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YOTA Bulgaria 2019

YOTA Summer Camp Bulgaria 2019 – Day 6

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The last full day of the 2019 YOTA summer camp began with the last session of teams presenting the youth activities they have done in the last year and their plans for the next year. For the morning workshop the teams were split into two groups again, whilst one group built a vhf antenna and learnt about the theory behind it, the other learnt about ropes and knots and practiced a number of useful knots, fore example for putting up antennas at field days . After lunch the hands on workshops were continued with building an HF antenna, as before the youngsters also learnt about the theory behind how this antenna works. The wire dipole for the 20 metre band is a great tool for field days, SOTA activations and more. Furthermore this antenna enables a lot of youngsters who do not have access to other antennas to get on the air from their home. Combining the theory with hands on building made it very interesting and more intuitive.

After the last workshop there was a grand ceremony including a magic show to mark the end of the YOTA camp. Followed by a small  farewell party where all participants enjoyed the last evening together.

The special callsign LZ19YOTA was on the air nearly 24 hours a day. Youngsters who had never before had a HF QSO were helped by those who have experience. It was also a great opportunity to exchange contest experience and learn from each other.

YOTA Summer Camp Bulgaria 2019 – Day 5

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Just like the last few days, the day began with a Train the Trainer presentation, this time the Finnish team gave an in depth view in to one of YOTA’s  most successful subregional camps, the NOTA – Nordics On The Air, which has already been organised twice. They gave many great ideas which can be used at other subregional camps and some great recommendations on organising such an event. Again this presentation was great motivation for the other youngsters to organise something once they get back from YOTA.

Amateur radio is different in different countries, for example in Austria Hamnet is popular, in other countries it’s VHF contesting. Today the Bulgarian organisers showed us what is popular in their country: ARDF and HST! The morning workshops featured some explanations of ARDF, especially interesting for those participants who have not done ARDF before, but also those who have some experience learnt a lot from the experienced Bulgarians. In the afternoon we had the chance to put what we learnt into practice. Some ARDF beacons were set up around the location of the camp and the participants had fun finding them with their ARDF receivers. Other participants chose to practice their high speed telegraphy skills with a variety of different morse keys.

The afternoon ended with another session of short presentations by the participating countries, they showed which youth activities they have done in the past year and what their plans are for the next year.  The purpose of these presentations is to exchange ideas for youth projects between countries. Furthermore the successful projects of some countries motivated those with relatively young youth groups that it is possible to grow a large and active youth group. For example the participants told about their visits to technical schools

After these presentations there was still some time to operate using the callsign LZ19YOTA late into the night.

YOTA Summer Camp Bulgaria 2019 – Day 4

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The 4th day of the YOTA summer camp started with a Train the Trainer presentation by the German team, having recently organised a very large and successful subregional camp, they had a lot of interesting ideas and experiences to talk about. More and more subregional camps and activities are being organised by youngsters all over IARU Region 1 and this presentation motivated many of the youngsters to organise some activities of their own.

Following the presentation by the German team, the hands on workshops of the day started. The participants were split into 2 groups, one group began building a vhf wire antenna with a very interesting design, along with learning about how the antenna works in theory. The other group began a great interactive lecture about ropes and knots, skills which are essential when putting up an antenna. Aside from learning different knots and when to use them the participants also learnt about types of rope and their uses in amateur radio and some useful tricks for SOTA or field day activities and putting up antennas at home.

The afternoon was different from the other days, today the youngsters got on a bus to go the beautiful city centre of the capital city of Sofia, just 30 minutes drive from the camp location. The trip brought the youngsters to many famous places, for example the famous Alexander Nevsky cathedral or the beautiful national historical museum.  This excursion was a great chance to see the culture and architecture of a different country. YOTA is not only about amateur radio but also about cultural exchange between youngsters and bringing the teams which are from all over IARU Region 1 closer together. After all amateur radio is a passion which brings people from all over the world together.

After returning from the city trip, the youngsters began with their own short presentations. Each country had about 5 minutes to tell the other participants what youth activities they have done in the past year and how successful these were. But maybe most importantly they explained their plans and ambitions for the next year. This was a great opportunity to learn from each other and exchange experiences.

