Uniforms at Boy Scout Jamborees

Figure 1.--One of the interesting topics at international jamborees is always the different uniforms as well as the varied badges and insignias which the Scouts enjoy trading.

This section of the uniformed web sit provides views of Scout uniforms at various national and international jamborees. One of the most interesting aspects of national and international jamborees is the opportunity to compare notes with Scouts from many different places. One of the interesting topics is always the different uniforms as well as the varied badges and insignias.


An early Scout meeting (eg 1911 also in London) was called a "Scout Rally", in analogy with sport meetings. The word "Jamboree" was used for the first time by B.-P. There are some different versions (given by himself) on the meaning of the word: once he said it is the union of Jam (what we should call now "melting pot" of races, cultures, etc.) and Boree (the wind which blows and mixes those cultures etc. Once more he said it was a Zulu word, used to define the Official Meeting of the Tribu Chiefs. Probably they are both right: B.-P. in hearing the Zulu word, wrote down it with the spelling which could recall to jam and boree, and then gave it this meaning.

What is a Jamboree?

With the word "Jamboree" the founder of the Scout movement, Lord Baden-Powell wanted to name the grand National and International Scout Camps, these merry gatherings where Scouts from every place of the world get to meet each other. The idea of the realization of such periodical International Camps in the pattern of the Olympic Games was expressed by the unforgettable Kokos Melas, General Chief of the Boy Scouts of Greece, during the First International Scout Conference, in 1918, in England. Baden-Powell adopted the Greek suggestion with great enthusiasm and the First World Jamboree took place in London in 1920 in a huge construction of an exposition bearing the--symbolic for the Jamboree--name "Olympia" (the place where Olympic Games were born in Ancient Greece). Since then, with the exception of the World War II period, World Jamborees take place every 4 years.

The World Jaborees are joyful meetings of thousand of Scouts from different countries in the world. The purpose of Jamborees is to give Scouts the opportunity to get acquainted with each other and exchange experience and ideas as well as to tighten the friendship ties in a true brotherhood atmosphere. At the World Jamborees, Scouts from all over the world give way to language difficulties, different lifestyles, climatic and trophic idiosyncracies and build friendly relations, revive the ideals of global understanding and unity and return to their homelands carrying the message of spreading those ideals in their national boundaries. At the World Jamborees, children develop their energy and craftsmanship. They also develop the sense of courteous competition for the making of fine constructions decorated with national elements and for competitive games that along with joy, exalt the practical application of scouting knowledge and spontaneousness. In those ways, the World Jamborees make precious contributions to Scouting's effort to create the ideal world of moral, spiritual and material progress that rises from global cooperation.

Building on the principles behind the creation of the Wrld Jamboree, national Scout associations began holding national jamborees. Stressing the internationalism inherent in the Scout movement from the beginning, foreign Scouts were also allowed to attend.

Types of Jamborees

There are two basic types of Scout Jamborees. The first type is the World Jamborees organized by the World Scouting Organization. The second are the jamborees organized by national Scout associations. The American national jaboree is held every 4 years and since the 1980s has been held at a fixed location on an Army base south of Washington, D.C. Other countries hve a variety of different approaches and conventions.

World Scout Jamborees

I am just beginning to collect information on the World Scout Jamborees. I believe the first one was held in England during 192?. There probably would have been one held earlier had it not been for World War I (1914-18). The first World Jamborees were held in Europe, but they have since been held all around the world. 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. But any ideas he may have had were stifled by the outbreak of World War I (1914). Scouting officials had hoped in 1917 to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the first Scout Camp on Brownsea Island. As the War was ranging throuhhout Europe in 1917, Scout officials decided that an 'Imperial and International Jamboree' be held as soon as circumstances would permit. When an Armistace was finally reached in November 1918, Scout officials decided to hold the Jamboree 2 years later in 1920. Incidentally, a similar position was reached when it was decided to hold the 6th World Jamboree in 1947, 2 years after the World War II.

National Scout Jamborees

England held the first national Scout Jamboree in 191?. They have since become an institution for every national Scout association. The American Jamborees are held every 4 years. Other countries have different schedules.


The jamboree was an early inovation of Lord Baden Powell and the flegling Boy Scout movement in Britain. Soon after the first English jamboree the Scouts began to plan an international gathering. The American Scouts grew rapidly, but were slow for some reason to organize a national jamborees. Americans Scouts were active participants in the world jamborees, but for nearly 30 years did not organize geir own national jmboree. A planned jamboree had to be a cancelled because of a polio outbreak. The BSA finally found their first American jamboree (1937).



The first World Jamboree was held in London (nearby) in 1920. French Scouts adopted the word from the British.


A Swiss Scouter tells us about the Third National Jamboree at Trevano in 1948.


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Created: January 22, 2000
Last updated: 11:04 PM 6/1/2006