Archive for JOTA

COVID-19 Guidance for Radio Scouting Activities

We’ve pulled together the following information on dealing with COVID-19 that may prove useful to your Radio Scouting activities.

Please note that each state, municipality, and Scout council have their own guidance for addressing COVID-19 issues surrounding Scouting activities. You’ll need to take those into account when considering any Radio Scouting activities.

As starting points, we recommend the following online resources:

Work closely with your local Scout council and health authorities as guidelines are open to change as local conditions change.

We’ve also pulled together these comments about Jamboree on the Air and the Radio Merit Badge from Bill Stearns, NE4RD, Scouts BSA JOTA Team Lead and President of K2BSA ARA, as well as Gary Wilson, K2GW, the Scouts BSA Radio Merit Badge Subject Matter Expert.

Here’s what they have to say specifically about the QSO requirement for the Radio Merit Badge:

Bill, NE4RD — 
As was discussed during the Ham Expo, connecting your rig to a zoom/google meet/skype call is completely possible.  If an operator can figure out how to run WSJT-X, shouldn’t take much more effort to get voice to pass through to the rig.
Gary, K2GW — 
Bill’s right, but it gets even easier.  The contact requirement can be done with a simulated  QSO, even to the point of squeezing the PTT switch on an imaginary HT in the Scouts hand.
“Using proper call signs, Q signals, and abbreviations, carry on a 10-minute real or simulated amateur radio contact using voice, Morse code, or digital mode.”
I recently counseled two Scouts remotely where they simulated a QSO with me over FaceTime, then watched me via FaceTime make a real contact and took a tour of my shack remotely for their station visit.

Our sense is that you could easily complete the entire Radio Merit Badge through online options.

Please feel free to add your own thoughts and comments to this post. We’re sure there are many creative options available to continue with Radio Scouting activities during our stay-at-home time as well as engaging in Jamboree on the Air, October 16, 17, 18.

WB4SA Telegraph Encrypt/Decrypt Game

WB4SA Central Florida Council – Radio Scouting Program

May 16th, 2020 is our Cub Pioneer Days Cuboree, an 1800’s theme event with Native American exhibits, cooking, camping and several historical activities.
So how could I get our very active Radio Scouting program involved… bring in the the Telegraph and teach the scouts Morse code, through osmosis. Most of the Cubs already learned SOS, as we taught it to 12,300 scouts last year as part of our monthly events at council.
Telegraph Encrypt/Decrypt game
A fun game where Scouts have to transcribe a message and get it to their partner via telegraph. Their partner has to write it out, then send an answer back. They work as teams and the fastest teams of the day win prizes. They can repeat the game as many times as they like, getting a new phrase each time. Each station SET involves two Morse code straight keys a good distance form each so that a pair of scouts can communicate with each other. We can do two teams at a time.  The phrases they use are simple one line Scout jokes, one sentence each way. The first couple times take a while, but they slowly learn/memorize each letters ‘dit-da code’ so they start transcribing the sentence to Morse much faster the more times they do it.

Example phrases… #1 sends it to #2…#2 decodes it, then replys with #2 answer…#1 decodes and shows judge/time keeper.
Cub 1: How can you tell if a buffalo is under your sleeping bag?
Cub 2: The ceiling of your tent is very close.

Cub 1: What do you find between the hooves of buffaloes?
Cub 2: Slow buffalo hunters.

Cub 1: What do you get when you cross peanut butter with a buffalo?
Cub 2: You either get peanut butter that roams the range or a buffalo that sticks to the roof of your mouth.

Cub 1: How can you tell a buffalo from a field mouse?
Cub 2: Try to pick it up. If you can’t, it’s either a buffalo or a very overweight mouse.

Cub 1: What time is it when a buffalo sits in your canoe?
Cub 2: Time to get a new canoe.

73 & YIS (Yours in Scouting),

Ken Lyons, KN4MDJ / Trustee for wB4SA

BSA – Central Florida Council – www.RadioScouting.US

JOTA 2019 Station Report Icom ID-51A Winner

Congratulations to Robert Crow, KA8CDC, reporting results for the K2BSA/8 station at the Ohio River Valley Council’s JOTA Fall Camporee. He wins the Icom ID-51A Plus2 VHF/UHF D-Star portable as a result of winning the drawing from all those entering a station report.

The drawing was conducted by RandomPicker.

 

Jamboree on the Air 2019 Report

The Jamboree on the Air Report of 2019 is published at USA JOTA Reports. Here’s the summary from William Stearns, NE4RD, Chairman BSA National JOTA Task Force.

INCREASED PARTICIPATION BY STATION

While the reported numbers show a slight fall in overall participation, our calculations show that each station averaged an additional 13 people in attendance over last year This shows an aggregate increase of 24% attendance per station even with our reported stations being down from 266 in 2018 to 201 in 2019.

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