Last weekend I though I’d totally miss out on the scouting program’s Jamboree on the Air event, or JOTA, as it’s called. Kinda rhymes with GOTA (Get on the Air) and serves the same purpose, for the most part. My boys had a Cub Scout pack activity planned the same day. The objective would be to race cubmobiles in the school parking lot of the elementary school, not eject RF energy into the ether.
I the past I’ve gotten together with several local hams to assist a Boy Scout troop in making some ham radio contacts and also earning their Radio merit badge. I was invited this year, too, but due to being a parent and leader of my boys’ scouting unit I had to bow out. The weather wasn’t that great and we managed to pull off the race in record time with an abundance of smiling faces. The boys had a great time, which is most important. But what to do for the afternoon…?
Amber and I pack up the kids and headed down to Camp Belzer in Indianapolis. There we found the Bert Johnson Memorial Station WD9BSA. This was their inaugural event and really the fist time on the air. “Murphy” was at work to a minor degree but the organizers were able to find solutions. Didn’t really matter, though, because there were good, strong signals and some of the boys were making contacts.
The volunteers did a good job on the station. They have some nice equipment and a professional-looking console that can easily accommodate two operators and assistants. Like I said previously, the organizers did a good job of planning and displaying the many aspects of ham radio. As Eagle Scout myself, I sure wish there were opportunities like this when I was a boy! I look forward to many future visits to WD9BSA.