Author Archive for R Middelkoop

A few more days to go……

A few days left to submit your design for the logo competition. The deadline is 10 April 2017.


==> see all submitted designs here <==


Want to submit your own design? Check out how.

60 years connecting Scouts – a glimpse behind the scenes.

BP knew….

The earliest documented involvement of Scouts with world-wide connections comes from the 1st Arundel Troop in Sussex, United Kingdom; they had their own amateur station “on the air” in 1911. The transmitter was of the spark variety and the 300-foot-long aerial used the local brewery chimney as a mast. The Troop had the call sign “XBS” and they had a receiving range of 800 miles.

Lord Baden-Powell’s comments were as follows – “Wireless has become a favourite hobby with boys of the right kind, and it is a valuable hobby for them, because it has a big future before it… I hope that Boy Scouts, at any rate, will make full use of this opportunity thus given them, and will by their good work and progress in efficiency repay such kind interest”. Little could he have known of what was to come…..

Jamboree On The Air (JOTA) starts in a snack bar.

In 1957, a World Scout Jamboree was held at Sutton Park in central England, with 35,000 Scouts from 62 countries attending. For the first time at any World Jamboree, local radio amateurs installed and operated a large radio station under the call sign GB3SP. Scouts and leaders were allowed to visit, as long as they stayed behind the little fence with the flower pots and kept the noise down.

Les Mitchel, G3BHK, (9 December 1923 – 6 October 2014), a British Scout leader at the time, writes: “I was very surprised by the number of overseas Scout radio amateurs attending the Jamboree and decided that some effort should be made to bring them all together. A notice in the Jamboree Newspaper resulted in daily coffee meetings during which we got to know each other and had a good rag chew. The meetings were actually held in a snack bar outside the Jamboree gate, as meeting in the GB3GP radio station would produce too much “background noise” for the operators.

Towards the end of the Jamboree we were all a little sad at our impending departure, and someone casually remarked that we might try to contact each other on the air. This then developed into the idea of trying to make contact on one specific day in order to concentrate our efforts, and I was asked to make the necessary arrangements”. Unknowingly, Les became the JOTA founding father.

On to the first JOTA event….

“When I subsequently gave this idea more detailed consideration”, writes Les, “there seemed to be a number of pitfalls. There were a few of us, and we were spread around the world.

Then the idea hit me – why not run the event for a whole weekend and ask all radio amateurs throughout the world with an interest in the Scout Movement to put their stations on the air and, at the same time, invite their local Scouts to join them. Visiting Scouts would be able to really take part themselves – thus adding much to the general interest. Even if the original “coffee meeting” Scout amateurs did fail to contact each other, it would not matter for there would be plenty of other Scout stations to talk to”. So, JOTA was born.

Then it got out of hand……

As the event continued to grow fast, the Boy Scouts World Bureau located in Ottawa, Canada at the time, was asked to help organize it. The director of administration, Leonard F Jarrett, VE3MYF, (31 March 1921- ) had some experience with radio and got the job. The event needed publicity and this was done using an annual participation card.

Len writes: “this first card was designed by a local volunteer as were, I believe, the next two. It was not until around 1961 that we started to “borrow” artwork from other JOTA organizers (notably Australia for a year or so, I believe). Later on, we started to ask various National Organizers to “volunteer” artwork”. Here are the roots of what is today the annual logo competition ! The event grew from a few hundred Scouts, to a few hundred-thousand Scouts and next to well over a million today.

JOTI joins

Just as you think you have seen it all, a new life-changing technology emerges, the Internet. Soon, local initiatives popped up that grew into a real Jamboree on the Internet, following the same concept that JOTA had used for decades. Gradually, more and more exchanges became possible over internet, that had not been there before. Combinations of internet possibilities with amateur radio to bridge long-distances soon emerged.

In 2013, the World Scout Committee decided to join JOTA and JOTI together into one big event. In fact, it is the largest annual youth event on the global calendar.

The future is open…..

The World JOTA-JOTI Team that coordinates the event, has set the first steps for a long-term outlook for the event. With elements that will focus on its educational value, its international character and its main task: “Connecting Scouts”. Join us next October.

World JOTA-JOTI Team annual meeting

The World JOTA-JOTI Team convened in Kuala Lumpur end of January 2017 for their annual meeting.

The team is led by Richard Middelkoop, PA3BAR, from the Netherlands. Team members include: Hannu “Banda” Rättö, OH7GIG, from Finland; Ali Al-Mamari, A41RV, from Oman; Philip Bird from the United Kingdom; and Jim Wilson, K5ND, from the USA. Also attending this year’s meeting were Stephen Peck, Director of World Events, and (in part) Mihajlo Atanackovic, Digital Engagement manager, both from the WSB Global Support Centre in Kuala Lumpur.

2016 Evaluation

While the detailed world report for 2016 had been drafted during December and January as the reports from NJCs (National JOTA-JOTI Coordinators) were received and incorporated, the team met for a final review before it was formally published. You can find the report at Annual Reports.

We were pleased to see that our promotion efforts paid off and the activity levels increased considerably over 2015, bringing the total youth participation to well over 1 million. JOTA-JOTI remains the largest Scouting event in the world. The world report has more details for you.

