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Ed Gribi WB6IZF 229 Vivian Street King City. CA
Editor Wayne waxed eloquently in July 73 about the need for attracting newcomers into our hobby. One of the largest groups of ready-made potential newcomers are the ten million or so Boy Scouts around the world. There are a number of points of contact between scouting and amateur radio, but one of the best is the annual "Jamboree On The Air,"
What is Jamboree Or\The Air? Let me try to describe its background, purposes, and format for you from a very personal standpoint. I had the good fortune to be one of the operators at K7WSJ, the official amateur station at the World Scout Jamboree at Farragut State Park, Idaho, in August, 1967, Those ten days were one of the high points of my 43 years. Meeting Lady Powell; the night the entire Australian contingent jammed our shack as we worked VK after VK (no third party traffic, please!); the colors of the tents and banners against the green Idaho forest; the Belgian Scout who brought his sleeping bag into the shack in the hope we could work an ON: the myriad of colorful uniforms and thousands of smiling faces thoroughly en joying one of the great experiences of their lives. These and hundreds of other thrills and pleasant memories will always be with me, 1 made many lasting friendships from a dozen different countries and still exchange letters with several of them. But i was one of the lucky ones. Fewer than 1% of the Scouts are able to attend a World Jamboree or one of the greatest national or regional jamborees. Therein lies the reason for the development ol Jamboree On The Air.
Scouts at Geneva, Switzerland. Operator is Len Jarrett, HB9AMS, Director of Administration, Boy Scouts World Bureau.
A number of Scouts operating the amateur station during the World Jamboree in England in 957 were concerned that so few Scouts of the millions could actually participate in the face to face building ot international friendships. Perhaps radio could extend the reach of the brotherhood and involve more Scouts, even if vicariously, in such events. Les Mitchell, G3BHK, conceived the idea of a Jamboree on the air and the first formal JOTA was in May, 1958, The idea has mushroomed with the aid and abettment of enthusiastic Scouts, Scouters, and amateurs so that now thousands of stations from every Scouting country participate in the event every year.
The primary purpose of JOT A, therefore, is to enable Scouts everywhere to talk to other Scouts across town or around the globe by radio. A secondary purpose is to give them exposure to amateur radio which may help a boy discover a latent career in electronics or some allied field, or perhaps in amateur radio as a hobby. It has undoubtedly encouraged many a boy to work on related Scouting accomplishments such as radio and other merit badges.
The 12th annual Jamboree On The Air will occur October 18 and 19, (GMT), 1969. Participating stations with Scouts and Scout-ers in their shacks will be calling "CQ Jamboree" on all bands and modes during that period. There are no rules nor points to count-tliis is not a contest! The theme is to let Scouts talk to Scouts wherever they may be. There are no formal fixed frequencies, but the Boy Scouts World Bureau has recognized traditional operating practices by noting the following as ''World Scout Frequencies":
U. ST Novice CW 3,940 khz. - U. S. phone 7,090 khz. - CW, European phone 14,090 khz. - CW 14,290 khz. - phone 21,140 khz. - CW, U. S. Novice 21,360 khz, - phone 28,190 khz. - CW 28,990 khz. - phone In addition, U. S. amateurs have found 7290 khz to be a good frequency and 7190 khz a good CW frequency for novices.
If you, as an amateur and/or Scout or Scouter are not already involved, then perhaps this should be your year for Boy Scouts, You might contact a local Scout office or executive or, even better, a Scoutmaster or Den Mother or Patrol Leader. They may not be familiar with the event unless they are avid readers of "Scouting/' "Boys Life," or "World Scouting/' You may have to explain the purposes and what they might reasonable expect from participation (remember, though, that propagation may not cooperate). In many areas amateurs talk to Scout Troops several weeks before the event to explain such things as how we're able to communicate hundreds or thousands of miles, typical terminology involving equipment and operating, and perhaps even to arrange a preliminary visit to a station.