YOTA Summer Camp Bulgaria 2019 – Day 3

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The day was started by an interesting presentation by the Italian team who told the participants about their subregional camp and their successful youth activities. The idea is to inspire youngsters to start heir own local activities after going home from the YOTA camp. Even though the participants still felt the effects of last night’s intercultural evening, they were all eager to learn from their fellow youngsters. Again the Train the Trainer presentation was followed by the second part of yesterdays presentation on measurements by Rhode and Schwarz. Seeing professional instruments in action was quite an experience for the participants.

The afternoon activities were very different, all participants left the hotel and took the bus to the Milara factory in Sofia. This innovative Bulgarian company produces a wide range of products for the production of electronics, for example robots for the automatic production of semi conductors. The visit gave an insight into the technology and how it is related to amateur radio. And once again it was clear that amateur radio can be the beginning of a great career in many kinds of engineering.

After the visit to Milara, the trip continued to the impressive LZ5R contest station, for some of the participants this was the first time at a large contest station. The antenna farm and large masts were quite impressive! But the staton set up was equally impressive, learning how a large station is structured and interconnected was incredibly interesting.

Again the YOTA participants learnt a lot during the day and after getting back to the hotel in the evening, and eating dinner the youngsters sat together to write articles for their national radio magazines, their social media and websites.

Don’t forget to follow our social media channels for more updates and pictures, you can find links at the top of the page.

YOTA Summer Camp Bulgaria 2019 – Day 2

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The first day of the 2019 YOTA camp began with the traditional group picture with all countries presenting their national flags. After this the first Train the Trainer presentation began, the aim of the Train the Trainer program during this week is to give youngsters the skills, ideas and knowledge to go home at the end of the week and start their own youth activities in their countries. There will be various presentations by a number of countries during the week and time to exchange ideas and experiences between the teams. This mornings presentation was by one of the organisers of the 2016 YOTA summer camp in Austria, giving some tips on how to organise such an event. For example, the budget, some tools to help organise, how to get sponsors, how to communicate with the media and much more.

The next presentation was by Rhode and Schwarz, a sponsor of the camp. The participants learnt about the basics of electronic measurements in amateur radio and how they can be used in all kinds of situations. A very interesting and useful lesson! Tomorrow the presentation will be continued, for sure there will be a lot more to learn.

After learning so much it was time for lunch and after a short break the afternoon activities started. During the afternoon the participants built electronic kits which can be used to find broken transistors. Furthermore the participants had the opportunity to put what they learned in the morning into practice by using a variety of different measuring instruments.  Everybody had fun soldering and putting together the kits. The more experienced youngsters helped those who have less experience with the soldering irons. A great example of youngsters teaching each other and working together. Again a lot was learnt, not only how to solder and put together a kit but also how the kits work and the function of some of the different components. Meanwhile some youngsters operated on 20 metres using the special callsign LZ19YOTA, which will be on the air during most of the week.

The evening ended with a joint dinner. After this the social highlight of the day began, the intercultural evening. This is a tradition which has been going on for a long time at the YOTA summer camps. Each team brings traditional food and drinks from their country. Many teams wear traditional clothing to represent their countries culture. The participants are always proud to show the traditional food of their country, and it was obvious that a lot of effort went into the preparations. The food available ranged from smoked cheese from Slovakia, to sweet Baklava from Turkey and everything in between. Apart from the culinary side, a lot of countries also showed of their countries touristic attractions, for example Iceland’s stunning landscapes. It was an evening of cultural exchange and gave the participants the chance to get to know each other: a lot of new friendships were made, and now the whole group knows each other.

YOTA Summer Camp Bulgaria 2019 – Day 1

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YOTA Bulgaria 2019 – Day1

During the day the YOTA participants arrived at Sofia airport, only about 30 minutes from the Hotel where the YOTA camp is taking place. By the evening all the teams had arrived at the hotel in Bankya, just outside the capital city Sofia.

After a grand ceremony in the middle of the city centre, YOTA 2019 was officially opened by Alexandra Alexandrova, the deputy major of the city. All participants joined the ceremony together with many local citizens of Bankya.

Welcoming words were spoken by Vesi LZ1VST and Panayot LZ1US, on behalf of the organising committee and BFRA, joined by Lisa PA2LS and Alex IV3KKW representing IARU R1.

