Blog

How This Radio Event Is Linking Scouts Across the Globe

 Coverdell will help connect Scouts across the world in the 58th annual Jamboree on the Air. (Photo credit: Jessica Stewart, St. Joseph News-Press)
Coverdell will help connect Scouts across the world in the 58th annual Jamboree on the Air. (Photo credit: Jessica Stewart, St. Joseph News-Press)

It’s commonplace for Scouts to hop on their phones and communicate to their friends no matter the distance between them. But what they aren’t accustomed to is communicating via radio signals. That kind of old-school conversation is what’s getting Scouts excited to engage in ways they never expected during the 58th annual Jamboree on the Air.

Jamboree on the Air (JOTA) invites Scouts to use ham radio to link them to other Scouts from around the world. William Coverdell, assistant merit badge counselor in the Pony Express Council says about 1.3 million Scouts will participate.

“Basically, they’ll get on amateur radio and talk around the world via ham radio where they use voice or also use CW, which is Morse code,” Coverdell said to News-Press Now.

Thanks in part to amateur radio receiver supplier Icom America, JOTA is the largest Scouting event in the world. Leveraging Icom’s expertise in state‐of‐the‐art amateur radio equipment, the BSA is able to offer a first‐class experience to jamboree participants.

“It’s kind of cool because they can talk over radio right here in St. Joseph to Scouts anywhere throughout the world, and some of the Scouting organizations throughout the world are in countries these Scouts wouldn’t ordinarily talk to somebody from,” Coverdell shared.

In 2014, more than 11,575 amateur radio stations from 157 countries participated in the event, which takes place the third weekend of October each year. 

Check out the video below to hear more about the event that has more than 172,000 Scouts earning the Radio merit badge and head to News-Press Now for the full story.

jamboree on the air

Tags   

Hayley

Hayley Cordaro is a communications specialist at the Boy Scouts of America. She loves sharing inspiring success stories and uncovering new ways volunteers and employees can make the most of their Scouting experience. If you have story ideas or questions, reach out to us at communications@scouting.org.