Scout Camps on the Air

W1W Jamboree on the Air 2016

K2BSA has established a SCOTA committee that is currently working on the award program. The committee is planning on announcing changes to the program by the end of 2023.


List of Scout Stations on the air regions.

List of Scout Camps on the air.

Press Release #2 8/25/2023

The SCOTA committee has been working to create the initial list of camps that qualify for the SCOTA award. John W5GAM personally emailed each BSA council in an effort to make sure the data was correct. Less than half of the councils replied so we will need help from hams with local knowledge to keep the camp list as correct as possible. 


The award will be retroactive to 1/1/2023 with the initial application process being rudimentary. Certificates are still being designed. The current SCOTA committee will continue the work on program development and program administration. 


The Scout Camps on The Air (SCOTA) Award program will start with 3 basic awards, there will be others to follow but there is much work to be done to still develop the infrastructure of the award program. We have made no progress on any kind of program development for logging or operation announcements. However, we will continue the ground work development of a quality on the air program. 


There will be three separate lists that will act as a reference for SSOTA and SCOTA areas and camps that qualify for the SCOTA Award credit. There is a SCOTA Camp list which is a list by council of BSA owned/leased camps that can be activated for award credit. There is an initial list of SSOTA stations, which currently has one SSOTA per council. This will change as the award matures. There will be a high adventure list which will comprise the 4 BSA high adventure camps that will include both SCOTA and SSOTA stations. 


JOTA 2023 and SCOTA Award


Below is a link to the initial list of SSOTA regions. Every JOTA station this year will qualify for either SSOTA region or a SCOTA. The SSOTA region is basically the Council you are operating from. However, if your JOTA station is operating from a BSA owned/leased station then it will qualify as a SCOTA, this list will be released soon.



Purpose: The purpose of the SCOTA Award is to encourage licensed radio amateurs to make two way contacts with Scout Camps on the air. 

Eligible: Any licensed radio amateur 

Award start date: 1/1/2023


  1. SCOTA activation: The camps should be activated by registered Scouts both youth and adults. No activation by a non-scout will be accepted, since the purpose is to have the Scouts activate the camp. All operations from a camp should have approval from the camp ranger or director. Only operations from either the camp station or within the boundaries of a Scout camp area will be acceptable for counting as an activation for SCOTA. 
  1. SCOTA point value: Stations that count for the SCOTA award are two different types of Scout stations. A SCOTA is a station that is operated from a permanent BSA owned/leased camp. A Scout Station on the air (SSOTA) is any Scout lead radio operation from a Scout event that is outside of any BSA owned/leased Scout Camp. The SSOTA identification is determined by what region they are operating from. Both SCOTA and SSOTA regions count towards the SCOTA award. The four high adventure camps are unique in that within their boundaries there are both SCOTA stations and SSOTA regions.

Below are the points assigned to each type of Scout station.

  1. World Jamboree Station   10pts
  2. National Jamboree Station 9pts
  3. SSOTA High Adventure Region 8pt
  4. SCOTA High Adventure Station 7pt
  5. SSOTA Challenged Council Region 6pt 
  6. SCOTA Council Station 5pt
  7. SSOTA Council Region (i.e. JOTA events) 4pt
  1. SCOTA Award levels: The initial SCOTA award can be earned by collecting 50 points. Twenty five of the 50 points should be from contacts with SCOTA council stations.


Quality Camp Station Award:

Purpose: The purpose of the Quality Camp Station Award is to encourage preparedness and function of the camp station, including its outreach to Scouts. This can be awarded on an annual basis.  

Eligible: Any BSA owned Scout Camp with a SCOTA station.


Silver level

  1. Offer the Radio merit badge every week of summer camp.*
  2. Make at least one camp to camp contact each week of summer camp. ** 
  3. Complete one station improvement project. 

Gold level

  1. Offer the Radio merit badge every week of summer camp.*
  2. Make at least one camp contact each week of summer camp. **
  3. Complete one station improvement project. 
  4. Participate in JOTA 

Quality Scout Station Award:

Purpose: The purpose of the Quality Scout Station Award is to encourage preparedness of and functionality of the Radio Scouters station as well as encourage on air contacts with Scout Camp Stations. 

Eligible: Any registered youth or adult Radio Scout station.


Silver level

  1. Work at least 5 SCOTA and 5 JOTA Stations in a year or participate in a JOTA Station.
  2. Finish a station improvement project.
  3. Make at least 20 contacts using any mode in a year. 

