It's been another fun weekend down at Malvern Scout hall in Innes Road St Albans, more than 30 Scouts as well as visiting Keas and Cubs have been chatting on the Amateur Radio and via Internet Relay Chat (IRC) to other Scouts and Guides from as far afield as Alaska and South Africa.
JOTA is an international weekend for a Jamboree on the airwaves, this year marks the 52 year of International JOTA, at the same time there's also Jamboree on the internet using IRC, this is the 13th JOTI weekend.
Nearly half a million Scouts and Guides were connecting with each other this weekend, and there were other active sites in Christchurch at the regional office in Retreat Road as well as at Bishopdale Scout Group. Malvern were the only group to be running a live radio base though.
All the Scouts camped out overnight after going to bed late; the best time for the radio calls to the other side of the world is during our night time as the rest of Europe and places to the west of New Zealand wake and begin to chatter. Everyone went home today tired, but knowing they'd cooked their own dinners and had the chance few have to talk via radio to other Scouts across the world.
World Scouting's communication theme for this year is environment, I'm not sure how many of Malvern's Scouts used this in their conversation via IRC or the radio, more often topics seemed more banal; questions such as where they were from and their favourite sport seemed to dominate conversation initially. Hopefully everyone involved learned something from the encounters