Jamboree On The Internet & Air
By: Scott Robertson
Posted On: 2010-10-15
Jamboree On The Internet is also known as JOTI, which is different then JOTA (Jamboree on the air). JOTA takes place using ham radios while JOTI is mostly done using a computer and a chat room. The ultimate goal of both is to meet other Scouts and Scouters from around the world. Learn about what Scouting is like where they are, their culture and the kind of things they do there.
JOTI and JOTA take place the third weekend of October (so right now) every year. I highly suggest you take part in both amazing events.
Talk to your local council to find out if anyone in your area will be running a JOTA radio station your Scouts can participate in. Make sure the Scouts will be allowed to actually hold the mic and talk to other people. I can tell you from experience it is quit boring to stand there while the radio operate talks to others in front of you or spends a long time trying to find a Scouter for your Scouts to talk to.
For JOTI, I recommend you check out http://scoutlink.net which is a International Scouting chat room that is open year around. It is IRC based, don't worry if you don't know what IRC is, its just a techy term for the software that powers there chat room. You can access Scoutlink using any IRC program such as MIRC or webchat. There is a webchat on the Scoutlink website or you can use the one on InsaneScoutrer at http://insanescouter.org/chat/. Scoutlink is open 365 days a year and is moderated. However during JOTI as a result of number of chatters to ops there are problems with kids cussing, trying to ask each other out, etc. There should be two ops in each channel and if they don't respond with in a few minutes or there is a big problem feel free to send them a private message alerting them to the problem.
A common game for both JOTI and JOTA is to pin up a world map and make it a group goal to talk to people from as many countries as possible. Please make sure you get the Scouts to actually talk to them and learn more about the culture, scouting etc in that country. A lot of the time all that happens is “Hey where are you from... oh great” and they move on to repeating the same line to 300 other people. This just annoys the people getting asked, and teaches your Scouts nothing.
Another cool thing some units do is have snacks from various cultures around the world to help the Scouts learn about those locations through there stomachs. After all we all know Scouts are always hungry.
Regardless of which event you do, have fun, be safe and remember the Scout Law. Do not give out personal information such as full name, address, phone, email, or even instant messenger without parent permission. Safety first, safety always.
If you have any questions feel free to ask me. I was the JOTI chairman for 3 years for ScoutLink.