During the event get your amateur operating exchanges out of the way as briefly as possible. Then turn the boys loose and let them talk to other Scouts, If they're a little tofigue-tied at first, encourage them to talk about such tilings as themselves and their own personal involvement in Scouting; their Patrol, Troop, Post, or Den; their camping and other activities; their home, town, area, and its culture and environment; and, of course, to ask similar questions of those on the other end. Don't feel like you have to hurry off to make more contacts or to let them talk to some exotic DX Scout station. It is much more meaningful and closer to the purposes of the event to have a two-hour ragchew with a gang 100 miles away than i; is to exchange signal reports with stations in ten countries. I've listened in on some marvelous QSO's during past events where, for instance, a couple of Patrol Leaders in different parts of the USA exchanged notes on their summer camp experiences or Ten-derfeet talked about their first hike. On the other hand, if conditions are favorable it can be a real thrill for them to talk "live" to a Scout in some foreign country. The language barrier is no barrier when international friendship is involved.
When it's all over the very least you'll have is a lot of satisfaction in having associated with a fine group of young men. 1 know it always restores my faith in the basic good sense of our youtli whenever 1 get around a group of Scouts. Beyond that there are several things that can be done that will extend the interest period and firm up Ihe relationships begun. Encourage the Scouts to make up and send QSL cards to the groups they talk to and perhaps to initiate correspondence or exchange of photos. Many permanent overseas links between Scouting groups have begun this way. And by all means send a note regarding your JOT A activities (including contacts and critique) to your National Organizer (in the United States it's Harry Harchar W2GND, Boy
Scouts of America, New Brunswick, New Jersey. 08903) with a copy to the World Organizer, Len Jarre» HB9AMS, Boy Scouts World Bureau, Case Postale 280, 121Î Geneva 11, Switzerland. Len is an enthusiastic participant in JOTA's and will again this year be operating from 4U11TU until a permanent World Bureau station can be set up. World Scout Bureau will send you a handsome QSL-sized ceritficate of participation in return for your courtesy in telling them of your own activities,
So youVe done all these things but it still seems like the contact between amateur radio and Scouting-should be more than a once-a-year thing. I always have that feeling myself. There's no reason why you couldn't continue the relation with a particular Scouting group with such diverse projects as teaching them code, providing communications at a Camporee or camp, or maintaining schedules with someone contacted during JOTA. There are several nets devoted to Scouting in various portions of the world. G3BKZ and HV3SJ operate on 14290 khz on Saturdays at 0930 GMT, mostly with other European participants, World Scout Net operates on 21360 khz at 1800 GMT on Saturdays. Bob Haliock WA7GOO, is the prime mover in this group, Bob was an operator at K7WSJ in 1967 and at the National Jamboree station this last July. Bob is an Eagle Scout from Boise, Idaho, and has injected a lot of enthusiasm into the WSN. These groups are devoted to the furtherance of the ideals of Scouting via amateur radio and as such deserve support and participation by all with similar aims.
I have one suggestion regarding JOTA
At Baden Powell House, London-English Scout headquarters.
operation this year that I haven't even cleared with Len Jarrett at the World Bureau. Let's try using these World Scout Frequencies as calling frequencies during JOTA instead of ragchew frequencies. In other words, call "CQ Jamboree" on the frequency, then QSY up or down for a QSO. That way there would be much more efficient utilization of frequency space and much less random calling. Perhaps we could even have net control stations active on one or more of the frequencies, particularly 21,360 khz. I imagine Bob WA7GOO, could organize two or three net controls to pick up breaks, periodically call a list of stations and localities on the frequency, and help stations who wish to QSY for a chat, I'll see if something -like this might be arranged by the time this appears in print. During other times these frequencies should make natural frequencies for any stations interested in Scouting to get together.
So there you have the story of Jamboree On The Air, If you're interested in young people and in the health of amateur radio, this should be a regular event for you. If you feel as I do that once a year just whets your appetite, then you might follow some of tltese other suggestions that could lead to a Jamboree On The Air the year round.
"Scouting and the Radio Amateur/' QST, July, 1967, p.52, WB6IZF
Australian Scouts at VK2BW during the 1968 JOTA.
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