Ever since 1957, the World Scout Jamboree has hosted workshops on Radio-Scouting and, more recently, Internet. Catch a glimpse of the activities here:
NA1WJ at the 24th World Scout Jamboree – 2019
Plans are well advanced for the amateur radio base – NA1WJ – at the 24th World Scout Jamboree being held in West Virginia, United States of America, 22 July to 1 August 2019.
The 2019 World ScoutJamboree operation at the Summit Bechtel Scout Reserve in West Virginia will take advantage of lessons learned by the K2BSA amateur radio operation during the 2013 and 2017 USA National Jamborees. It will also take advantage of the existing infrastructure including the three VHF/UHF repeaters installed by Icom America, as well as the telephone poles for installing antennas, plus the K2BSA gear stored in West Virginia, including antennas, rotators, cables, and more.
The goals for NA1WJ include:
– operate a demonstration station with a goal of introducing 3,000+ Scouts to amateur radio
– provide an ARDF-Foxhunting course with expectations of over 100 teams completing the course
– provide high visibility events for participants, such as a two-way contact with an astronaut on the International Space Station
– make contacts worldwide with amateur radio and Scouting enthusiasts to allow them to participate at-a-distance in the Jamboree
The NA1WJ demonstration station has a primary focus on introducing the fundamentals of amateur radio to the highest number of Scouts possible consistent with the goal of providing a quality experience within the overall operation of the Jamboree. Goals are ambitious – introduce amateur radio to 3,000+ youth over the course of eleven days. During that time there will be 81 hours of program time, with an expected average of 40 demonstrations per hour.
8N23WSJ at the 23rd World Scout Jamboree – 2015
From 28 July to 8 August 2015, the 23rd World Scout Jamboree was held in Yamaguchi, Japan. Some 33000 scouts and guides camped together on an immense camp site. Not only were these scouts and guides to be fed, they had a hospital on site, a daily news-paper was printed and all communication facilities were in place. An Amateur Radio Station was in place with the call sign 8N23WSJ.
Station manager Tat Mochiki, JH1FEL, and his team of 19 Japanese Radio Scouters installed an electrical mast, cabling, Wi-Fi and tenting. Due to a passing typhoon, the equipment could not be installed until only a few days before the start of the Jamboree. By that time the international Service Team members of the crew were on site and thus able to give a helping hand. The staff team consisted of an international group of scout leaders (from Japan, Zimbabwe, Philippines, Taiwan, Germany, Iceland, Finland, Australia, UK, Brazil, USA and The Netherlands).
The station located in the JOTA-JOTI Plaza, was part of the Science Activity area. For the next 10 days, each activity day, 400 scouts and guides visited the station and were offered a wide range of activities:
Morse code practice, with a real Morse code paper tape writer.
Obstacle course, where a blind-folded participant had to cover some distance with obstacles, also carrying water from one side to the other, whilst instructed by hand-held radio on where to move next.
Fox hunting, finding different foxes out in the field using a regular FM transistor radio. The foxes were low-power transmitters with a range of about 10 meters, each producing a different sound.
Introduction to digital radio modes like DSTAR and Echolink.
And of course, participation in the short-wave radio traffic.
All the equipment was provided for by ICOM, including an on-site a technician for support. This included transceivers and amplifiers. In addition, a DSTAR node was present and some DSTAR handhelds were available as well.
The multi-beam antenna mast and the dipole antennas coming from two other masts carried the radio signals over the globe. During sunlight hours it was not easy to get out of Asia, but as soon as the sun started to set, the rest of the world was within reach.
One of the highlights was the scheduled contact with the International Space Station and the Jamboree. A selected group of 20 youth participants were all able to ask questions to the astronauts. This was a thrill to many. As one Colombian scout said: “I just talked to an astronaut. How can I explain this to my mom and dad? They will never believe me….!” A nice touch to the contact was that we were able to see the ISS coming across the night sky, while we talked to the crew on board.
The main headquarter area of the camp featured a JOTA-JOTI information and promotion stand in the WOSM “better world” tent. The stand attracted many international visitors, who could try their best in decoding Morse, listening to short-wave radio and playing with the electronic gadgets. Amongst the distinguished visitors was the Crown Prince of Japan; he was distracted by the Morse code noise, and diverted his tour towards the Irish scouts that were doing this activity. Some nervous faces of officials were detected when he decided to talk a bit longer at this event before he moved on. The Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia tried out our electronics display. And packs of Japanese cub scouts enjoyed our famous tin-can telephone.
SJ22S at the 22nd World Scout Jamboree – 2011
From 27 July till 7 August 2011, the 22nd World Scout Jamboree in Rinkaby in Sweden was on the air with SJ22S. The station offered an exciting radio-scouting programme to the Jamboree participants with several different workshops. Of course, the latest camp news was available through the operators and scouts manning the station.
