A Timeline of World and International Jamborees - From a South African perspective
In Scouting, a Jamboree is a large gathering of Scouts who rally at a national or international level. The first World Scout Jamboree was held in 1920, and was hosted by the United Kingdom.
Baden-Powell once said: -
The average Scout Life of a boy is a comparatively short one, and it is good for each generation of Scouts to see at least one big rally, since it enables the boy to realize his membership of a really great brotherhood, and at the same time brings him into personal acquaintance with brother Scouts of other districts and other countries.
Editor's Note: The source material is limited to old reports, personal scrap books and logbooks archived in the Scout Heritage Centre, Cape Town. Much of it has never before been published and provides an account by the South Africans that were there to witness both World and various National Jamborees. However, I'm sure there must be many more anecdotes waiting to be included! Please add your contribution.
24th WORLD SCOUT JAMBOREE - Unlock a New World
The 24th WORLD SCOUT JAMBOREE logo is a design born in friendship, brotherhood, and unity. The colors of the flags of the three North American host nations and World Scouting are represented by the ribbons encircling the globe. The ribbons are reaching out to symbolically embrace the World Organization of the Scouting Movement community (WOSM) represented by the World Scout emblem.
23rd WORLD SCOUT JAMBOREE - A Spirit of Unity
A six day tour prior to the Jamboree included a full day at Tokyo Disneyland, sightseeing around Tokyo, camping at the foot of Mt Fuji and sightseeing in Kyoto. The theme embraced three concepts being; Energy from Scouts around the world and involvement in many fields; Innovation from jamboree experiences, cultures, traditions and different ways of thinking; Harmony of Scouts living together in a culture of peace.
11th MAURITIUS NATIONAL JAMBOREE - Our Colours Brighten Scouting
The Mauritian Jamboree site was right next to the beach at Belle-Mare which is one of the finest and most beautiful beaches on the island.
As the Jamboree 'lingua franca' was French our contingent of young Scouts had to wait for the instructions to be translated into English before setting off on the various activities.
22nd WORLD JAMBOREE – Simply Scouting
Before attending the Jamboree in southern Sweden the Contingent toured Germany and experience Home Hospitality in Demark. It was not all Castles & Cathedrals and some of the places visited were Frankfurt, Bonn, Cologne, Berlin and a most pleasant cruise on the Rhine.
21st WORLD JAMBOREE – One World, One Promise
This was the 100th Anniversary of Scouting since the Brownsea Island Camp and the logo represented the sunrise on the new century, the environment, our Movement's 100th year. This jamboree was the first where all 155 Scouting Countries in the World were represented and largest to date. For the South Africans the event was preceded by a tour of Holland which included 'Home Hospitality' and sightseeing. After the Jamboree it was off to the UK for some more 'Home Hospitality' and sightseeing in and around London.
This was an International Patrol Jamboree hosted by the Korean Scout Association (KSA).The various activities afforded them the opportunity to experience much of the oriental culture.
AFRICAN SCOUT JAMBOREE
Although documentation found covering this event was minimal the writer was able to establish that; approximately 6 SA Scouters some in leadership roles helped with the organising and 6 SA Scouts some from Mafikeng participated. The opening speech was by former Mozambican president Joaquim Chissano and some of the activities included tours, crafts, games and literally surviving on an island.
AMERICAN NATIONAL JAMBOREE
The South African contingent was well received and had been complimented on their good behaviour. They had made "friends for a lifetime".
20th WORLD JAMBOREE – Share our World, Share our Cultures
Scouts, Girl Scouts and Guides from all over the world, camped together in a tented city at Sattahip, 50 kilometers east of Bangkok, on the coast with beautiful white sand beaches and clear sea water. ‘Share our World, Share our Cultures’ was the theme of the Jamboree, and the emblem depicted a Thai roof with the World Scout Emblem centered on it. One of the highlights of many was when Betty Clay, daughter of B-P, spoke at the close of the Jamboree. “If you go out from here and remember my father’s advice to you to live up to your Promise and Law always, then you will lead the happiest life possible, just like he did.”
USA NATIONAL SCOUT JAMBOREE - Strong Values, Strong Leaders...Character Counts.
The South African contingent consisted of Scoutmaster Peter Meyer, six Scouts and an adult. The selected Scouts were two boys from Ladysmith, Kwa-Zula Natal; three from Bloubergstrand and one from Boksburg. The group left on July 17 to New York for two days sight-seeing. Then travelled to Washington by train for two days, and then on to the Jamboree for 10 days just outside Washington.
