What is a Jamboree? It is a gathering of Scouts from all over the World, and they are held every 4 years in different Countries. Today we have a global membership of 28 million in 216 Countries
At each Jamboree there is normally a ‘Theme’ which is sets out the Jamboree and I have tried where possible to list them below.
There have been 4 Jamboree’s held in the UK since Scouting started in 1907, the 1st at Olympia in 1920, the 2nd in 1928 was the ‘Coming of Age Jamboree’ held at Arrowe Park, Birkenhead , the 3rd in 1957 was the 50th Anniversary held at Sutton Coldfield, Warwickshire, and the 4th in 2007 was our Scout Centenary -100 years this was at Highlands Park near Chelmsford, Essex.
The 14th Hackney (The Scout Group I belong to) has been very fortunate to have some of their Scouts selected to attend these Jamboree’s over the last 100 years. It has been a great honour and privilege to represent the UK at such a venue and that is why you will find many delegates’ who still talk about their experiences to this day. My name is Roger Norman and I joined the 14th Hackney in November 1953 and my first Jamboree was when I went to 9th Jamboree in 1957 as a day visitor and I enjoyed it so much - there were several members of the 14th Hackney who like me visited this Jamboree for the day while several other members actually camped.
My second Jamboree was the 10th World Scout Jamboree held in the Philippines in 1959, this was the first Jamboree to be held in Asia, and I was very proud as the only member from the whole of East London to be chosen to attend this Jamboree, I was away for 3.5 weeks and if you want to find out more about this Jamboree –please read my pages! this will tell you all about it, I was 1 of only 94 boys, 11 leaders and 7 HQ Staff to attend this Jamboree. I am still in touch with 45 members who attended this Jamboree. (After 52 years) I also attended as a day visitor 18th Jamboree held at Dronten, Holland in 1995 and again the 21st Jamboree as a day visitor (The Scout Centenary Jamboree) held in the UK
I have listed below all the Jamboree’s since the first one in 1920 and tried to give a brief description and basic information about it.
1ST 1920 - Olympia –UK - ‘Scout Brotherhood’ 5,000 scouts camped at Old Deer Park at Richmond while others slept at Olympia.
2nd 1924 - Copenhagen, Denmark Consisted of 5,000 scouts from 35 nations who spent 1 week under canvas.
3rd 1929 - Birkenhead .UK – ‘Coming of Age’ 21st Anniversary, 35 countries were represented by 30,000 scouts plus another 10,000 British Scouts who took the opportunity of camping in the vicinity. Unfortunately it rained so much the site became a sea of mud
4th 1933 - Godollo, Hungary It was held in The Royal Forest of Godollo, 11 miles from Budapest and was attended by 25,000 scouts from 35 countries. The weather was excellent, which made it much easier for Baden Powell to make his rounds of the site.
5th 1937 - Vogelenzang.-Netherlands Queen Wihelmina of Holland opened this Jamboree in front of 27,000 scouts (of which 8,000 came from British Empire) from 51 countries. It was BP’s last Jamboree at aged 81 as he died in January 1941. At this Jamboree BP gave this message to Scouts of the World. “I... am nearing the end of my life. Most of you are at the beginning, and I want your lives to be happy and successful. You can make them so by doing your best to carry out the Scout Law all your days, whatever your station and whatever you are... Now goodbye. God bless you all!! God bless you all!!” It was as if he knew he would not be able to attend another Jamboree.
6th 1947 - Moisson, France – ‘Jamboree of Peace’ Due to the Second World War the Jamboree’s of 1941 & 1945 were cancelled, but with the end of the war in 1945 plans were put together for 1947, and France so recently liberated, invited Scouts of all Nations to attend. Despite the overwhelming difficulties which confronted the organisers the “Jamboree of Peace” was a tremendous success. 25,000 scouts from 70 different lands gathered on a rather flat site on the banks of the River Seine.
7th 1951 - Bad Ischi, Austria 1951 – Jamboree of Simplicity’ As Austria was still suffering from long years of hardship, this Jamboree was named “Jamboree of Simplicity” it was on a golf course and organised by voluntary Scout Leaders in their spare time and Austrian Scouts worked on the site for 2 years to save costs and ensure the amenities of a Jamboree campsite were met. Numbers were limited to 15,000 and nobody would ever forget the opening night when Austrian Scouts lit beacons on the tops of the mountains surrounding the site – A tremendous achievement by a country still under military occupation.
