Scouts to gather worldwide for virtual jamboree
This weekend, more than half a million Scouts worldwide will come together for the annual Jamboree on the Internet (JOTI) and Jamboree on the Air (JOTA).
JOTA hit the airwaves over 50 years ago after an amateur radio station was set up at the 1957 World Jamboree in Sutton Coldfield. Scouts and leaders who held transmission licences kept in contact with one another after the Jamboree, and since then JOTA has grown into an international, on-air celebration of Scouting.
In 1996, Jamboree on the Air was joined by its online equivalent, Jamboree on the Internet. With the development of internet communications technology, and young people’s increased proficiency with computers, Scouts from across the globe can now share experiences and ideas through email, chat rooms, webcams and microphones.
Toby, a 12 year-old Scout from Wiltshire, is excited about his chance to talk to the world.
‘One chance we have each year to talk to Scouts around the world is the Jamboree on the Airwaves and Internet (JOTA and JOTI). On the radio, I have spoken to Americans, Australians and French Scouts, and we put a pin in the map each time we talk to someone new.’
The two events run in parallel on the 16 and 17 of October, and the weekend duration allows for international time differences.