19th WORLD JAMBOREE – Building Peace Together
The South Africans experienced the most beautiful scenery as they toured through Paraguay, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile and Peru where they hiked to Machupicchu. In Santiago, Chile they had lunch with the SA Ambassador and were treated to 'home hospitality' over Christmas, before finally moving on to the Jamboree. The Andean foothills served as a backdrop for the first World Jamboree ever held in Latin America and was officially opened by Chilean President Eduardo Frei.
18th WORLD JAMBOREE – Future is Now
A very informative and exciting twoweek tour of Germany and Austria and a few days 'home hospitality' with Scouting families in Bonn preceded the Jamboree. The number of countries represented at the Jamboree was the largest ever. The event was officially opened by Her Majesty Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands and her husband Prince Claus.
The world had now opened up to South Africans and these Scouts sat on what remained of the Berlin wall and in Russia stood in red Square in Moscow and visited the Winter Palace of Peter the Great in St. Petersburg. The tour included Prague, then on to Germany and Luxembourg.
13th AMERICAN NATIONAL JAMBOREE
Unfortunately, not much more than a few photos and badges could be found about the South Africans who participated in this Jamboree.
The Camporee was held to commemorate the 500th anniversary of Columbus founding the new world. The South Africans also enjoyed very active Home Hospitality and the tour included sightseeing in New England, Washington, Philadelphia and a quick tour of New York.
17th WORLD JAMBOREE – Many Lands, One World
Before the start of the Jamboree the South African contingent toured Thailand and Korea. The Jamboree site was set at the foot of beautiful mountains and was the largest representation in World Jamboree history. Scouts from Czechoslovakia and Hungary participated as members of the World Scout Movement for the first time since 1947 and there were many Contingents from East European countries where Scouting was restarting. The Jamboree was visited by Korean President Roh Taw-woo, His Majesty the King of Sweden and His Royal Highness Prince Moulay Rachid of Morocco.
USA NATIONAL JAMBOREE
The South African Contingent left Johannesburg on Wednesday 12 July for Orlando, Florida, via London and then toured overland through Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Washington DC, Pennsylvania and New York State before attending the Jamboree.
16th WORLD JAMBOREE – Bringing the World Together
For many of the South African Scouts it was a 'first' spending Christmas in a foreign country. The pre-Jamboree tour was however arranged so that the Scouts were taken in for 'Home Hospitality' over this period. This was the first World Jamboree to be held in the Southern Hemisphere. Some of the highlights were: Challenge Valley obstacle course, the most gruelling and the most popular activity at the Jamboree; the Great Aussie Surf Carnival, for which all Scouts were shuttled in over 50 buses to Thirroul Beach.
HONG KONG DIAMOND JUBILEE JAMBOREE
The Hong Kong Diamond Jubilee Jamboree was held at the Kohima Camp with the theme March On. For the South Africans the visit to the National Jamboree was combined with tours of Hong Kong, Thailand, and Taiwan.
6th NATIONAL CHINESE JAMBOREE
Five South African Scouts were invited by the Boy Scouts of China to attend their 6th National Jamboree in Taiwan. The Contingent Leader was the ex-Chief Scout of S.A. Colin Inglis and the pre-Jamboree tour included Hong Kong and Thailand where they did a 3 day trip to the Bridge on the River Kwai, River Kwai Resort and infamous "death railway".
11TH AMERICAN NATIONAL JAMBOREE
Snorkelling the spectacular world of the coral reefs, the endless rush in the Big Apple the exciting attractions of London, the magic of Walt Disney World, Epcot and, a week at sea aboard 40 foot yacht. Plus the amazing realities of the Air and Space Museum, the thrills and spills of white-water canoeing.
CORAL REEF SAILING ADVENTURE
The efficiently run High Adventure Base on the Florida Keys was the starting point for the eight South African who set off on a six-day coral reef sailing trip and this was followed by a 12-day tour of the USA East Coast.
Led by Contingent Leader Doug Drysdale, 18 Scouts and 4 Scouters toured France, Italy, Switzerland - Kandersteg, Holland and hiked in Luxembourg and spent some time in London before attending the Norfolk Jamboree.
15th WORLD JAMBOREE – The Spirit Lives On
The SA Contingent leader Colin Inglis organized a truly amazing pre and post Jamboree tour of Canada and America. The Jamboree was held on the slopes of the great Rocky Mountains near Calgary, in Kananaskis Country. The Theme was ‘The Spirit Lives On’ and the Jamboree activities took full advantage of the rugged mountains with all the excitement of the Wild West and included visit to the famous Calgary Stampede.