8th 1955 - Niagara-on-the-Lake, Canada ‘Across the Atlantic’ This was the first Jamboree to be held outside Europe 11,000 scouts attended including 1,000 from UK
9th 1957 – ‘The Jubilee Jamboree’ Sutton Coldfield, Nr Birmingham UK The 50 year celebration This was held in Sutton Park a 2,400 acres, 33,000 scouts attended from 90 countries and many thousand’s scouts took the opportunity to camp in the surrounding countryside. The Jamboree was opened by H.R.H. The Duke of Gloucester and visited by Her Majesty the Queen and the Prime Minister Mr Harold Macmillan and it was closed by the World Chief Guide Lady Baden-Powell and it was the first Jamboree in England to have its own commemorative postage stamps. 14th Hackneyday visitors –included Frank Saunders, Stewart Swan, Roger Norman, Len Oatham, Bernard Sarson & Brian Croucher.
10th 1959 Laguna National Park Nr Manila Philippines –'My Jamboree' ‘Building, Tomorrow Today’ This was the first World Jamboree to be held in Asia and it was attended by about 8,000 scouts from 69 countries, the biggest contingents came from China, Japan, Korea, and USA totalled about 2,000 scouts we think there were about 4,000 Pilipino Scouts who attended but no official records were kept as they were part of the 100,000 day visitors which came to the camp from 6.00am to 6pm every day. The balance of 2,000 scouts came from the other 63 countries included 94 scouts and 11 leaders from the UK the journey was both there and back by plane and covered 18,355 miles and it cost each British Scout £300.00 each. Roger Norman a Senior & Queen Scout of the 14th Hackney was chosen to represent the whole of East London.
11th 1963 Marathon Greece – This was known as the ‘Marathon Jamboree’ This was held on the Marathon scene of the famous battle in 490B.C. between Greeks & Persians and was attended by 10,394 scouts from 89 countries the biggest contingent being 1498 scouts from the UK (20 chartered aircraft took part in this the biggest UK Scout lift ever. The trip cost each scout £85.00. The 14th Hackney was represented by .Len Oatham who was a Queen Scout & a Leader was chosen to be the Quartermaster at the time for this Jamboree.
12th 1967 Farragut State Park Idho, USA – ‘For Friendship’ This Jamboree attracted 12,000 scouts from over 100 countries which included 1300 scouts from the UK , The UK contingent were dressed in their smart new uniforms which was to highlight our Diamond Jubilee – The 14th Hackney was represented by Derek Baker
13th 1971 Asagirl Heights, Mount Fuji, Japan This was attended by 20,000 scouts which included 437 Scouts & Venture Scouts and 49 Adult Leaders. An unwelcome visitor to this Jamboree was Typhoon Oliver which for 3 days cause havoc with very high winds and rain and the scouts found themselves amidst a sea of black mud, many of the UK scouts were used to camping in these conditions much like some British Summers stuck it out and even helped others in a water logged 800 acre camping site.
14th 1975 Lillehammer Norway - ‘Nordjam-75 Involved modern technology’ Nordjamb 75 as it became known mainly because 5 Nordic Countries worked together on this project, 17,000 scouts from 94 Countries attended, the British Contingent of 1624 scouts from the UK was lead by Lord Baden-Powell included in this contingent were Scouts from branches in Bermuda, Hong Kong, and Rhodesia.
15th 1979 This Jamboree was due to be held in Nashapur, Iran It was cancelled because of a revolution in Iran – This year was designated ‘WorldScout Jamboree Year’ and a series of camps were organised in various parts of the World at short notice so nobody chosen would miss out on an International experience
15th 1983 Kananaskis Country Alberta, Canada –‘The Spirit Lives On’ This was held 4,000 feet up in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains in an area of Provincial Park just 80 miles west of Calgary, Alberta. - 1345 Scouts from the UK were part of the 15,000 scouts from nearly 100 countries attending.