The WJJT also noted a couple of improvement points. Notably some details on the new sign-up system, clarification points in communications and further support to NSO’s. Whilst the logo competition, JamPuz and our social media channels are definitely items to keep alive.

Strategic Outlook

By far the most time spent at the meeting was focused at developing a strategic roadmap for the event. The team felt that the annual organization is becoming mature, so it is time to look ahead further into the future. Our starting point is the vision that the World Scout Committee has laid out into 4 segments: we looked at “Innovating Scouting”, “Reaching Out To All”, Strengthening Scouting’s Profile” and “Governance & NSO support”. In each section, the team identified the items that the JOTA-JOTI event currently contributes in one way or another. Next, we identified those points that we felt were the important ones and that we would like to build on.

The team reviewed the first ideas with our World Scout Committee liaison Peter Blatch, using an on-line connection. Peter added a number of suggestions that we could incorporate on the spot.

After ample discussion and further reflection, the WJJT will focus for the next triennium on:

  • NSO support: “promote and encourage“, resulting in doubling the participation numbers
  • changing the profile of the event: forward looking, exploring new possibilities, safe communication.
  • adding innovative educational methods and resources
  • NSO’s to share their best practices

The World JOTA-JOTI Team will elaborate on these points, together with a number of NSO’s and Youth Advisors in a few on-line sessions, to make a high-level roadmap for the JOTA-JOTI event. Annual activities will then result from this roadmap.

2017 Planning

The team adopted the 2017 theme, which will be published soon, together with the launch of the logo competition.

The communication plans were updated for 2017. The team blog posts (like this one) will continue to appear monthly on our web site. An increased use of social media channels is foreseen as well.

The world-wide game will be upgraded; in 2016 some 46 groups managed to solve the John Bont puzzle. We will put out more similar challenges in 2017.

Finally, the work division amongst the team members was slightly adapted to better balance the workload and allow for further personal development.

Teleconference Calls

A highlight of the planing meeting were several teleconference calls with our trusted partner  organizations that are involved with JOTA-JOTI. This included calls with Juha Mäenalusta, Chairman of Scoutlink and Bart Jenniskens, the driving force behind These individuals brought fresh insight to JOTA-JOTI from their perspective in providing support to the event.


Get prepared for JOTA-JOTI this year from 21 to 22 October. Stay tuned for more updates on our plans for 2017. Next up: the logo competition.


The 10th Radio-Scouting and Internet Seminar, RSIS 2017

The 10th Radio-Scouting and Internet Seminar, will be held in Estonia in the spring of 2017.


For who:

The seminar is aimed at those leaders responsible at a national level for Jamboree On The Air / Internet (JOTA-JOTI) and related programme activities.


For what:

Since 1984, National JOTA-JOTI Coordinators and their team members have met about once every 4 years to co-ordinate activities and exchange ideas to improve the youth programmes. For the world-wide JOTA-JOTI event.

This edition will be open to participation over an on-line connection as well, so NJCs from further away can participate in a number of sessions. Furthermore, an international team of NJCs is at work to prepare the workshops.


What about the programme:

An international team of experienced National JOTA-JOTI Coordinators is preparing several workshops, together with the host country. These will be active work sessions within smaller groups, focussed on relevant topics.

Topics may include, but are not limited to organizational aspects, youth involvement, best practices from several countries, educational values and fun activities. All within the context of the JOTA-JOTI event.

The World JOTA-JOTI team, represented by Hannu Rättö,  will present its latest event strategy, which was updated and further developed at the team meeting last month in Kuala Lumpur. Among others it focusses on “changing the perception” and “encourage and support” to NSO’s. Feedback from seminar participants is most welcome.


Deadline for registration:

The registration is open until:

15 February 2017.

Places are limited and in the event of overbooking, only on-line seats will be made available.

At the moment of writing, there are still several places available.


How to register for the seminar:

To access the registration page, you will need to login to the event web site

Please use your existing account for this or create a new one on the same page.

On the NJC page, you will also find the seminar code to enter the registration system.


The seminar promises to be an exciting opportunity for NJCs to meet and help shape the future of JOTA-JOTI.

Read further details of the invitation here.

RSIS 2017

10th Radio Scouting & Internet Seminar 2017, Estonia

It is a great pleasure to invite you to the Radio-Scouting and Internet Seminar, scheduled for the spring of 2017 in Estonia.
The seminar is aimed at those leaders responsible at a national level for Jamboree On The Air / Internet and related programme activities.
International exchanges of ideas and contacts between youngsters are of utmost importance in society nowadays. Internet and amateur radio contacts have proven to be excellent tools to bring scouts in touch which one another.

Since 1984, National JOTA-JOTI Coordinators and their team members have met about once every 4 years to co-ordinate activities and exchange ideas to improve the youth programmes.

The world JOTA-JOTI Team adopted a new formula for this seminar series. This edition will be open to participation over an on-line connection as well, so NJCs from further away can participate in a number of sessions. The seminar promises to be an exciting opportunity for NJCs to meet and help shape the future of JOTA-JOTI.

To register for the 10th RSIS, please contact your national JOTA-JOTI Coordinator.

Read the full invitation here.