75th ANNIVERSARY of SCOUTING
The two South Africans met up in London with the other local and foreign Scouts who were taking part in the camp and drove down to Brownsea Island by coach. They had a fun filled camp that included meeting the original 1907 Brownsea campers. The tour then included some 'Home Hospitality', sightseeing and a trip to Gilwell Park.
The British Scout Association invited the Natal Area to send twelve Scouts to England to participate in an International Scout camp. This was preceded by a tour of Europe that included Kandersteg and time spent with Scouting families in the Southampton area.
CANADIAN and AMERICAN JAMBOREES
In 1981 South Africa sent two small contingents to both the Canadian and USA Jamborees. Their itineraries were such that on two occasions they met up with each other. The first for a combined canoeing expedition and then later at the USA Jamboree.
|1980's / 1990's||
Exchange programme between the 1st Wembley Downs Venturers and the Boy Scouts of South Africa
An exchange programme that originated when the Boy Scouts of South Africa visited Australia for the 'World Jamboree Year' in 1979. The exchange provided home hospitality and tours for both the South African Scouts that visited Australia and for the Australian Ventures who visited South Africa.
The notable Australian visit to SA was in 1983 when Annette Cunningham was the only girl amongst 600 boys on the 6th National Senior Scout Adventure in the Great Witzenberg over New Year.
WORLD JAMBOREE YEAR
After much deliberation the 15th World Jamboree in Iran was cancelled due to the uncertain political situation and 1979 was declared 'World Jamboree Year'. It was decided to holding several World Jamboree Year camps and countless Join-in-Jamboree activities all over the world. The South African contingents were offered the following 3 options, Switzerland, America or Australia.
WORLD JAMBOREE YEAR – SWITZERLAND
South Africa was one of the 42 countries represented at the World Jamboree Year camp "Kristal'79" that was based at the Kandersteg Scout Chalet in Switzerland during July 1979. The pre-Jamboree tour included Paris, London, Amsterdam and a cruise down the Rhine before heading off to Kandersteg. At the camp many entered the mountaineering and hiking challenge and earned the High Adventure award badge.
WORLD JAMBOREE YEAR – AMERICA
This tour started in Rio de Janeiro and from there the contingent flew to the 'wonders' of New York. There was 'Home hospitality' in Denver before arriving at the Philmont Scout Ranch where they spent twelve days camping, hiking and attending various activity bases. This was followed by visiting a number of National Parks and Sites like the Grand Canyon before returning to South Africa.
WORLD JAMBOREE YEAR – AUSTRALIA
Forty-five South African Scouts attended the 12th Australian / 4th Asia Pacific International Scout Jamboree at Perry Lakes outside Perth from the 30 December to 11 January and the Jamboree was preceded by a three-week tour of Australia.
For 6 members of the 1st Pinelands Scout Group the correspondence kept up with a Canadian Scout Group (by Tony Richardson who attended the Nordjamb), was rewarded when in August 1976, there came an invitation to be hosted in Canada and take part in the Canadian National Jamboree.
14th WORLD JAMBOREE - Five Fingers, One Hand
The 330-person South African Contingent would appear to be the largest FLOWN over to a Jamboree in a chartered Jumbo Jet. The Jamboree was popularly known as ‘Nordjamb '75’ and for the South African Contingent it was preceded by a tour through France, Belgium and Holland. Germany included a cruise down the Rhine and then it was on to Switzerland before a week's 'Home Hospitality in Denmark. The theme was ‘Five Fingers, One Hand’, symbolizing the five joint Nordic hosts and the five world Scout regions in one brotherhood. The South Africans enjoyed hiking in the mountains in international patrols and the less strenuous fun at the Jamboree Country Fair.
13th WORLD JAMBOREE – For Understanding
The Pre-Jamboree Tour first took the contingent to Greece, Bangkok, Hong Kong and Taipei before landing in Japan. They then spent 10 days touring Japan experiencing some of the cultural and food traditions. Mount Fuji was the backdrop for the campsite. Perfect weather at the start and finish, but in the middle the fringe of a typhoon struck. Owing to flooding 16 000 Scouts had to be evacuated for 48 hours, but most of the South Africans were on high ground and 'batten down the hatches', staying in camp to experience the storm. The return trip was via Paris and Brussels.
