Scouting’s Jamboree on the Air (JOTA) 2018 reports that total Scout participation in the annual fall event jumped by 36% from 2017.
Each year more than 1 million Scouts and Guides get together over the airwaves for JOTA, which takes place on the third weekend of October. Since the first JOTA in 1958, millions of Scouts have become acquainted via Amateur Radio, and contacts sometimes result in relationships that extend for many years.
This year, 10,703 Scouts took part in the event, compared with 7,872 last year. Participating Amateur Radio operators topped 1,000 for the first time since 2016. At 610, the number of registered JOTA locations was way up, as was the number of JOTA stations registered, with 314. Participating JOTA stations reported contacts with stations in 99 countries, also up over 2017.
JOTA Coordinator Jim Wilson, K5ND, said he was pleased with this year’s numbers and hopes that 2019’s event will show a continued increase, despite a lack of sunspots.
“Looking over the numbers, a big part of the increase in JOTA Scout participation came from the World JOTA-JOTI (Jamboree on the Internet) Team’s registration and reporting system,” Wilson told ARRL. “We had 233 stations report results on the US system, which is comparable to last year’s 226. In addition to that, 90 stations reported their results on the World system. After eliminating duplicates, this added 33 to our total of 266 station reports. That, chiefly, accounts for the increase in total Scout participation. In summary, perhaps this nice increase is due primarily to more accurate reporting.”
Wilson said he’s also looking forward to the final tally on US participation in JOTI. “Location registration in the US jumped from 274 last year to 610 this year,” he said. “Several Amateur Radio operations reported using JOTI chat and Skype to greatly improve their ability to generate Scout-to-Scout conversations between the US and the rest of the world. Of course, VoIP modes like D-Star, DMR, and EchoLink also helped in our solar minimum.”
World JOTA-JOTI numbers are not expected until early 2019, as each country reports its results by mid-December followed by number crunching and compiling of the report, Wilson explained.
“Thanks to everyone who set up a JOTA station and helped Scouts experience the technology, fun, and magic of Amateur Radio. Let’s do it again next year,” he concluded.
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