On September 21st at 7am, three radio clubs converged at the district Boy Scouts headquarters in Lancaster, MA to introduce amateur radio to the local scouts for the 60th annual JOTA event. The Scouts and their parents and other leaders were given a demonstration of some of the many facets of Ham Radio.
The three clubs participating were the Montachusett ARA from Lunenburg, Nashoba Valley ARC from Pepperell, and the Mohawk ARC from Gardner. Mohawk ARC brought their communications trailer, NVARC provided their tower trailer and MARA brought radios and supporting gear.
The scouts were treated to many aspects of radio including QRP kit radios, SSB, DMR, Morse code, phonetics and Echolink. The scouts had the opportunity to make contacts with other JOTA event stations across the country.
The biggest hit was the Foxhunt demonstration where the Scouts enjoyed the warm weather and attempted to locate the transmitter using tri-angulation. Stan Pozerski, KD1LE along with Skip Youngberg K1NKR created Thinking Day on the Air events for the Girl Scouts and brought their expertise in enhancing this event. They also set up tables with practice keyers and Morse code sheets and coached them on the code as well as phonetics. Kevin Erickson, N1ERS and his Mohawk group bought their nicely setup utility trailer set up for operation and gave the kids a great SSB demonstration.
This was the second event for JOTA and it saw an increased amount of participation by both Scouts and volunteers. MARA extends great appreciation to all the clubs and the volunteers for such a successful event and looks forward to a bigger and better one next year.
de Ray, KB1LRL