Turn it up: 2017 Jamboree-on-the-Air, Jamboree-on-the-Internet dates set

For this October’s Jamboree, you don’t need to travel by plane, train or bus to join the fun.

All you really need is a ham radio or a connection to the internet.

This Oct. 20 to 22, Scouts from down the street, across the country and around the world will gather for the annual Jamboree-on-the-Air and Jamboree-on-the-Internet.

The two events, held concurrently the third full weekend of October, use amateur radio and Internet-connected devices to unite Scouts from all over the Earth.

And I do mean all over the Earth. The 2016 Jamboree-on-the-Air had nearly 1.3 million Scout participants from more than 30,000 locations and reached 156 different countries.

Will your Scouts or Venturers be a part of the fun — and earn the patch to prove it? Here’s what you need to know.

Requirements completed

In addition to being incredibly fun, JOTA and JOTI count toward Scouting requirements:

2017 Jamboree-on-the-Air (JOTA)

What: Annual Scouting event that uses amateur radio to link Scouts around the world, across the country and in your own community.

When: Third full weekend of October (this year it’s Oct. 20-22, 2017). There are no official hours, so you have the whole weekend to make JOTA contacts. The event officially starts Friday evening during the JOTA Jump Start and runs through Sunday evening.

Who: Scouts and Venturers of any age, plus their families.

How: Once at the ham radio station, the communication typically requires speaking into a microphone and listening on the station speakers. However, many forms of specialized communication can also take place, such as video communication, digital communication using typed words on the computer screen transmitted by radio, communication through a satellite relay or an earth-based relay (called a repeater), and many others.

Where to find help: Contact your local council. They may already have an event set up that your Scouts can attend. Otherwise, find a local American Radio Relay League club here.

Learn more: Get resources, quick-start guides, patch order forms and lots more at the JOTA website.

Just for fun: Check out this archive of JOTA patches through the years.

2017 Jamboree-on-the-Internet (JOTI)

What: JOTA’s younger brother, JOTI is an annual Scouting event that uses the Internet and the numerous devices that are used to get online — laptops, iPads and more — to link Scouts from around the world. In 2016, JOTI had more than 47,000 Scouts and leaders registered in the worldwide JOTI database.

When: JOTI begins at 00:00 hours local time on Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017, and will end at 24:00 hours local time on Sunday, Oct. 22, 2017.

Who: Scouts and Venturers of any age, plus their families.

How: Scouts can participate at home with the help of an adult (remember two-deep leadership!), or they can participate in a Scout group at a councilwide event. JOTI is an economical way of communicating with people from other corners of the globe. The event allows Scouts to “meet” other Scouts from around the world through the Internet and share more information than just “hi.”

Where to find help: Contact your local council. They may already have an event set up that your Scouts can attend.

Learn more: Get resources, quick-start guides, patch order forms and lots more at the JOTI website.

Just for fun: Check out this archive of JOTI patches through the years.



  1. Really? Not using the patches from the World Scouting. How disappointing that an international event and the BSA is not using that patch. This is the largest Scouting even in the worlkd with over 1 million Scouts participating across 150+ countries.

  2. And, in this world of electronic communications, there are analog (“old school”) radios that can connect with other radios entirely over the air, and (“new tech”) digital radios that connect over the internet to other radios. Look for names like “D-STAR”, “Fusion”, “EchoLink”. Try them all!

  3. My Scouts love JOTA! I’ve organized the event for our pack for the last 2 years and we always have a great time. Last year, I added Boy Scouts to the mix (including fingerprinting, crime prevention, and radio merit badges). I get community groups to come throughout the event (only so many scouts can fit in the radio trailer at a time) and they have a blast. Last year they learned how to shut off their gas meter in an emergency (and not to turn it back on), learned what to put in their pet emergency preparedness kit, saw how search and rescue dogs work, and more! Who I have come changes from year to year depending on availability. If you’re participating, turn those antennae north, Alaska would love to talk with you!

    Also, try to find a satellite radio operator. The broadcast time is much shorter and more intermittent but the range is amazing and it’s cool to “watch” the satellite travel overhead.

  4. If you don’t have an amateur radio license, BUT, you know morse code, there is a place that you can use MORSE CODE over the internet. It is called CwCom ( Cw communicator ) from MRX software. ( IT’S FREE) It is a downloadable program that allows you to either practice sending off the net by yourself, or you can connect and go on line and send Morse Code with who ever is on at that time. It uses channels. Channel 1000 usually is the calling channel, you can pick a channel that goes by the amateur bands like 7115 for slow speed ( old novice section) or you can choose a channel that is associated with faster Morse Code operation.
    You can do logging and keep track of who you contacted and where they are. Good substitute if you don’t have the abilities to get a radio up or use remote radio.
    If you don’t have a Morse Code Key don’t worry. You can use the down arrow on the keyboard as a key and start sending. If you get really flustered and forget everything you ever knew about morse code, you can type in a message and send it. It just won’t have the sounds and the feeling of sending Morse with a key. You can hook up a straight key and an iambic key to a com port to send that way.

    Try it. Have fun.

    Cowboy—Canoeing and rowing instructor
    Camp Louis Ernst–Hoosier Hills/Trails Dupont, In. 1972/76

  5. Can anyone tell me the exact requirements from Citizenship in the World and Radio Merit Badges that are accomplished through JOTA/JOTI participation?

    • Citizenship in the World: 7c and 7e

      A motivated amateur radio operator at an organized JOTA event can help Scouts complete all Radio Merit Badge requirements.

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