Radio Activities


The described activities here are meant to give new ideas to support the preparation and the carrying out of JOTA-JOTI local events. While the main JOTA-JOTI activity involves ham radio worldwide communications, these ideas can be used for complementary activities, to make the local event more varied and interesting, and to help scout/guide leaders to teach radio techniques and good communication practice. All the activities can be performed respecting common COVID safety rules. Basic COVID safety recommendations are specifically given for each activity. Scout/guide leaders must in any case get informed and respect the specific rules established by their own country.

These ideas are dedicated both to experienced radio operators and to scouts, guides and leaders who would like to learn more about radio communications.

The activities presented here are useful during the JOTA-JOTI, but they can also be proposed at any time of the year by scout and guides leaders to use radio techniques as effective pedagogical means for the scout education.

Most activities can be carried out without the need of a ham radio license. CB (Citizen band) and PMR (Personal Mobile Radio) transceivers (receiving and transmitting devices) do not require a license; a declaration of use and an annual tax may be required. Using receiving-only devices does not generally require any kind of authorization. Please verify the specific laws of your country before using radios. Consult the local state radiocommunication offices; you can also ask help from the Radioscouts of your scout/guide association or from your national radio amateur association.

For a more complete understanding of radio communications, in particular for the JOTA-JOTI, it is recommended to read the JOTA-JOTI Ham Radio Handbook.

Curious to discover the radio world? Let’s start!

Basic activities

How to build a Morse key

Transmit in Morse from anywhere, with few simple perfect scout/guide style!

How to use a radio (CB - PMR)

Some basic tips to start with “free use” transceivers (no amateur radio license is required).

How to manage a radio communication

The basics of two-way radio communication and of special codes.

How to use Zello

Thanks to Zello, even with bad propagation or no radio at all, it is possible to teach and learn the operating practice of radio communications.

Game: prisoners

Your patrol was captured and you’ve been confined in separate cells. Will you still be able to communicate?

Game: battleship

A very useful game to learn the NATO/ICAO alphabet or Morse code.

Game: maps and paths

Radio communication and topography, together in an open air game to strengthen both the techniques.

Game: red moose

An advanced hide-and-seek game, in which transceivers cannot be missing.

Intermediate activities

How to build a dipole antenna for the Citizen Band (CB)

The dipole, one of most effective and simple antennas to build.

Game: radio listening - stations from all over the world

In the short waves it is possible to listen to broadcasting radio stations from countries with different languages and cultures. A good way to train hearing in reception but also to enrich or introduce multicultural activities as JOTA JOTI.

Game: spy story!

No game can be a real spy game without radios and awesome communication methods!

Game: monument hunt

A funny way to refine radio communication practice and to learn more about the historical and cultural heritage of your country.

Game: triangulation

Scouts and Guides have just been teleported in an unknown world! All they have is a map, a compass… and a transceiver! Will they be able to meet again?

Game: number stations

An intriguing activity to learn about the encoding and decoding of secret messages, and to get introduced to the mysterious world of radio espionage.

Game: subtone telephone game

James can be only received from Anne, Anne only from Carlos, Carlos only from Philippe...will the message reach its destination?

Advanced activities

How to build a crystal radio

The simplest radio receiver ever existed… and it does not use batteries!

How to build a Morse transceiver

Maybe the simplest transceiver ever invented in the world. A useful activity to learn the Morse code; the transceiver can be used with the Morse key described in a separate activity. An optimal solution for wonderful games, in the city as during a camp.

SSTV images from space

Prepare your radio shack and get ready to receive images from the International Space Station!

Call (QSO) the International Space Station via Amateur Radio

Don’t miss the chance to get in touch with the ISS astronauts!

A Morse manipulator in 3D printing

To make a 3D printed morse manipulator, there are several steps to follow.

You need to print the plastic parts, and you need a bit of .5mm2 rigid electrical wire, wire cutters and flat pliers.

Search your tag

Beacon search is a technique widely used in the scientific field to find and study animals in their natural environment.

Microbit beacon

Searching for beacons is a technique widely used in science, to find and study the wildlife in their natural environment.

Listening to the world thanks to WEBSDR

Whether it is from an old set of the “grandfather's receiver” type, from a more recent device or from the equipment of an amateur radio operator, listening to Short Waves (0-30Mhz) is the opportunity to open up to the world.

Game: radio listening - digital modes

Let’s learn to know and decode the strangest and most complex messages that populate the radio waves!

Game: radio listening - naval messages

The Coast Guards of all countries regularly send radio messages about navigation activities and dangers, weather forecasts, etc.. Let’s discover how to receive and interpret them.

Game: fox hunting

Secret radio transmitters are hidden all over the place: will you be able to find them?

Word Search Puzzle 01 or Word Search Puzzle 02

Word Search is a game composed of the letters of words formatted in a grid. The goal is to find and highlight all of the words hidden in the puzzle. The words may be placed diagonally, horizontally, vertically, or backwards. All of the hidden words can be found in a list alongside the grid. Each word from the list will become a "muted" state after it has been highlighted in the puzzle.

Word Searches are not only a great way to pass the time, but also provide a great exercise for keeping your brain fit. If you don´t know the meaning of one of the terms you are searching, google it, or research and learn even more about radio communication.