I’ve recently been named the National Jamboree on the Air Organizer for the USA! That has come about primarily because I’m one of the few amateur radio operators employed by the Boy Scouts of America’s National Office. Although I prefer to think of it as recognition of my assistance with previous JOTA’s. You can see the write up along with photos and audio for the 2009 JOTA at National Scouting Museum Jamboree on the Air Extravaganza. That’s my voice narrating the slide show.

So far in my new role (new as of December 2010) I’ve been introduced to the World JOTA Organizer and have reviewed the reports for other nations for the 2010 JOTA. I’ve also tried to get onto the monthly JOTA World Scout Net via Echolink. It took me a little while to overcome technical issues with my very first Echolink connection (trying EchoMac then Echolink/Windows (via Windows virtual machine on the Mac) and finally Echolink for the iPhone — the last of which works!). I’m now looking forward to organizing a Radio Scouting Committee for the USA and to helping with the organization for the 2011 JOTA in October.

I’ve started a JOTA page on this website that I hope will become a reference point for JOTA efforts leading up to October. So far I’ve generated a number of thoughts on how best to enhance or expand JOTA. For example, the ARRL has a web database of all amateur radio clubs that have registered with them. This could prove to be a useful resource for Packs and Troops that are seeking a ham radio connection for JOTA. Likewise, the Boy Scouts have set up an online database of troops and packs. This could serve as a resource for ham radio clubs seeking to link up with a Scout pack or troop for JOTA, Field Day, and other events. The next step is to determine how best to publish this information.

I’ll also note that the BSA and ARRL signed a memorandum of understanding on January 31, 2011 to formalize their arrangement around JOTA, the Scout Jamboree, and the Radio Merit Badge. The ARRL provided a press and member notice of the agreement today, February 3. The BSA is working on a video that captured the signing that we hope to have posted next week. We got held up due to three cancelled days of work due to snow, ice, and a continued cold snap. Let’s hope it warms up soon!

As the title of this blog/website attests — My Ham Radio Adventures. The JOTA is yet another wonderful adventure I’ve embarked on. Stay tuned.

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Jim-K5ND

Freelance writer and active Scouting volunteer. Retired publishing and communication executive who writes for fun and to finance his hobby, amateur radio.

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