The ceremony ended with traditional Bulgarian dances performed by a local dancing group wearing beautiful traditional Bulgarian dresses. In the end the audience and the YOTA participants joined the dancing to traditional Bulgarian folk music.

We are looking forward to a great week of learning and exchange between different countries, with the first presentation starting tomorrow morning.

Countdown to YOTA Summer Camp – Bulgaria 2019

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On Sunday, 11th August, 80 youngsters from 28 countries will meet near Sofia, Bulgaria.
Because it’s again time for the YOTA Summer Camp … hosted by the Bulgarian Federation of Radio Amateurs (BFRA)!
It will be full of many great activities like operating the camp station LZ19YOTA, building kits and antennas, doing sight seeing tours around Sofia or just enjoy the time with new friends in the accomodation.

Also, based on the international character of amateur radio, a cultural exchange won’t be a shortage: the typical YOTA intercultural evening, group work as well as our newly implemented Train The Trainer program will also take place.

Worlwide youth teams under the age of 26 from Albania, Algeria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Kosovo, Lithuania, New Zealand, North Macedonia, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Tanzania, The Netherlands, Tunisia, Turkey and the United Kingdom will be having an awesome get together during the upcoming week.

Stay tuned for further daily updates including a lot of pictures from this years Summer Camp!

73 de YOTA PR Team

 

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Call for Application – YOTA Bulgaria 2019

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Call for application: Youngsters On The Air Bulgaria 2019

We are proud to announce that the 9th edition of Youngsters On The Air will be held in Bulgaria, close to the capital city Sofia. BFRA (Bulgarian Federation of Radioamateurs)will be hosting the event, which will take place in the summer of 2019.

In this YOTA Camp we will be continuing with our train-the-trainer (TTT) program, which will be the main theme of the week. Participants will be working on the future of amateur radio and will be involved in workshops where they gain skills to start similar amateur radio youth events when they are back home. With this we are aiming to create a snowball effect, there will be more and more YOTA events all over the world. This also allows other youngsters and newcomers to enjoy amateur radio.

Last YOTA we kicked off our train-the-trainer program, the first outcomes are available on the TTT website.

TTT will not be the only topic of the event, there will be time to enjoy amateur radio as well, think about visiting LZ9W, kit-building or visiting the factory of ACOM. We will be enjoying Bulgaria and get the opportunity to see a part of the beautiful country. Since there are many nationalities visiting the event, there will cultural elements in the event. One of them will be the intercultural evening, where all participants bring foods and drinks from their home country.

Previous events have shown that all participants are having an unforgettable week, where many new friendships are started. To obtain a better understanding of such an event you are encouraged to have a look at the gallery and video clips from previous YOTA camps at www.ham-yota.com.

Participants
Each IARU R1 member society is invited to take part with a team. A team consist of a team leader and team members. We request member societies to select motivated youngsters with an organisational and hands-on mindset. This request requires a commitment from member societies to support these youngsters when they return home after the event.

Team leader
– Age 18-30 years, since we are highly focussing on a train-the-trainer program, it is preferred to select a youth coordinator or person who is eager to organize amateur radio youth events.

A person that already attended to a previous YOTA Camp is preferable.

Team member
– Age 15-25 years
– Have not been on a previous YOTA summer camp.

If a member society has a valid reason to select a participant who has been to a previous YOTA event, the IARU R1 Youth WG needs to be aware of this and will make the final decision.

All participants, including team leaders, should take part in the entire program.

When: 11 to 17 August 2019

Location: surrounding of Sofia, Bulgaria

Fees: €25 per participant

All other costs (accommodation, food, activities) are covered.

Teams will be picked up at the airport and transported to the venue.

After the event

It is expected from all participants to take after the event actively part in the TTT program of IARU R1 and that they submit their youth programs and plans. This will be shared as well on the TTT website. All participating teams are committing to write an article about the event for the magazine and/or website of their member society,

Should your member society be interested to participate, please respond by filling in the form (https://goo.gl/forms/EzejaqnTiTAYvht83) before 1 February 2019. Remember, there is a limit of 80 participants. Make sure that you apply in time. We will announce the participating countries, including number of team members, shortly after the deadline date.