Each year, more than 500,000 scouts in more than 100 countries take to the airways on the third full weekend in October. And this year, on this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, the 55th annual Jamboree On-The-Air (JOTA) will link scouts around the world. More than 300 Allegheny Highland Scouts from Chautauqua and Cattaraugus Counties at Camp Merz in Mayville will be able to experience the marvels of amateur radio with the help of the amateurs of the Chautauqua Amateur Radio Service of Jamestown. The radio club will erect portable antennas and have their equipment ready for service.
The camp, billed as The Monster Mash, will also have games, scouting programs and all- around fun.
Aaron Miles, liaison between the Boy Scouts and the Chautauqua Amateur Radio Service (CARS) said that scouts of all ages can participate. Once at the Amateur Radio station the communication typically requires speaking into a microphone and then listening via the stations speakers. However, other forms of specialized communications will also take place, such as Allstar link ECHO link and digital mode.
The World Scout Bureau reported that in 2011, JOTA had nearly 750,000 scouts participated from more than 6,000 amateur radio stations. Scouts can receive information that can be used to fulfill a radio merit badge requirement.
The CARS club will also be on hand to give anyone testing for their amateur license if they are ready. Exams are also given at the James Prendergast Library in Jamestown every first Saturday of the month at 2 p.m. For more information, contact Laura Mueller at 720-7938.