According to the US Jamboree on the Air (JOTA) 2016 “flash numbers,” participation swelled in the annual Scouting event this fall. JOTA Coordinator Jim Wilson, K5ND, released the preliminary report over the weekend.
“After sifting through the reports and eliminating a few duplicates along with reports from countries outside the US, we’ve compiled the early flash numbers,” Wilson said. “The great news is that there have been some excellent increases in participation.”
The total number of Scouts taking part was up by 51 percent to 10,761, while the visitor total was up by 30 percent to 6,668. Perhaps the best news was an increase in the number of stations reporting — up by 28 percent to 267 this year, just short of the record 271 in 2013. After station reports slumped last year, the Boy Scouts made a big push that included prize drawings to encourage participants to file post-JOTA reports. Station registrations dropped by 15 percent this fall to 295. Jamboree on the Internet (JOTI) registrations were up from 100 last year to 505 this time around.
The stats showed that the number of Amateur Radio operators was up by 14 percent to 1,120, but they used fewer radios — down 25 percent in 2016 to 631.
“The next steps are to do further analysis and finalize the report for full publication,” Wilson said. “We’ll be sifting through the written reports and suggestions, finding memorable quotes and photos/videos, as well as searching for other insight. We know for starters that there was far more interest this year in JOTA-JOTI from Scout leaders and parents, based on the new 2016 Arrow of Light award requirement.”
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