Since 2014 I’ve had the pleasure to serve the World Organization of the Scout Movement on their Jamboree on the Air and Jamboree on the Internet (JOTA-JOTI) Team. There are five members bringing their expertise and experience from five different countries: Finland, the Netherlands, Oman, United Kingdom, and the USA.
We held our annual planning meeting at the Kandersteg International Scout Centre in Switzerland this past weekend. We gathered on Friday evening and had a full day of meetings on Saturday and Sunday, followed by traveling back home on Monday.
Our first order of business was reviewing the results from 2015 and approving the official reports. You can find links to the highlights report and the full detailed report at 2015 JOTA-JOTI Report. The results showed nearly 1 million Scouts engaged throughout the weekend across 151 countries with nearly 18,000 stations on the air.
Our next order of business, and the one that occupied most of our time, was planning for the 2016 event. This included drafting specifications for an improved location registration system, discussion of activities/challenges/games for the weekend, drafting the logo contest guidelines, agreeing on the theme, and reviewing an extensive communications plan.
We also took some time to enjoy our surroundings. First the International Scout Centre, shown in the photo at the top of this post, provided just the right facilities for our meeting. The rooms were great, the dining area ready to hand with nourishing food, and the conference room fit just perfectly for our team.
On the first evening we were also able to go into town for a sled run. The Centre provided the sleds and the village provided an extensive sled run that had just the right slope and curves to challenge our low skill level. In addition, on Monday morning before we left, our team member from Finland, Banda OH7GIG, introduced our team member from Oman, Ali A41RV, to cross-country skiing. It was quite a trip for Ali as he had never even seen snow before.
This is a perfect example of the purpose of JOTA-JOTI — introducting new cultures, new countries, and new activities to Scouts around the world.
You can see more about this meeting at JOTAJOTI.info Look for the news post about our meeting that should show up by the end of February. We have lots of improvements coming for 2016. Plan on participating on 14 to 16 October 2016.
After our meeting, I had elected to stay two extra days to take in the sights in Zurich before my flight back home. While it’s somewhat risky to go sight-seeing in early February, the weather cooperated with temperatures in the 40s F and light rain.
That helped me explore the old part of the city and to take in a boat tour of Lake Zurich and many of the villages around the lake. I really enjoyed the city and despite knowing zero German, most of the people I met were able to speak to me in English — some spoke it better than I do.
Here’s yet another example of my adventures in amateur radio. Plus, I get to give back to Scouting and amateur radio through this world-wide event.