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YOTA 2019 Summer Camp In Bulgaria Spawns Subregional Camps:

from The ARRL Letter on September 12, 2019
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YOTA 2019 Summer Camp In Bulgaria Spawns Subregional Camps:

Most of those attending the recent Youngsters on the Air (YOTA summer camp in Bulgaria were first-timers, observed Monty Schebesta, OE3VVU, a participant this year. Some 80 young radio amateurs from 27 countries convened near Sofia August 11 - 17 to, as he put it, "connect and learn from each other." Monty said the successful 2019 summer camp demonstrated that YOTA is growing quickly, noting too that 40% of the YOTA Summer Camp attendees were young women.

During the week, campers engaged in a variety of workshops that included such activities as building VHF and HF antennas and assembling electronic kits, which, for many, meant learning how to solder. Monty said the focus of the activities and presentations involved learning from each other.

"YOTA is shifting more and more towards a 'youngsters for youngsters' approach, where youngsters teach each other, rather than relying on older generations for input," he said. "The main goal of the YOTA summer camp is to give youngsters the ideas, knowledge, and experiences they require to go back to their home country at the end of the week and start their own youth activities."

Monty said the practical workshops are the mostly easily reproducible, so that young radio amateurs could use them to introduce new young people into the hobby. "For example," he said, "youngsters might do a kit building workshop at a local school or use the antenna built at the camp to do a [Summits On The Air] activation together with some new youngsters."

Subregional camps such as those held in Finland, Italy, and Germany in recent years are becoming more common in Region 1, with the next set for late September in the Czech Republic (OL19CAMP), followed closely by a camp in the Netherlands in December.

He anticipates many other youth teams will want to stage subregional YOTA camps of their own. "What the participants learned at the YOTA summer camp will be an invaluable resource for organizing subregional camps and youth activities on any scale," he concluded.

Bulgaria's International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) member-society, BFRA, sponsored the 2019 YOTA Summer Camp.


The ARRL Letter

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