Among my Radio Scouting activities was serving as chairman for the K2BSA amateur radio operation at the 2013 National Jamboree. This was the first Jamboree at the Boy Scouts’ new property at The Summit in West Virginia. So, many things changed from the earlier Jamborees at Fort A.P. Hill.
The Boy Scouts of America now have the opportunity to install permanent infrastructure on their own property. That’s a big improvement and will only build capabilities from one Jamboree to the next. In addition, the facility is a high adventure base and a summer camp destination. There are really no limits to what can be done on this magnificent 10,600 acres in West Virginia.
A key aspect for amateur radio was that Icom America installed three repeaters on a permanent basis for all events at the Summit as well as supporting the local community. Thank you, Icom!
You can learn more about the K2BSA 2013 Jamboree operation at the K2BSA website. Highlights of the Jamboree were providing amateur radio demonstrations for over 2,600 Scouts with 340 earning the Radio Merit Badge. We also conducted an amateur radio direction finding course, launched four high-altitude balloons, and had an inspiring contact with the International Space Station. It was a great Jamboree.
They also invited me back for the 2017 Jamboree. We achieved similar results with 2,457 Scouts going through our demonstration station and 305 earning the Radio Merit Badge. No ISS contact this time due to a conflict with the astronauts’ work schedule but we did work a number of LEO satellites, launch a couple of balloons, and run an ARDF-Foxhunting course. You can see the full results at 2017 Jamboree Report.
It also looks like I’ll be at the 2019 World Jamboree that will take place at the Summit Bechtel Scout Reserve in West Virginia. That operation should prove to be substantially different from the national jamborees. It will include staff members from around the world, in addition to all the participants. Fortunately, we’ll be able to use the same equipment. I look forward to this upcoming mix of amateur radio and Scouting.
You can learn more about the World Jamboree amateur radio operation at World Jamboree — NA1WJ.