YOTA, short for Youth On The Air, is making waves in the amateur radio world. They are on a mission to get young people involved in ham radio through exciting workshops, activities, and summer camps.

Getting Youth on the Air with YOTA
Max, N4MLF with Sterling and Andrew from YOTA at HamCation 2024

What is YOTA?

YOTA isn’t just one organization; it’s part of a global network that includes IR Region 2 (Youth On The Air), IR Region 1 (Youngsters On The Air), and a Region 3 organization.

This worldwide community focuses on hosting a 7-day summer camp each year, which is not your average camp.

Youth on the Air Camp

Instead of traditional camping activities, attendees get to dive into ham radio, build antennas, make contact with astronauts, and even launch high-altitude balloons.

This Year’s Camp

This year, 2024, the camp takes the adventure to Halifax, Nova Scotia.

It’s a place with rich maritime history, offering a perfect backdrop for the campers, aged 15 to 26, to explore ham radio. But it’s not all radio all the time.

To keep things fresh and prevent burnout, the camp includes excursions to water parks, lighthouses, and museums. For instance, a previous camp in Ottawa took attendees to the Deen Bucker Museum, a fascinating Cold War museum.

YOTA at Deen Bucker Museum

The Heart of YOTA

What sets YOTA apart is its youth-led approach. While a few adults handle the insurance and liability aspects, the youth are in charge, making it a unique and empowering experience.

Sponsors and local radio clubs play a big role, providing essential support and resources.

Personal Stories

Both Sterling and Andrew share their favorite aspects of being part of YOTA.

Meeting young, enthusiastic individuals who are eager to explore every facet of amateur radio is truly inspiring. For some, attending YOTA camps has been a life-changing experience, leading them to become future leaders in the amateur radio community.

Bringing YOTA to the Americas

Youth on the Air Workshops

The initiative to bring YOTA camps to the Americas was born from the desire to share this transformative experience. Efforts are ongoing to involve more participants from South and Latin America, with a strong volunteer base helping to overcome language barriers.

The Role of YOTA

YOTA plays a crucial role in maintaining young people’s interest in amateur radio. By offering an engaging platform, they ensure that the passion for ham radio continues through generations.

On a Different Note: Hamcation Highlights

Switching gears, Sterling and Andrew shared their favorite moments from Hamcation, an annual ham radio convention. From browsing vendor booths to reuniting with old friends, the event is a highlight for many. It also serves as a reminder of the importance of sharing experiences and passion for amateur radio.

How to Support YOTA

Supporting YOTA doesn’t necessarily mean donating money.

Instead, it’s about bringing young enthusiasts into the fold and sponsoring their participation in YOTA camps. This support can profoundly impact their lives and the future of amateur radio.


For more information about Youth On The Air and how to get involved, visit YouthOnTheAir.org. The site features past camp albums, videos, and details on special events like the December QSO party.

For global perspectives, check out Ham-YOTA.com, the website for Youngsters On The Air.

YOTA is not just about learning amateur radio; it’s about building a community, sharing experiences, and inspiring the next generation of ham radio operators.