Update: Photos from the 2011 JOTA are now on the ARES website, and can be viewed on the right sidebar of the page. You can click on a photo from the slide show to view the full-size image, and right-click to print or save a photo.

What is Jamboree-on-the-Air (JOTA)?

The JOTA is an annual event in which Scouts and Guides all over the world speak to each other by means of amateur radio contacts. Scouting experiences are exchanged and ideas are shared, via the radio waves.

When Scouts want to meet young people from another country they usually think of attending a World Jamboree or another international gathering. But few people realize that each year about half-a-million Scouts and Guides “get together” over the airwaves for the annual Jamboree-on-the–Air (JOTA). Modern communication technology offers Scouts the exciting opportunity to make friends in other countries without even leaving home…..

Since 1958 when the first jamboree-on-the-Air was held, thousands of Scouts and Guides have “met” each other through this event. Not only is it fun to talk to Scouts from other parts of the world but it provides also a chance to find out about other countries and about Scouting elsewhere. Many contacts made during the JOTA have resulted in penpals and links between scout troops that have lasted for many years.

With no restrictions on age, on the number that can participate and at little or no expense, the JOTA provides an opportunity for Scouts and Guides to contact each other by amateur radio. The radio stations are operated by licensed amateur radio operators. Many Scouts and leaders hold licences and have their own stations, but the majority participates in the JOTA through stations operated by local radio clubs and individual radio amateurs. Today some operators even use television or computer linked communications.

Date and duration of the event

The world–wide Jamboree-On-The-Air is organized to coincide with the third full weekend of October each year. The event starts at 00.00 hours local time on the Saturday and concludes 48 hours later at 24.00 hours local time on the Sunday. Each station can choose its own operating hours within this period.

The Amarillo event will occur at Camp Don Harrington, which is located in the west section of the Palo Duro Canyon in the Texas Panhandle just 10 miles south of Amarillo on south Washington Street (FM 1541).

To volunteer to help with this year’s event in Amarillo, contact John Robinson, WDFOI at 806 206-3648 (cell) or 806 355-7889 (home). Please call after 12:00 (noon).