JOTA Guidelines for Scout Leaders

Jamboree on the Air is a chance for Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, and Venturers to take part in an international jamboree and be introduced to technology that could serve to launch a lifelong hobby or even a career.

Note that radio amateurs spend a lot of time and effort working to achieve their licenses. In addition, they invest a great deal of money in their equipment and stations. Many are so passionately interested in their hobby that they cannot understand that to others it may be incomprehensible or even boring. It sometimes requires the skills of a diplomatic Scout leader to explain this to a keen ham who has given up his or her whole weekend to help with JOTA.

General Guidelines

Here’s a few guidelines to follow as you prepare for the event:

  • Make contact with local radio amateurs well in advance and discuss a balanced program of activities before and during JOTA.
  • Make sure the amateur’s efforts are rewarded by ensuring that Scouts turn up for the event. Build up the event through publicity within your council, district, and unit.
  • JOTA is a Scout event, and as such, Scout leaders are in charge. Keep firm control over those attending.
  • Don’t assume that all radio amateurs are expert communicators with youth.
  • Integrating events around JOTA can be very helpful in maximizing attendance. For example, set up a JOTA station (or several) at a camporee.
  • Order participant patches for the number you expect to attend. Include some patches to share with the radio amateurs.
  • Download the certificate of participation and log sheet. Duplicate enough for all participants.
  • Review the section titled “Amateur Radio Terms.”
  • Feed the radio amateurs on the day of the event.
  • Thank the radio amateurs for their assistance.


You’re encouraged to send news releases of the event to all local newspapers and television and radio stations. You can encourage photographers to attend the event. You can also forward photos to your local news media, including weekly papers. See our Scouting Publicity Guide for more insight.

Best wishes for a great Jamboree-on-the-Air. We look forward to hearing all about it in your JOTA report.