: Once at the ham radio station, the communication typically requires speaking into a microphone and listening on the station speakers. However, many forms of specialized communication can also take place, such as video communication, digital communication using typed words on the computer screen transmitted by radio, communication through a satellite relay or an earth-based relay (called a repeater), and many others.
Where to find help: Contact your local council. They may already have an event set up that your Scouts can attend. Otherwise, find a local American Radio Relay League club here.
Learn more: Get resources, quick-start guides, patch order forms and lots more at the JOTA website.
Just for fun: Check out this archive of JOTA patches through the years.
Bonus tip: If your unit or council wants to participate in JOTA but doesn’t have an amateur radio station, hope is not lost. Icom America and the BSA have a sponsorship agreement that began in 2012 and now extends through 2018. One aspect of that agreement is that Icom America will provide up to 10 complete amateur radio stations for use by local Scout councils. Stations can be requested for long-term development loan stations and for event loan stations. You can find the details, application and loan agreement here.