Read the full article written by Mats SM7BUA
And don’t forget to Watch the plot chart.
GB100J at the 21st World Scout Jamboree – 2007
From 27 July till 8 August 2007, the 21st World Scout Jamboree in Chelmsford in the United Kingdom was on the air with GB100J.
GB100J found itself in an excellent location on the camp side, right in between the Global Development Village and the World Scout Centre. This meant lot’s of visitors during day time and even at night. The international team of operators was lead by the UK National JOTA Organizer Richard Gaskell, G0REL.. After some initial struglle to get all the equipment together and working, the only thing missing were the light bulbs. But there was no way to stop the enthusiastic operators. Yes, you can of course operate the short wave radio’s at night and simply use a flashlight to read the station log….!
A daily contact was maintained with the amateur radio base at Brownsea Island GB100BI, with Gilwell Park GB2GP and with the reunion station at Sutton Coldfield GB4SP.
Some clever operators discovered that one could ask each visitor to make a short radio contact with them and in this way earn en extra point for the centenary radio-scouting award. Never thought that the award would even encourage the Jamboree participants to make a radio contact, but so it did.
The Jamboree programme guide presented a full page with all the details of the activities available at GB100J; click the logo and have a look.
GB100J was housed in a large tent on the central part of the campsite. Two large beam antenna’s plus a number of wire antennas in between the masts were the Jamboree’s live-line with the outside world. Numerous contacts were made with Scouts all over the world.
An exciting foxhunt and a kitbuilding project were there to complete the radio adventure for the participating Scouts.
JOTA’s history explained by World Organizer Richard Middelkoop, PA3BAR, at the 50th JOTA birthday party, hosted by GB100J on August 4.
The display shows a re-enactment of the first amateur radio station ever to operate from a World Jamboree, GB3SP in Sutton Coldfield in 1957. This station sparked the idea of an annual get-together for Scouts via amateur radio.
Unfortunately, the founding fathers of JOTA, Les Mitchell G3BHK and Len Jarrett VE3MYF could not be physically present at the party, but checked in by Echolink later on.
The JOTA birthday party enjoyed the company of 120 Scout leaders from 86 different countries. Special guest was RSGB vice-president Colin Thomas G3PSM and his XYL. An excellent opportunity to exchange ideas amongst the radio-Scouts of many nations. It was in the same informal atmosphere that the JOTA idea came up in 1957. This time the focus was on the 50th edition of the JOTA next October.
Of course, no party without a birthday cake. The GB100J team had them specially made with the logo of the 50th JOTA on top.
Symbolic of JOTA’s rich history and future: the most experienced Scout radio amateur on site, Tormod Nordeng, LA8RU, cuts the JOTA birthday cake together with the youngest Guide with a radio licence, Maura M3URA.
Delegations from the Scout Associations in Japan, China and Oman offered presents to WOSM in recognition of the support given to the JOTA each year.
A contact was made on 4 August at 21:10 GMT with the International Space Station on one of its passes over the World Scout Jamboree. The International Space Station has an amateur radio station on board that can be used by crew members with a radio licence. The radio amateur with the crew was Clay Anderson KD5PLA. The space station’s call sign is NA1SS.
Quite a crowd gathered at the large tent were the preparations for the space uplink had all been made. Coordinated by Ivor G4GET, the uplink contact worked just perfectly. It was a clear night and not only could the Scouts speak with the Space station, they could also see it passing over in the sky above the Jamboree.
Have a look at the video made of the contact with the World Scout Jamboree,
or download the audio recording.
E20AJ at the 20th World Scout Jamboree – 2002/2003
The Amateur Radio station operated form the 20th World Scout Jamboree in Sattahip, Thailand, 28 Dec 2002 – 8 Jan 2003
From 28 December to 7 January 2003, the amateur radio station E20AJ was the “voice on the airwaves” of the 20th World Scout Jamboree in Thailand. Operated by 31 staff members, 14 of them from outside Thailand, the station managed to make over 2000 contacts with other amateur radio stations, both Scout stations and others, in more than a hundred different countries.
E20AJ was part of the Jamboree’s City of Science, an area that offered all sorts of technical workshops. The amateur radio team ran several of these:
– VHF radio operating where contacts could be made to radio stations in the surrounding area;
– The main HF station which offered long-distance communications around the globe;
– A 21st century foxhunt, using VHF equipment to locate the mobile fox on the campsite and win the foxhunt badge. The fox played the tune “it’s a small world after all”, so we saw several Scouts dancing while they were trying to find the hidden fox transmitter…..
