Thursday, 13 October 2011

JOTA - 2011

It's that time of year, the annual Jamboree on the Air, sponsored by the World Organization of the Scout Movement.  This is the 54th year that JOTA has been held, always on the third weekend of October.

This weekend I'm off with Frontenac County ARES Group to Whispering Pines Scout Camp in support of the Valley Highlands District JOTA Camp.  This is the second year we have done this, and while the weather forecast is for rain, it will still be a fun weekend.

Last year I blogged about this event and complained about the fact that RAC did not seem to support this event.  In fact the Ontario ARES organization actually scheduled their annual SET on that date, which stopped ARES groups from giving a helping hand to local Scout groups.

Why would you miss out on an opportunity to showcase our hobby to thousands of Canadian youth? 

So, here we are twelve months later, and guess what?  Ontario ARES has once again scheduled their annual SET for this weekend - Saturday, the 15th to be precise.  Once again I complained to the Ontario Section Manager, the senior ARES member in Ontario, Allan Boyd, and once again was given a pile of "waffle"......including the beaut of a line that the choice of the date is not up to him............jeez Allan, you're the boss, you're the guy in charge, how 'bout making a command decision for once and change the SET date!! 

You would think that after 54 years of an event being held on the same weekend, RAC just might have been able to get its collective head out of its ass and get its crap together on it......but apparently not.  RAC has not even issued a bulletin on the event, that's how high youth involvement in our hobby is to this current executive. 

The World Scout Bureau reported that the 2010 JOTA had just over 700,000 Scout participants from nearly 6000 amateur radio stations.   

Oh, and did I mention that the theme of this years JOTA is "Peace, Environment and Natural Disasters", and did I also mention that this years JOTA actually has an emergency communications exercise built into it?  Kind of ironic isn't it?

Here's what IARU Region 1 secretary, Denis ZS4BS has to say about this years JOTA: 

"Within this year's JOTA, an emergency communications exercise will take place on Saturday, 15 October, 2011 in the afternoon (European time zone). This simulated emergency test will include the Headquarters station, HB9S, of the World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM), which will be operated by hams from 5 different countries. WOSM has now published the details for the event on its web site with numerous links to related documents of IARU and other sources.

This year's JOTA theme offers an excellent opportunity to raise the awareness for the role of the Amateur Radio Service in disaster situations."

So just where is the RAC Field Service in all this? Where are the individuals who run the RAC Youth Education Program?  Why, nowhere to be found it seems.  There's nothing on the RAC website about this event, not a whisper. 

So once again I ask why would you miss out on an opportunity to showcase our hobby to thousands of Canadian youth?

Am I surprised?  Nope, not at all.  This is typical of the RAC.  They have bleated on for a number of years about falling membership, and the lack of youth involvement, but what are they doing about it?  Apparently nothing!

Will the last RAC member please turn out the light!

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