JOTA Countdown

By Don Kunst, ASM, W3LNE
K2BSA Vice President and JOTA Committee Chairman

stopwatch-29381_1280Did you know that JOTA-JOTI is the largest Scouting Event in the WORLD, with over 1 million Scouts participating across 150 countries? This past year in the USA we had a little over 7,000 Scouts participate from 148 of our 273 Councils at 346 stations.

K2BSA Amateur Radio Association (KARA) and its members have pledged to help you make your JOTA-JOTI event bigger and better this year. We are coordinating with the BSA National Radio Scouting Committee, to best support your activities.

In order to get you off on the right foot here a few suggestions to get your planning started for your event on October 14th (Early Start), 15th, and 16th, 2016.

I will note, too, that Radio Scouting can be a gateway for many Merit Badges and Troop, High Adventure and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) activities.

Our goals are simple;

  • Increase the participation of Scouts, Leaders, Councils and the public
  • Increase the level of communication and support for events
  • Increase the awareness of Radio Scouting throughout Scouting
  • Improve Station reporting of their events activities
  • Prepare for the 60th JOTA 2017
  • Increase the fun

You can help by becoming your Council's Radio Scouting Champion, by planning or supporting an event, joining the K2BSA ARA, or by providing your feedback and suggestions.

Here's our suggested calendar — COUNTDOWN TO JOTA-JOTI

Ten months to go – January

  • Make sure it is on your Council's schedule of events and website
  • Reach out to your local clubs and add it to their newsletters
  • Reach out to your Council's District newsletters to put on their schedule
  • Join the K2BSA Amateur Radio Association
  • Check the K2BSA website for ideas and contacts
  • Check the BSA JOTA website
  • Check out the International JOTA-JOTI website
  • Decide if you are running an 1, 2, or 3 day event
    • Start recruiting your committee
    • Find a location
    • Read articles on K2BSA starting with JOTA Event Tips
  • If you're not running your own show, join the efforts of an established JOTA event
  • Consider adding JOTI (Jamboree On The Internet) to your event, propagation not needed
  • Reach out to your Amateur Friends and Scout Amateur Operators
  • Look at supporting other events to promote involvement in JOTA-JOTI
  • Don’t forget to involve your Venture Crews
  • Don’t forget Order of the Arrow events
  • Send emails to all the District Executives
  • Schedule a date to meet with your Council Activity Chair
  • Start recruiting your Committee Chair people
  • Send emails to your contacts and Troops with dates and needs

Nine months to go – February

  • Meet with your Team
  • Put a schedule together
  • Find your location
  • Recruit a Radio Scouting Champion Point of Contact for your Council
  • Participate in Baden Powell Founder's Day February 22nd
  • Participate in ARRL School Club Roundup (Monday 8th-Friday 12th)
  • Participate in the Scout oriented nets, Echolink, IRLP, D-Star, DMR
  • Send email updates to your contacts and Troops with dates and needs

Eight months to go – March

  • Develop your handouts and the materials you need
  • Participate in a Merit Badge college
  • Recruit your Radio Merit Badge counselors
  • Re-contact your local Clubs for support and personnel
  • Go to your Council's District Roundtables
  • Get on your local Clubs meeting agenda
  • Register your event on the JOTA-JOTI Registration System
  • Look for local events to have a demo station
  • Send email updates to your contacts and Troops with dates and needs

Seven months to go – April

  • Invite Scout Troops to participate and support Field Day
  • Consider adding STEM to your activities
  • Reach out for donations
  • Go to your Council's District Roundtables
  • Consider a “Station in a Box” loan from Icom America
  • Remember Youth Protection in your planning
  • Send email updates to your contacts and Troops with dates and needs

Six months to go – May

  • Plan your Special Event station for Field Day
  • Organize a Summer Camp activation
  • Go to your Council's District Roundtables
  • Reach out for donations
  • Send email updates to your contacts and Troops with dates and needs

Five months to go – June

  • Participate in your local Field Day with a demo station
  • Start to draft your certificates, thank you letters, news releases, etc.
  • Contact manufactures for brochures and handouts
  • Do a Demo at Summer camp
  • Send email updates too your contacts and Troops with dates and needs

Four months to go – July

  • Start printing your handouts
  • Start taking registrations
  • Order free brochures from ARRL
  • Do a Demo at Summer camp
  • Send email updates to your contacts and Troops with dates and needs

Three months to go – August

  • Do a Demo at Summer camp
  • Re-confirm your location site
  • Ask for registrations
  • Start printing your handouts
  • Order your JOTA patches
  • Send email updates to your contacts and Troops with dates and needs

Two months to go – September

  • Start printing your handouts
  • Re-confirm your staff help
  • Ask for your registrations
  • Start picking up your donations
  • Send email updates to your contacts and Troops with dates and needs

One month to go – October

  • Re-confirm everything
  • Recheck all your lists
  • Ribbon off your parking, camping, demo areas
  • Put your direction signs up
  • Check the projected weather forecast
  • Send email updates to your contacts and Troops with dates and needs
  • Record your contacts
  • Have fun
  • Submit your activity report to the National JOTA Coordinator

You make the difference; help someone else have some fun.

Another source for your calendar preparation is at JOTA Sample Calendar on the BSA website.

Email me with your ideas and suggestions. I want to hear from you.

Yours in Scouting,

Don

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