This weekend was JOTA, and this was the 17th year that Gary VE3ODE, Carl VE3DG and myself Fred VE3FAL have put JOTA on for some of the Otters,Beavers and Scouts in the rural area of Thunder Bay. Each year is a new location with which involves a hike and radio operations. This year we were in Oliver Paipoonge at Scouter Jerry’s home location, on his 90 acre property he has a hilltop with trails right to the top, it is about a 20 minute hike up with a backpack. Gary an I hauled our gear up in a buggy I made with gear in a tote, took us about 45 minutes to get the stuff up. A hike was done in the afternoon by the Otters and Beavers and the Scouts spend the night as well, so in our tents we braved the -2c temperatures once again, this morning though was only thick frost and no snow.
For the Otters I put on one of my manpack radios and went down the trail to talk with them, we used an open 10 meter frequency and answered many of their questions and explained how amateur radio worked. The Beavers made a few contacts with various stations around the country. The Scouts also worked stations from Coast to Coast with the best contact being into Saskatchewan with clear signals in the evening on 20 meters.
We were operating a Icom-703 at 10 watts into a windom antenna, it worked very good and of course running on battery power the entire weekend.
Campfire building skills were also part of the day and so were opening and closing ceremonies.
In total over the 2 days we had 17 participants as well as parents and leaders at the site.
Many thanks to Scouter Jerry and his family, Scouter James, Gary, Carl and the rest of the gang for a great spot and good weekend.