Jamboree on the Air provides the opportunity for millions of Scouts around the world to meet on the air via Amateur Radio. Get ready for the 56th year of this annual on-the-air event!
When Scouts want to meet young people from another country, they usually think of attending a World Jamboree. But few people realize that each year more than half a million Scouts and Guides "get together" over the airwaves for the annual Jamboree-on-the-Air (JOTA). The World Scout Bureau reported that the 2010 JOTA had just over 700,000 Scout participants from nearly 6,000 amateur radio stations! Modern technology offers Scouts the exciting opportunity to make friends in other countries without leaving home. JOTA is an annual event in which Boy and Girl Scouts and Guides from all over the world speak to each other by means of Amateur (ham) Radio. Scouting experiences are exchanged and ideas are shared via radio waves. Since 1958 when the first Jamboree-on-the-Air was held, millions of Scouts have met each other through this event. Many contacts made during JOTA have resulted in pen pals and links between Scout troops that have lasted many years. With no restrictions on age or on the number of participants, and at little or no expense, JOTA allows Scouts to contact each other by ham radio. The radio stations are operated by licensed amateur radio operators. Many Scouts and leaders hold licenses and have their own stations, but the majority participate in JOTA through stations operated by local radio clubs and individual radio amateurs. Some operators use television or computer-linked communications.