Jamboree-on-the-Air, or JOTA, is the largest Scouting event in the world. It takes place every year on the third full weekend of October. JOTA uses amateur radio to connect Scouts and radio amateurs around the world, across the country and in our community. This jamboree requires no travel other than to a nearby Ham Radio Operator’s Ham Shack or, in this case, Troop 525 Scout Shack, also known as the Civitan Building near Preacher Mill Road in Clarksville. “All Scouts from any council are invited to come and participate in this Cogioba District event,” said American Legion Tennessee State Scouting Chairman Ernest Schmidt.
They will also host Jamboree on the Internet at the same time, so participants will be credited for participating in two events. Scouts of all ages can participate, from Cub Scouts to BSA Scouts and Venturers. Once at the JOTA amateur radio station, communication usually consists of speaking into a microphone and listening to the station’s speakers. However, many forms of specialized communication can also take place, such as video communication, digital communication (much like sending a message to your smartphone but transmitted by radio), or communication via a satellite relay or a terrestrial relay (called a repeater). Exchanges include information such as name, location (called QTH in amateur parlance), Scout rank, age, and hobbies. The stations you will communicate with can be across town, across the country, or even around the world! The World Scout Bureau reported that JOTA-JOTI 2017 had over 1.5 million Scout participants from more than 160 countries. Once you have completed your stations, you can leave. You don’t need to stay all day.
The live, web-based jamboree will take place on Saturday, October 15 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. This year the American Legion CSM Gary W. Crisp Post 289 Amateur Radio Club and the Clarksville Amateur Transmitting Society will host this event. The City of Clarksville team will have people operating three radio stations this year. The event begins Friday night during the JOTA Jump Start and ends Sunday night, but the Clarksville JOTA will only be held on Saturday. To participate, contact the Post 289 Radio Club or a local amateur radio operator, or a local amateur radio club.