The editor could not find much information on this event but it was reported that the South African contingent assembled in Johannesburg and that there must have been quite a good number of Scouts as 'the train to Loureno Marques was completely filled with Scout'. The programmes were not very strict so they had a fair amount of leisure time which afforded them the opportunity to go into town and see some places of interest.
12th WORLD JAMBOREE – For Friendship
For the South Africans, the Jamboree was preceded by an exciting (and educational) 10 day 'Road Trip' across America from New York to the Jamboree site in Idaho, not far from the West Coast city of Seattle where after the Jamboree they experienced some very friendly 'Home Hospitality'.
Theme: ‘For Friendship’. Arena shows, Skill-o-Rama, adventure trail, water activities on Lake Pend Oreille, the thrills and spills of a real Western Rodeo, all amid the splendour of the Rocky Mountains.
11th WORLD JAMBOREE – Higher and Wider
This was the first time that the S A contingent did not sail by ‘Mailship’ from Cape Town. This time a plane was chartered and they few from Johannesburg to Turin, Italy. Their itinerary consisted of a tour of Italy, the Jamboree and ended with a tour of Greece and the island of Crete.
Theme: ‘Higher and Wider’. The Greek Crown Prince and Chief Scout opened the Jamboree. Classical history came to life: the Marathon runner, the labours of Hercules, the triathlon. At the closing, the Marathon torch was handed to an American Scout to be rekindled at the opening of the Twelfth World Jamboree.
5th AMERICAN NATIONAL JAMBOREE – For God and Country
The 1960 National Jamboree was the Fifty Year Jubilee of the Boy Scouts of America and as part of the celebrations the local Scout councils were given the opportunity of hosting a Scout from a foreign country. Home hospitality afforded them tours of New York and Washington and for the Jamboree they became part of the troop hosting them.
10th WORLD JAMBOREE – Building Tomorrow Today
South Africa did not send a contingent to this jamboree as "the cost was prohibitive".
The first World Jamboree in the Far East. 12,203 Scouts from 44 countries present. Theme: ‘Building Tomorrow Today’. ‘The Bamboo Jamboree’, Western world met Eastern world, a revelation to both. The Filipino smile was unforgettable. The good weather conditions as opposed to previous Jamborees rain.
CENTRAL AFRICAN JAMBOREE
This Jamboree celebrated 50 years of Scouting in Rhodesia and was for Scouts from various territories to get together, and to know one another. Many tours were organised for visits to places of interest in and around Salisbury. The South African contingent was led by Richard Day the District Commissioner for Sea Point.
9th WORLD JAMBOREE – 50th Anniversary of Scouting
The Jubilee Jamboree celebrated Scouting's 50th anniversary, the year of B-P's centenary, and incorporated a Rover Moot and an Indaba. South Africa was represented at all the events. Colin Ingles organised our Arena pageant and Impie Bryant the Theatre event. Before and after the Jamboree the Scouts camped at Gilwell Park and there was an 8 day British and 10-day Continental tour. Traditionally one might say - there was the night of the great storm – ‘Jamborain’. An obelisk was erected at Sutton Park to commemorate this anniversary of Scouting and remains to this day. Olave Baden-Powell concluded the Jamboree with, “The end is only the beginning.” Yes, the beginning of many things.
8th WORLD JAMBOREE – New Horizons
The contingent left Cape Town as usual by 'Mailship' for Southampton and Britain, but for their trip to Canada they joined the British contingent and were flown to Canada onboard 14 then 'state of the art' "Stratocruisers" (Boeing 377) and Lockheed "Constellations", (both propeller-driven). The most photographed Scout was 74-year-old "Grompie" Groom, from Middelburg. It was the first World Jamboree to be held outside of Europe and had many firsts: all cooking done over charcoal; television came to a World Jamboree; so did Hurricane Connie! The greatest impact: Canadian hospitality.
7th WORLD JAMBOREE – Jamboree of Simplicity
The Scouts spent just a few days in London before the train journey to Austria. The Jamboree excursions were exciting and the scenery spectacular. Then back to England for a ten day coach tour of Britain. Simplicity was the keynote of this Jamboree. Seven towers were erected, each recalling a previous Jamboree. As the name of each was announced, a flag was hoisted on one of the towers and the song of that Jamboree sung. It was the first time that German Scouts were able to take part in a World Jamboree as full members of the World Organization.