– Build your own radio transmitter at the kitbuilding workshop. A low-power transmitter that could be received on the broadcast FM band, sending phone or morse code.
– SSTV, APRS and packet radio were amongst the new digital modes to play with. Send your own picture over short-wave radio or type a message into the packet system.
Each day some 150 Scouts took the radio workshops, organized as a ticket-activity. This means they could get program tickets at their sub camps for various activities, one being the amateur radio workshops.
Later in the evening and during free time, the radio station attracted many others. During one of the many radio contacts we were called by Roberto WA9E, from the USA. He asked us to please locate his daughter Laurne KB9DTE on the campsite for him. Could we please ask her to email a message home, as he hadn’t heard from here yet? How do you find one person amongst another 20.000? Well, you contact the contingent and try your luck. We had her speak directly to her father over the radio two days later…..
An absolute highlight was the scheduled contact with the International Space Station, NA1SS. A matriculate preparation had been done by Masashi, JI1CUJ and Chawalit, E21KEW with the support of many technicians. An automated antenna tracking system kept the double array of VHF beams pointed straight at the Spacecraft during its pass over Thailand. The selected Scouts received instructions beforehand and were trained in handling a microphone. Each of them could ask one question to the Space Station. Audio and video from the contact were webcasted live on the internet and of course, recorded too. Then on the afternoon of 28 December all gathered at E20AJ at the scheduled time. A massive turn up of the press, representatives of the World Scout Committee, of the Thai government and many Scout visitors. At the scheduled time we called…… but were not heard in space. Much to our disappointment. As it appeared later in an email from NASA, the astronauts had conflicting schedules and needed to look at things of higher priority. However, we had a second sched on 31 Dec, just 3 days later. Again we set up everything as before and again had a lot of press attention. But this time everyone was a lot more nervous. Would it work out after all? Together we did the final count down to the exact time that the spacecraft would be above the horizon. At precisely that moment the loudspeaker sounded out: “E20AJ this is NA1SS, how copy?” A loud applause filled the tent. It worked! For the next 10 minutes Scouts from various countries posed questions to Don Pettit, KD5MDT, the scientific officer on board the ISS. “How do you sleep in space”, “what do you miss most?”, “how does our planet look like from up there?” and “what is your message to the Scouts?”. Don answered them all. After the contact all Scouts received the special NA1SS QSL card that had been prepared for them. A memory of the contact they had with the “voice from Space”.
One evening we organized a party for all the radio amateurs on the campsite. Scouts, leaders, staff and many other visitors turned up for the big eyeball QSO. This was great fun. All sorts of DX operators were now within very short reach…. And of course we had to celebrate the birthday of Shelly, K2BS. He was part of the radio staff of many World Scout Jamborees and always succeeds in contacting stations in many different corners of the world.
Special thanks go to the Radio Amateur Society of Thailand (RAST) and the local amateur radio club of Sattahip. They both provided most of the technical equipment, antennas and transceivers, as well as manpower to mount and dismantle the station on the Jamboree site. The latter was not an easy job given temperatures of over 35 C almost constantly and a high humidity to go with that.
The E20AJ staff consisted of: Thida Denpruektham, HS1ASC (Station manager), Paskorn Kampao E20XQY, Chawalit Rusmeenil E21KEW, Pakorn Somchaichareon HS0XBP, Kanok Nakchum E20EHQ, Piyalak Sonchouy E20XVH, Sirichoke Jamsawang HS6SCZ, Thawat Lertritsumpan E20ARH, Boontiang Daenglah HS2ZSS, Rattansak Niosuwan HS2OV, Apichet Kanthongthae HS2YNN, Nuttasit Chalernwong HS2WWY Ekwit Toburin HS5PJD Pkorn Kettad E21DNM Noppadol Eiampijit, E27KI Wiroj Kittayawattanajit, HS1RMS Kemrin Tiengpraser, E20JDX Jim Parnell ZL2APE Stephen Watson VK4SGW, Sheldon Weil K2BS, Magdi Osman Ahmed ST2BSS, Jochen Sulovsky DK8ZM, Mich Friederich LX1KQ, Erwin van der Haar PA3EFR, Masashi Osada JI1CUJ, Frank Heritage M0AEU, John Crowder G0GDU, Hannu Antero Ratto OH7GIG, Luis A Salton Peretti PY3IQ, Yves Margot HB9AOF, Richard Middelkoop PA3BAR.
XR3J at the 19th World Scout Jamboree – 1998
Antennas and the tent of XR3J at the 19th World Scout Jamboree in Chile (photo Richard Middelkoop, World Scout Bureau)
6K17WJ at the 17th World Scout Jamboree – 1991
Soraksan Park, Korea, 1991