Jamboree on the Air Marks 60 years in October


Big Island ARRL News, 18 September 2017, 2130 UTC, Post #314.


The ARRL Letter, July 6, 2017.

QST, “Jamboree on the Air Marks 60 Years this Month”, October, 2017, p.88.

Accessed on 18 September 2017, 2130 UTC.

Please use any of the above sources to find out more information on this worldwide scouting event.


I first ran into the Boy Scout “Jamboree on the Air” in 1957 when I was a “First-Class” Scout working on merit badges.  A local radio amateur down the street from my family’s home invited scouts in the area to drop by and talk with other Boy Scouts around the world via ham radio.  I was utterly fascinated how my small voice was able to cross the Atlantic Ocean (I lived in Delaware at the time) and reach a scout in the United Kingdom.  That experience eventually translated into a love of communications, commercial broadcasting, and eventually an Amateur Radio License.  And now, 60 years later, I’m still amazed by the communications process and how Amateur Radio can connect diverse cultures in a common pursuit of science and technology.

This year, JOTA will occur between 20 and 22 October under the theme “60 Years Connecting Scouts.”

There have been several excellent articles exploring JOTA over the years, with the above citations representing only a few of the many stories available online.  I’ve taken the liberty of republishing Jim Wilson’s (K5ND) article as it appeared in the 06 July 2017 issue of The ARRL Letter and in the archives of

Jamboree On the Air Marks 60 Years this Fall:“60 Years Connecting Scouts” is the theme for the Boy Scouts’ 2017 Jamboree on the Air (JOTA, set for October 20-22. JOTA Coordinator Jim Wilson, K5ND, said the theme “recognizes the start of the event in 1957 and commemorates its growth in participation and in the expanding communication channels that are activated on the third weekend in October.” The official JOTA patch will be available by July 19. The JOTA-JOTI (Jamboree on the Internet) patch is available now.

Wilson said JOTA’s “communication channels” now include Amateur Radio on the air and via internet-based channels, as well as many other internet-based options, including social media, ScoutLink and IRC chat services, Skype, and more. “It also recognizes the goal of the event — connecting Scouts so that they can engage in conversations with other Scouts across town and around the world,” Wilson said. “This allows them to discover geographic and cultural differences and similarities. Plus, they are exposed to the technology that makes all this happen.” The World JOTA-JOTI Team said it would announce “a number of weekend activities supporting the 2017 theme.”

JOTA participation last October was up from 2015’s numbers. According to the final JOTA report, 10,761 Scouts took part — an increase of more than 50% from a year earlier — and the number of stations filing reports, at 267, jumped by 28% from 2015 (the record was 271 in 2013). The number of Amateur Radio operators was up by 14% to 1,120, although the number of radios reported in use dropped by 25% to 631. Total JOTA 2016 contacts remained flat at 8,254. — Thanks to JOTA Coordinator Jim Wilson, K5ND

For the latest Amateur Radio News and Information, please check the blog sidebars.  These feeds are updated daily and weekly.

Please send your Hawaii Island Amateur news items to at least two weeks prior to your event so I can notify our local print and broadcast media in a timely manner.

Opinions expressed in this blog are mine unless otherwise stated.

Thanks for joining us today.

Aloha es 73 de

Russell Roberts (KH6JRM)

Public Information Coordinator

Hawaii County, ARRL Pacific Section

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