6th WORLD JAMBOREE – Jamboree of Peace
South Africa did not send a contingent to Moisson as "no steamer could be obtained so soon after the Second World War". The sole SA representative was ADC Archie Pringle of Johannesburg Eastern District. Unfortunately, no documentation unique to his trip has been found by the writer for publication. It was ten years since the last Jamboree due to World War II and B-P had died in 1941.
5th WORLD JAMBOREE - Lead Happy Lives
The S A Contingent spent 11 days touring England before departing for Holland and the Jamboree. These were 'High Profile' tours and at many of the places they were entertained by the Mayors or factory Managers. Some of the places visited were: - Stonehenge, Oxford - Morris Car factory, Bourneville for free chocolates, the Lake District and the Newcastle - Iron works. At the Jamboree the South African camp had a surprise visit from Baden Powell and Lady BP, who stayed and chatted for quite some time. B-P was now eighty years old and on presenting the Jamboree emblem, a Jacob staff, B-P said, "Now the time has come for me to say good-bye. I want you to lead happy lives. You know that many of us will never meet again in this world."
AUSTRALIAN JAMBOREE/CORROBOREE (South Australia's Centenary)
The S A Contingent consisted of only 8 Scouts under the leadership of Scoutmaster C. Groom and it was reported that they were "the first to wear the Springbok emblem on their uniform to an overseas event". The Contingent was away on tour for five months from the 18th November to 5th May.
4th WORLD JAMBOREE - Face New Adventures
The South Africans spent a few days in London, then across Europe by train to Budapest for the Jamboree. They and all foreign contingents were provided with a ‘cousin’, a local Scout who could help them with the Hungarian language. The Jamboree badge was the white stag of Hungary and B-P said, "You may look on that white stag as the pure spirit of Scouting, springing forward and upward, ever leading you onward and upward, to leap over difficulties, to face new adventures." After the Jamboree they returned to England where there were organised tours of Wales and Scotland and time to visit relatives and friends.
3rd WORLD JAMBOREE - Coming of Age
The largest ever South African contingent and some of the highlights were; Rotary Club taking Scouts sightseeing around London; plenty of rain and tours of Scotland and France. The Jamboree was called the "coming of age Jamboree" celebrating Scouting's 21st anniversary, but also became known as ‘Jamboree of Mud’. B-P became Lord Baden-Powell of Gilwell. Gilded wooden arrows were presented to national contingents. B-P said, "Now I send you forth to your homeland bearing the sign of peace, goodwill and fellowship to all your fellow men. From now on the symbol of peace and goodwill is a golden arrow. Carry that arrow on and on, so that all may know of the brotherhood of men."
1st DOMINION JAMBOREE
From the documentation available it appears that about ten Scouts from the 7th Cape Town troop and 2nd Benoni troop attended this Jamboree. They were well received and won Best Marching Patrol and their Troop song earned special mention.
2nd WORLD JAMBOREE - World Citizenship
The only information the writer found on South Africans attending the Denmark Jamboree was that "The boys from Port Elizabeth with Scoutmasters G Makepeace (SM PE) and RV Geard (ASM 1st Graaff-Reinet) went over (from the Imperial Jamboree) to Denmark to the International Jamboree and returned with a glowing report. Innovations: a week's home hospitality for Scouts after the event; the World Scout Championship. B-P named ‘Baden Meister’ (Danish for ‘bathing master’) due to a deluge of rain. Awards for different contests distributed by B-P at the Copenhagen Stadium. This Jamboree showed that Scouting was not just a game, but that it made a significant contribution towards education in world citizenship.
A 17-day voyage by 'Mailship' to Southampton, by train to Waterloo and then 'Motor Trolleys' conveyed them and their equipment to the Wembley Paddocks where they pitched camp in the pouring rain. Sightseeing in London and tour of France was included in the tour. This Jamboree came about when the organiser of the stadium events for the 1924 British Empire Exhibition suggested to BP that a 'great gathering of Scouts of the Empire' should be held to coincide with the exhibition. BP had in mind that this could be used to 'develop goodwill amongst the different Sates of the British Commonwealth'. A commemorative book was published after the event.
1st WORLD JAMBOREE - Develop World Peace
The South African contingent camped at Richmond, on the outskirts of London, in the Old Deer Park and the boys considered it to be 'lovely spot indeed'. They slept in Bell tents, eight boys to a tent, although they found this a bit crowded, especially with all their kit as well. The Jamboree location was a huge glass-roofed building covering six acres. The concrete floor was covered with earth for competitions. Baden-Powell was acclaimed the ‘Chief Scout of the World’.