- Yeah, we know. This group is pretty quiet. Our district is finally
doing something with JOTA, but the Scoutmaster running this one has
chosen to combine it with a "pack-in" camporee, so we will have to haul
our station up a dirt road and set up in a small field on a hill top.
Fortunately, our club has a 4wd military ambulance cum communications
van and a 40' trailer mounted tower/antenna farm. We borrow generators
from members or rent as needed. For this operation, we may just leave
the truck running and operate from 12v., depending on the number of rigs
As a Scoutmaster, I would have liked to see this event done as a day
activity or overnight next door to a community center or school where we
could set up both ham radio for JOTA, and computers on the internet for
JOTI (Jamboree On The Internet). Although the two events have similar
goals, the way in which they do it, and the results, are very
different. Our club, of course, doesn't like sharing with JOTI. From
their rather narrow point of view, the purpose of the event is to
promote ham radio. As a Scoutmaster, I would rather see a broader means
of communication with other Scouts. My experience with JOTA is that
most of our contacts will be state-side, and with JOTI, most will be
scattered around the English speaking world. (There are JOTI channels
and methods for other languages as well.) Just some food for thought.
Also, just as there are regular Scout nets on HF all year long, there
are chat rooms for Scouts only on the internet, all day, every day.
These are supervised by volunteer adult Scouters from around the world,
so they are quite safe. The method used is called Internet Relay Chat,
or "IRC". If you want to learn more about it, visit
http://www.scoutlink.org . If you get on IRC ScoutLink's primary
channel "#scouting", look for me as "NHScouter". Everyone chooses
psuedonyms. There is even a page full of pictures of IRC Scout regulars
on the ScoutLink site. When JOTI comes along, they set up a bunch of
JOTI channels to allow as many kids as possible to participate. The
JOTI event keeps the supervisors VERY busy, as some of these kids have
some bad on-line habits and seem to forget their Scout Law applies here,
too. Most shape up very quickly because the supervisors will quickly
boot them off the channel if they don't.
Yours in Scouting,
- The Kennehoochee Amateur Radio Club supports the Merit Badge University at Kennesaw State University. They have approximately 100 merit badge classes and have around 1000 participants. The Club sets up a station in the Common Green at the college for scouts to participate on JOTA.
This will be my eighth year teaching the Radio Merit Badge Class.
ELDEN MORRIS, N1MN
Radio Merit Badge Counselor
Covered Bridge & Foot Hills Districts
Atlanta Area Council