FW: Radio Scouting Update - JOTA (National Council)

Lee Besing

I just got this from the National BSA Council today. Some advance info
regarding the upcoming JOTA in October. No need for anyone to contact this
guy, other than perhaps Lew & other organizers from SARC if they want in the

Lee Besing N5NTG

-----Original Message-----
From: Jim Wilson
Sent: Friday, August 12, 2011 10:02 AM
Subject: Radio Scouting Update

Radio Scouting Committee ----

Action Items:

* Write up needed from Committee --- message to Council International
Representatives to spur them to generate interest in setting up a JOTA
station and/or provide support to any planned station(s) in their council.
* Provide feedback/comments on Radio Scouting graphic options that are

I see that my last update was in mid-July. Here's an update from mid-August
as we head to the Top Hands meeting next week.

JOTA Promotion. A tweet went out from the BSA National Office twitter
account in July that carried our JOTA message and link to the website. I've
also been monitoring a weekly Google search on JOTA terms. That has revealed
a few council postings around JOTA. In a few cases I've contacted the
council and suggested that they link to the new JOTA information site and
that they register their planned station. There are now 13 JOTA stations
registered. Traffic to the JOTA site over the past month has been 2,068
visitors, with 400 showing up around the Twitter announcement. In my last
message I'd asked for a draft message to Council International
Representatives. This would be a good time to remind them about JOTA and to
activate their councils around supporting planned operations and/or to
activate new operations. Could one or more of you please draft a brief
message that would work for this audience? Any other thoughts around
promotion that should be happening in September for JOTA?

Radio Scouting Graphics. I appreciate and value the feedback that was
received around the Radio Scouting graphic options that were provided in
June. We went back to the drawing board and asked a few more designers to
pitch in with their thoughts. The results are attached. Please provide me
with your comments and feedback on what options would work best to provide
an identity around Radio Scouting that endures over the years and outside
the realm of JOTA. I feel that we have some winning designs in this batch.
Take some time to give me your considered opinions.

QST Article. I hope you saw the cover article in the August issue of QST
Magazine. It was all about Radio Scouting in the outdoors using geocaching
and foxhunting. It provided fantastic photos and super information on a
great Radio Scouting activity. We've posted the article here

I also note in the September issue of QST Magazine a full page write up on
the 2011 JOTA from the perspective of the Girl Scouts. It also includes
information about WOSM's approach to JOTA this year and provides a link to
our online JOTA information.

K2BSA. The K2BSA website is now up and running at http://www.k2bsa.net The
site offers online reservations for use of the call sign for Scouting
events. It also offers a great deal of historical information thanks to Mike
Brown arranging the transfer of substantial content from the site he was
hosting. The 2013 Jamboree Chairman has not been named yet. I expect
something there within the next few weeks.

Radio Merit Badge. Based on discussions with Mike Brown around the history
of the Radio Merit Badge, I've been able to dig up some interesting numbers.
A chart of the number of Radio Merit Badges earned each year since 1949 can
be seen at this link http://www.k2bsa.net/radio-merit-badge/ Scan to the
bottom of the page. It's been simply staggering growth in the number of
badges earned each year since 1984 when the 5 word per minute Morse Code
requirement was dropped and the three options added of amateur radio,
broadcast radio, and shortwave listening. I was also able to obtain the
number of Radio Merit Badges that have been earned in 2010 separated by

2010 Council # City Radio MB
Ranking / Name #
1 250 Northern Star St. Paul, MN 281
2 591 Utah Nat'l Parks Orem, UT 258
3 571 Circle 10 Dallas, TX 245
4 576 Sam Houston Houston, TX 238
5 49 San Diego San Diego, CA 152
6 39 Orange County Santa Ana, CA 132
7 101 Northeast GA Jefferson, GA 123
8 560 Middle TN Nashville, TN 117
9 47 Golden Empire Sacremento, CA 100
10 10 Grand Canyon Phoenix, AZ 93
11 133 Illowa Davenport, IA 92
12 590 Great Salt Lake Salt Lake City, UT 91

Apart from the size of the council, do you see anything that would account
for this ranking? Are there some best practices that could be captured and
shared with other councils? I do note that the Circle 10 Council here in
Dallas runs a Radio Merit Badge class during HamCom that helped I believe at
least 100 Scouts earn their Radio Merit Badge.

JOTA Vision 2015. The World Scouting Organization has just launched what
they are calling JOTA Vision 2015. The goal is to achieve 10% of membership
participation in JOTA by 2015. Looking at the last JOTA report we submitted,
the BSA is currently at something like 0.04%. I'm sure it's actually much
higher, just not captured, but certainly not at 10%. WOSM is conducting some
online webinars around the effort this fall. I'll keep you posted on what I
learn. It sounds like a great focus in an area of Scouting that is near and
dear to our hearts!

That's the update from here. Please look over the action items and get me
your responses.


Jim, K5ND

Jim Wilson | Director, Communication Services

National Council

1325 West Walnut Hill Lane | P.O. Box 152079 Irving, Texas 75015-2079 P
972.580.2010 | C 469.713.7301 jim.wilson@scouting.org