This weekend was the 17th annual Jamboree On The Internet. It grew up from the Jamboree On The Air, an opportunity for Scouts and Guides from all over the world to have a chance to chat together and get to know one another a little more personally. Throughout the weekend THOUSANDS of Scouts connect their computers to the official site at JOTAJOTI.org and ScoutLink to participate. Two local groups registered as official JOTI stations in the Three Harbors Council – Troop 300 in Waterford, and Troop 328 in Salem. (Others may have participated, but not registered their stations.)
There are Tigers/Joeys/Beavers online, and there are Scouts/Rovers/Venturers there too! There are lots of Adult Leaders and “ops” (operators) online in each of the groups to make sure things stay Scout-Appropriate and safe too. It’s kids being kids – talking about their favorite things in Scouting and how much is the same, while they discover their differences too.
A few of my favorite moments from this year’s JOTI included:
- A Beaver group from the UK who asked if they could (voice) Skype with me. We connected for about 10 minutes, and a very brave 8 year old girl introduced me to several of her friends (the youngest being just 5) and asked things about the weather, what my Cub Scouts were like, and what time it was.
- Watching my son live translate in the #Italiano and #Espanol groups practicing both languages and then how the Scouts on the other end got excited to practice their English back with him once they knew he was from the US.
- A three-way Skype call with friends in Canada and Scotland, whom I had the honor to meet in person this summer at The Summit.
- Catching up with Scouters in Australia and Brittan who have participated in JOTI for years too and getting to share those “remember when…” moments, laughing hard, and nobody else knowing what we were talking about.
- My son making a new friend in Singapore with the same sense of humor. They exchanged pictures of their Troops on Facebook, and shared a ton of laughs. I have no doubt that they will continue to talk and be friends for a long time after JOTI.
JOTI is always the 3rd weekend in October. Make plans to join us in 2014 for a great time making new friends and learning more about the world we live in! Check out the map below of the all of this year’s registered stations!