On Oct. 20, a Cub Scout group from Muenster, Texas, and Justin, Texas, along with parents, assistants and one Girl Scout, came to American Legion Post 71 to participate in the international Scouting Jamboree On The Air (JOTA) and Jamboree On The Internet (JOTI).
We started by explaining a bit about our equipment, then proceeded to stretch the attention span of third graders to the limit as we tried to find any activity on the frequencies designated as JOTA calling frequencies. We finally found a fellow in Saskatchewan but before the kids had a chance to speak with him, the propagation shifted and he faded out. The same thing happened with another station so in the interest of keeping the audience occupied, we shifted over to JOTI and the Echolink app (Ham radio on the phone).
That proved to be the best idea as right out of the box we contacted a Scout group in Queensland, Australia. But as luck would have it, before the kids could get "hands on," some very inconsiderate types connected to that conference bridge and drowned out our conversation so we tried a JOTI bridge in Brazil and gave it a try and VOILA! a wonderful gentleman there agreed to help with our effort, take questions from the Scouts and then translate into Portuguese for all the ones there. Every Scout who wanted to ask questions was able to do so. Each participant was given his/her own commemorative JOTA log sheet with the details of the contact and they were given the order information for the Boy Scout JOTA/JOTI uniform patch.
Refreshments were served and there was a discussion session to wrap up the evening. The experience so excited some that according to their moms they talked about it all the way home and Muenster is over an hour away.
A few of the parents were so impressed that they asked about the amateur licensing process for themselves. And of course we also handed out Sons of The American Legion recruitment literature. All in all, it was a very successful night.
Fred Stevens - WA5LIE
Sons of The American Legion