With the Jamboree on the Air now now in the books it seemed like a good time for a wrap-up blog post. The second year for JOTA at our Camp Belzer home station went very well. The dismal weather Saturday morning didn’t kill the spirits of the volunteers or the Scouts. By afternoon sunny skies had broken through the chilly and damp conditions. In addition to the permanent station located in the Activity Center basement we also had a portable station setup out on the deck. A convenient flag pole made an excellent fixture for raising the DXCC antenna. Tom had his complete mobile field station setup for demonstration, too.
One of the reasons for our success this year was that it coincided with the Del Mi District Fall Camporee at Belzer. There was something on the order of 200-300 boys in attendance. Some wanted to get on the air and others were just interested in watching. Between all three stations we must’ve had 50-100 Scouts come through and participate in the activity. We used the portable stations for some demonstration, but mainly just to attract attention. Once some boys were rounded up they were sent downstairs to the main station to make contacts on the air. This was an interesting sidelight to the several other activities they had scheduled for their camporee.
Here are the highlights as I see them:
- Record attendance for our JOTA operation
- Good networking opportunities with Scouts and leaders to raise awareness about the station
- Not only did most of the boys make stateside contacts, at least one spoke to DX in France
- A couple boys were able to complete their last requirement for Radio merit badge by making a live radio contact
- I was so busy I didn’t even have time to take any pics of the boys in action
Many thanks go out to Del Mi District, Camp Belzer staff, and the many hams who took the time to speak with the Scouts on the radio. Our club members that attended were Randy, David, Tom, Jeff, and my buddy Nick N9SJA. There are already visitor confirmations for the November station open hours. Let’s hope year number two is even better than the first.