United States Boy Scout Uniforms: Jamborees

Figure 1.--American and German Scouts at the 1929 World Jamboree. A decade later these same boys would be locked in a titantic struggle for the vary future of the world--World War II. American Scouts wore short pants at jamborees and camps, but usually they wore knickers.

The jamboree was an early inovation of Lord Baden Powell and the flegling Boy Scout movement. Soon after the first English jamboree the Scouts began to plan an international gathering. The American Scouts were slow to organize a national jamborees, even though the Americans were active participants in the world jamborees.

U.S. National Jamborees

The first American Scout Jamboree was held in 1937. They have been held at different intervals and at different locations around the country, including both costs. In one year the jamboree was held at two sites simultaneously. Jamborees are now held every 4 years at a permanent site--Fort Polk, Virginia near rederickburg. Scences from the various jamborees are a good indicator of changing uniform styles. All the Jamborees have required the short pants uniform, even at the first jampboress when most Scouts were wearing knickers or long pants uniformns.

Other National Jamborees

The first country to hold a national Scout jamboree was England. The first English national jamboree was held in 19??. Every country around the world now holds its own natiinal jamborees. Four year intervals are common, but not universal.

World Janborees

Shortly after the start of Scouting in 1908, its rapid and unexpected spread in countries outside the British Isles caused Lord Robert Baden-Powell, the Founder of Scouting, to realise that a get-together of Scouts of all nationalities must sooner or later be organised. The World Jamborees would be along the lines of the national Jambiree held in England. But any ideas he may have had were stifled by the outbreak of World War I in 1914. The first World Jamboree, fittingly enough, was held in England after the War during 1920. There almost asuredly would have been one held earlier had it not been for the War I (1914-18). The first World Jamborees were held in Europe, but they have since been held all around the world. Traveling to Europe in 1920 was a major undertaking for Americans, but there have been American contingents at all the various World Jamborees. Here we see the American contingent at the 1929 World Jamboree (figure 1). We also note the U.S. cntingent at the 1951 World Jamboree in Austria.


Jamborees are the best known Scout events. They are not, however, the only Scout events. Some Councils hold Expos which are public events where Scout and Cub units pull togrther booths for educational purposes as well as entertainment.


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Created: November 15, 1998
Last updated: 11:45 PM 7/30/2015