JOTA is an annual event in which Scouts and Guides from all over the world speak to each other by means of Amateur (ham) Radio.
During the 1957 World Scout Jamboree, held at Sutton Coldfield in the United Kingdom, an amateur radio station was operated by a group of amateur radio operators including Les Mitchell G3BHK and Len Jarrett VE3MYF.
During a discussion between the ham operators, who were also scout leaders, the idea to have an annual get together of scouts using amateur radio, was born.
1958 saw the first Jamboree On The Air (JOTA). Since then millions of Scouts and Guides have met each other through this event, experiences are exchanged and ideas are shared via radio waves.
With no restrictions on age or on the number of participants, and at little or no expense, JOTA allows Scouts and Guides to contact each other by ham radio. The radio stations are operated by licensed amateur radio operators.
Many scouts, guides and leaders hold licenses and have their own ham radio stations, but the majority participate in JOTA through stations operated by local amateur radio clubs and individual radio amateurs.
JOTA takes place the third full weekend of October, from midnight local time on Friday to midnight Sunday (48 hours).
In the 1997, Jamboree On The Internet (JOTI) officially commenced on the same weekend as JOTA.
Each year a competition is held to design a JOTA-JOTI badge. All scouts and guides who participate in Jamboree On The Air are eligible to receive the special event badge.
Les Mitchell (call sign G3BHK), one of the founding fathers of Jamboree On The Air, sadly passed away on the 6th October 2014.