Ham Radio Help Needed for Pacific Jamboree 2019

3 Jul

In just over one year from now, the Scout camp at Camp Barnard in Sooke will be hosting the Pacific Jamboree (i.e. PJ19), for some 3000 youth aged 11 to 14 years old for 8 days (July 6 -13, 2019). There is also the possibly of us doing it all again in 2020 for SOAR, the Girl Guide’s big Jamboree for some 2800 girls.

Our team, (i.e. Don Tolson VE7ATJ, Willy Burrows VE7WRB the Camp Ranger and myself Ron Bilinsky VA7RTB), will once again be running a Ham Radio Station at the Jamboree which was a real success last time during PJ15.

In 2015 some 500 youth came through our station to learn all about Ham Radio and many earned a badge by completing 9 different Ham related tasks. These tasks included learning the Phonetic Alphabet, deciphering a daily morse code message, sitting in on a 10 minute talk about how one earns their Ham Radio licence, making a morse code bracelet, talking on a HF or VHF / UHF radio, going on a Fox Hunt etc. etc.

To prepare for an even better experience for the scouts, we are looking to improve and expand what we have to offer in the way of a Ham Radio format. To do this, we have created a wish list of major goals that we would like to accomplish before then. Hopefully we can actually get things started this summer during July & August. To do this however, we need your knowledge, expertise, time, energy and / or input to assist us. Even a few hours of time will be most appreciated. We will even provide you with a couple of burgers etc. for your participation.

Our 5 top priorities include:

1) Helping us with where and how to install a tower, rotator and antenna, (i.e. which we have). It is to be set up in the  Meeting Place in Thompson Field where we will have a temporary tower for 2019 & 2020 Jamboree Ham Stations.

2) Helping us with a second permanent tower, rotor and antenna that needs to be installed beside our new secondary Ham Station at Camp Barnard located on the 2nd floor mezzanine above Keego Kitchen.

3) Help determining why our VHF antenna on the roof of the Work Shed is not connecting well to the WARA repeater.

4) Helping us look at how to develop a functional communication system that allows a half dozen locations on Camp Barnard’s 200 acres maintain regular communication during the Jamboree. Note: Due to the limited number of licensed Hams, this may not be via Ham Radio but something else. Any ideas or suggestions. We tried using CB radios, (i.e. of which we have a half dozen), however due to the terrain, etc. they were not very effective or reliable.

5) Help us in seeing if we can acquire a newer updated HF radio somewhere either by donation, a grant or for minimal cost for our secondary Ham Shack as we are an all volunteer organization with limited funds.

Additional goals include:

1) Adding safety cladding to the one tower that is already installed next to our present Ham Station

2) Signing up several licensed Hams closer to next July to assist us for a couple of hours during the Jamboree to:

a) show youth how an HF and a VHF radio work and let them connect over the air with other Hams,

b) possibly run a Fox Hunt, and / or

c) run a morse code training set-up, etc.

3) Help us identify and find Ham Radio related youth activities and crafts to be completed towards the youth earning a  badge

4) Offer suggestions and ideas on setting up our secondary Ham Station in the Keego Kitchen mezzanine

5) Getting the word out to all Hams re: calling in during the Jamboree on designated HF and VHF / UHF set frequencies that we will pre-determine and will be monitored by the youth each day of the Jamboree between 9:00 am and 4:00

6) Looking at possibly having Camp Barnard as a secondary Field Day location in the future

7) Operating the station(s) once again during the “Scout Jamboree On The Air” (i.e. JOTA), during the 3rd weekend of every October

So, if you and / or other Hams you know would be interested coming out for a visit to Camp Barnard to:

a) see what we have accomplished so far, and

b) secondly to actually help us meet some of our goals listed above,

please don’t hesitate to email or call me to set up a time.


Ron Bilinsky

Scouts Canada (a member for 26 years)
Camp Barnard Camp Committee (Ham radio Station)
2338 Sunriver Way, Sooke BC V9Z 0Y4
Phone 250-664-7048


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