What is JOTA?
Jamboree-on-the-Air (JOTA) is an annual event in which Scouts and Guides all over the world speak to each other by means of amateur radio contacts. Scouting experiences are exchanged and ideas are shared via radio waves.
When Scouts want to meet young people from another country, they usually think of attending a World Jamboree or another international gathering. But few people realize that each year about half-a-million Scouts and Guides “get together” over the airwaves for the annual JOTA. Modern communication technology offers Scouts the exciting opportunity to make friends in other countries without even leaving home…
Since 1958, when the first JOTA was held, thousands of Scouts and Guides have “met” each other through this event. Not only is it fun to talk to Scouts from other parts of the world, but it also gives a chance to find out about other countries and Scouting elsewhere.
Many contacts made during the JOTA have resulted in penpals and links between scout troops that have lasted for many years.
With no restrictions on age, on the number that can participate and at little or no expense, the JOTA enables Scouts and Guides to contact each other by amateur radio. The radio stations are operated by licensed amateur radio operators. Many Scouts and leaders hold licences and have their own stations, but the majority participates in the JOTA through stations operated by local radio clubs and individual radio amateurs. Today some operators even use television or computer linked communications.