Saturday, October 17, 2015

JOTA on the Iowa

Totally forget to mention we had the Scouts aboard today for JOTA.

It went much smoother this year than in years passed, although the count was down.

Last year we had over 160 Scouts when we expected about 100, and this year we had about 65 when we were expecting 60.

Basically, we have three or four stations set up out on the fantail, and give the Scouts their "Air Check" portion of what they have to do to earn their Radio Merit Badge.

Some of the "kids" (from 10 to 17 today) are natural at it, and very comfortable talking on the radio, while others barely speak two or three words each time they transmit.

And this year, the second group had mostly done their "On Air" portion (they had an active Ham station at the campsite), so out of the second group of 30 or so, only 8 needed to use the radio.

And then it was over!

We'd run everybody through by 1430, when we had expected to go to 1500 or beyond, and the afternoon session was only the 8 Scouts, so we were done early, and packed up by 1500.

I think one of the reasons this went so fast was the Scouts were on a very strict schedule. The last couple of years they marched from the campsite to the Iowa, and this year they had a bus, with a strict cut-off time. Everybody HAD to be back on the bus by 1500 to get them back to the campsite, -OR- the cost of the charter bus went up significantly.

As usual, the Iowa staff (besides the radio guys) was magnificent in their support of the event, having pop-ups, tables, and chairs out on the deck for us to set up this morning, and it's always a pleasure working with them.

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