Gold level

  1. Work at least 10 SCOTA and 10 JOTA Stations in a year or Participate in a JOTA Station.
  2. Finish a station improvement project.
  3. Make at least 50 contacts using any mode in a year. 

*Not required if a Cub Scout Camp.

**Make contact with one SCOTA/SSOTA station.


  1. Station Definitions: There are multiple types of stations that exist in SCOTA/SSOTA. Here is what they all mean.


  1. World Jamboree Station

An amateur radio station of any type of World Jamboree event.


  1. National Jamboree Station

An amateur radio station of any type at a BSA National Jamboree event.


  1. SSOTA High Adventure Region

A mobile/temporary station at a BSA high adventure camp (Philmont, Northern Tier, Summit, or Sea Base) that is anywhere within the borders of camp except for a SCOTA defined area.

  1. SCOTA High Adventure Station

A station operating from a BSA high adventure camp (Philmont, Northern Tier, Summit, or Sea Base) basecamp as defined by the SCOTA Award program.

  1. SSOTA Challenged Council Region

This is a region defined by SCOTA/SSOTA that has been identified as harder to activate or “challenged.” This could be due to remote areas, high elevation, difficult terrain, etc.The SCOTA Award committee will further define these areas going forward.

  1. SCOTA Council Station

This is a station operating inside a council or camp for scouts and scouters to use.

  1. SSOTA Council Region

This is a region that defines an area of a council that is outside of all defined camps (SCOTA). 

Program operation rules

It is suggested that each Council Owned Camp participating in the K2BSA / Radio Scouting Scout Camps On The Air (SCOTA) program have its own callsign by registering a club call with the FCC and having at least one Licensed Trustee and responsible person. Other members may be attached to the club, with or without an Amateur Radio License.

All adult operators, control or otherwise, shall be registered BSA members and possess valid current Youth Protection Training certification and present such certification to Camp Staff or other supervisory volunteers upon request to gain access or continue using the Camp Station.

When any youth members are operating the Camp Station, a licensed control operator must be present. This person does not have to be the trustee or responsible person but should be a member of the Camp Club. FCC Licensed registered adult members may operate the Camp Station without any youth members for testing of equipment or tuning of antennas as needed.

While it is not required that a Control Operator be a Camp Club member, he or she must be registered with the BSA and follow all BSA rules and regulations regarding the safety of its members as well any specific rules outlined by the particular Camp.

Example: Troop 1234 is at Camp for the week and the Scoutmaster or other volunteer Troop leader holds a valid FCC Amateur License, this person may request form the Camp Director, or his / her appointee, permission to use the station upon presenting a copy of the valid license. 

If the youth is licensed, he or she may operate at the license privilege for his or her license following the ARRL Band Plan for frequencies and modes allowed for the license class.

The control operator may allow the youth operating the station to use their callsign, or the camp club call, provided the youth adheres to the control operator’s allowed frequencies and modes for his or her license class.  

At no time shall a youth member be allowed to operate the Camp Station alone, regardless of whether the youth has a valid license or not.

At no time shall a single adult control operator be in the confines of the station location with a youth operator. If the station is in a publicly accessible area of the Camp, there must be others present and within plain sight of the control and youth operators.

In the event that the Camp Station is enclosed, out of public view, there must be a minimum of two adults at the operating position in compliance with current Youth Protection protocols.

There shall be no illegal drug, alcohol or tobacco use within the confines of the Council Camp, nor within the station area itself. Non-Compliance shall result in immediate expulsion from the camp, its radio club (if a member). If illegal drugs are discovered to be or have been in use, local authorities shall be called immediately.

For any advancement requirements to have been met, one of the required two adults must also be registered as a Merit Badge Counselor for the requirement(s) to be considered accepted and a Merit Badge card must be issued and signed by the registered counselor before submitting to the Camp’s advancement person.


How to stay in touch with SCOTA.


You can join the SCOTA IO (google group)  interest group by emailing


Scout Camps On The Air (SCOTA) Facebook Page

Scout Camps On The Air (SCOTA) Facebook Group 







If you have questions or feedback for the SCOTA committee you can email us at SCOTA@K2BSA.NET You can also reach out and share ideas with the committee or wider SCOTA community on the IO email group or other available social media platforms. 


To learn more about K2BSA please go to WWW.K2BSA.NET




Mike AB5EB

SCOTA Committee Chair

K2BSA Vice President