16th 1987 Cataract Park Sydney Australia – ‘Bringing the World Together’ This was a 160 hectare site near Sydney and was a specially constructed Scout tent town, 16,000 scouts from over 80 countries with about another 13,000 adding to the numbers on ‘visiting day’ The UK Contingent consisted of 850 which included 18 Ranger Guides (this was the first time Members of the Guide Association had taken part in a World Scout Jamboree) The Opening Ceremony was attended by Mrs. Betty Clay daughter of the Founder and 11 members of the Baden-Powell family, of whom 9 were direct descendents of B-P and it took place on mid-night on 31st December 1987 which was the first official event of Australia’s Bicentennial celebrations.
17th 1991 Mount Sorak National Park, Korea – ‘Many Lands One World’ In this beautiful National Park 16,000 scouts from 130 countries met, just a few kilometres from the disputed border with North Korea, and some 200km or 6 hours by road from Seoul, the capital city. The UK contingent was made up of 1407 scouts including just over 50 representatives from the Guides. The UK contingent contribution was to transport a replica of Brownsea Island Camp to re-enact BP’s 1907 experiment in Scouting.
18th 1995 Droten, Flevoland Holland – ‘The Future is Now’ This Jamboree site was on reclaimed land and 2800 strong UK scouts formed part of the 28,000 scouts who attended this Jamboree. They enjoyed the very good weather while everybody was so impressed by the superb organisation before, during and after the Jamboree. A new standard was established for World Scout Jamborees of the future. This was visited by Roger Norman of the 14th Hackney.
19th 1998/1999 Picarquin Chile – ‘Building Peace Together’ This was the first Jamboree to take place in Latin America, it was in Chile’s central zone, famous for vineyards and orchards and approx 70kms south of Santiago. A total of 31,000 scouts took part from 157 countries. The UK contingent was the 4th Largest with only Brazil, Argentina and the hosts being larger and totalled 1,982 delegates from across the UK including 3 scouts and their Leader from Falkland Islands, who may never be so close to a Jamboree again!
20th 2002/2003 Sattahip Chonburi Province, Thailand – ‘Share our World, Share our Cultures’ Here 30,000 scouts came together on 28th December 02 to 8th January 03 with 3,000 attending from the UK and enjoyed touring Bangkok and celebrating Christmas in style. The Contingent included two patrols - one from the Solomon Islands and the other from Malawi. The Jamboree was divided into four villages (named Indian Ocean, Arctic Ocean, Pacific Ocean & Atlantic Ocean) the site was sandy and the daytime temperatures often hit 40 digs. At the closing ceremony the Jamboree Flag was folded and handed to the UK in preparation for 2007. The 14th Hackney was represented by Peter Thompson
21st 2007 Highlands Park, Essex –Centenary Jamboree 100 Years –‘One World, One Promise’ This Jamboree was attended by 40,000 participants from around the world and the biggest Jamboree experienced yet, the opening ceremony was attended by Prince William and The Duke of Kent, This site was divided into 5 hubs named – Tropical, Ocean, Mountain, Island & Desert, on the 30th July -300 scouts travelled to Brownsea Island where they took part in the Sunrise Ceremony to celebrate the start of Scouting 100 years before when Baden-Powell held an experimental camp. The 14th Hackney was represented by Charlie Gillet During the Jamboree period some 42,000 visitors from 73 countries visited it including many from the 14th Hackney including:-David & Paul Carr, Garry Cooper, Roger Norman, Len Oatham, Alan Saunders, Mike Magowan, Jim Philips & Phylis Manning.
22nd 2011 - Sweden –‘Simply Scouting’ The UK sent 4,000 scouts to this Jamboree, and the 14th Hackney will be represented by Zack Carpenter & Dante Thompson who are in a troop being lead by our DC Alan Hands & CC Dean Jeffrey's
23rd 2015 - Japan - 'A Spirit of Unity' There were 33,628 Scouts and Leaders from 155 Countries I think the last one in Japan was in 1971, 44 years ago so I think things would have changed a great deal now. I would like to congratulate all Leaders and Scouts who have been chosen to represent the UK. Especially our County Team of Leaders Karl Levene, Dean Jeffrey's, Alex Peatfield & Laura Pethers together with who the 36 young scouts from across our County of Greater London North East.
24th - 2019 World Scout Jamboree Will be held in North America currently Scout districts are looking for Scouts and Explorers born between 22nd July 2001 and 21st July 2005
Footnote In the last 60 years there has been 15 Jamboree's