I’m currently sitting in my hotel room in West Virginia not only contemplating my trip home later today but still staggered by my visit to the Summit Bechtel Reserve where the 2013 National Scout Jamboree will be held. Beginning this past Friday I attended SPLAT 3.5. The acronym stands for Summit Program Leadership Action Team. I have the distinct honor to serve on that action team in the capacity of chairman of the K2BSA amateur radio operation.

During the last two days Russell Smart (our program chairman) and Steve McGowan (West Virginia and Summit supporter extraordinaire) briefed us on the construction activities and the program development activities as we prepare for the Jamboree. Driving around the facility and learning what was and is and will be came to be a simply overwhelming. The size, the scope, the breadth of the effort is staggering. At one point I was really glad that I had my own little segment of the effort to focus on, something that I could truly grasp, as opposed to the programatic, logistical, and managerial sweep of the entire effort.

The fabulous news is that the Boy Scouts of America have found the right individuals and are forming them into a team to get this all accomplished over the next 480+ days. It is going to be a fabulous event and I’m delighted to play a small role in the effort and to be not only a witness to history but a builder of that history. What a great opportunity.

As to the K2BSA effort, we determined our location and the number of tents for our efforts. I’m delighted with those arrangements. It also looks very good for our fox hunting and balloon launching efforts. I do want to do some terrain analysis around the directional antennas that we’re contemplating. The VHF/UHF repeater location seemed to be a bit up in the air still as discussions are underway with a number of players in the effort to get a tower installed at the best location. I’m also hopeful that our sponsorship arrangements can make some breakthroughs this coming week.

My task for next week is to distill all the details and general principles that I’ve learned and get them to the K2BSA leadership team, who are working on the next version of the operations plan (version 7). Following that effort, we’ll set up a webinar for our full team, which currently numbers 36 individuals, and should reach 50+ by the Jamboree.

Hats off to Russell and Steve, along with the Summit staff, who proved such wonderful hosts and ever so patient in answering the endless questions that our entire group had about every aspect of the operation. I also greatly appreciated the honesty expressed about the fluid nature of the arrangements as the effort continues to be a discovery process and lots of opportunity for creative problem solving.

This is yet another one of my ham radio adventures, the title of this blog, and I’m confident will really be a highlight of those adventures and of my life. Stay tuned!


  1. I am very grateful that we have such a great guy leading the development of the K2BSA activity area. There are some challenges of a new site, even one as magnificent as this one is, but I am certain that Jim and his team will solve every one before 15 July 2013. Thank you for all you have done and are doing for our Scouts. Semper Gumby.

    • Thanks for your kind words, Russell. It is such an honor to bring K2BSA and amateur radio to life at the 2013 Jamboree at the Summit. It is going to be fantastic!

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