National Jamborees

Boy Scouts of America

The first Boy Scouts of America National Jamboree was scheduled to be held in Washington, D.C. in 1935 to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of Scouting in America.  Unfortunately, the Jamboree had to be canceled due to prevalence of infantile paralysis (Polio) in Washington.  It was canceled just a few days before most of the groups from this part of Texas were to depart for the Jamboree. 

Since that time, some sixteen National Jamborees have been held.  The last Jamboree was held in the summer of 2005.  At the first Jamboree, finally held in 1937,  Dan Beard lit the opening campfire using flint and steel.   Scouts from all 48 states brought the wood that was used in the campfire.  There were some 27,232 Scouts camped on the Capital's Mall under the Washington Monument.

The purpose of a Jamboree:

  • Bring boys and leaders a clear understanding of and a deeper sense of commitment to the ideals of Scouting.
  • Build - for those who attend and for those who remain at home - a deep pride in belonging to one of the free world's great youth movements.
  • Show America and the world a model of democratic action as conducted by a great youth movement in a free society
  • Give boys a rich and genuine Scouting experience of which they can truly say, "This is Scouting at its best."
  • Emphasize the important need for physical fitness and for conservation of our natural resources in today's world.
  • Establish and promulgate Scouting activities and methods which will find their way into the regular programs of troops across the nation.
  • Impress upon the youth of America the need to "Be Prepared" for the challenges of the future.
  • Help boys know and love America through learning more about the principles and history of our democracy, living and sharing with boys from all parts of the nation, and seeing America en route to and from the jamboree.
  • Provide an opportunity to meet and camp with brothers Scouts from many parts of the world.
  • Inspire every participant to return to his home, troop, chartered organization, and community to tell the story of the freedom that is ours and the greatness of America.*
* Taken from the 1981 Jamboree Troop Leader Guide.

Here are the dates of all the Jamborees held since 1937, attendance and theme:

Year  Dates  Attendance Theme of Jamboree
1935 Washington, D. C. (Canceled)

1937 June 30 - July 9  Washington, D. C.  27,238
1950 June 27 - July 6  Valley Forge, PA   47,163  "Strengthen Liberty"
1953 July 17 - July 23  Irvine Ranch, CA  45,401 "Forward on Liberty's Team"
1957 July 12 - July 18  Valley Forge, PA  52,580 "Onward For God And My Country"
1960 July 22 - 28  Colorado Springs, CO  56,377 (Golden Jubilee) "For God and Country"
1964 July 17 - July 23  Valley Forge, PA   50,960 "Strengthen America's Heritage"
1969 July 16 - July 22  Farragut State Park, ID   34,251 "Building to Serve"
1973 August 3 - August 9  Moraine State Park, PA (Attendance at both Jamborees) --  73,610 "Growing Together"
1973 August 1 - August 7  Farragut State Park, ID (Attendance at both Jamborees)   73,610 "Growing Together"
1977 August 3 - August 9  Moraine State Park, PA   28,601 "Forward Together"
1981 July 29 - August 4  Fort A. P. Hill, VA   29,765 "Scouting's Reunion with History"
1985 July 24 - August 30  Fort A. P. Hill, VA   32,625 (Diamond Jubilee) "The Spirit Lives On"
1989 August 3 - August 9  Fort A. P. Hill, VA   32,717 "The Adventure Begins...With America's Youth"
1993 August 4 - August 10  Fort A. P. Hill, VA   34,449 "Scouting...A bridge to the Future"
1997 July 28 - August 6  Fort A. P. Hill, VA   36,015 "Character Counts...Be Prepared for the 21st Century"
2001 July 23 - August 1  Fort A. P. Hill, VA  42,002 "Strong Values, Strong Leaders...Character Counts"
2005 July 25 - August 3  Fort A. P. Hill, VA   43,000 "Character Not Only Counts, It Multiplies"
2010 July 26 - August 4 Fort A.P. Hill, VA  43,000 “Celebrate 100 years of Scouting”
2013 July 15 - 24 The Summit, VA  30,037
"Go Big, Get Wild"
July 19 - July 28 The Summit, VA

"Live Scouting's Adventure"
Here are the stories, photos and list of participants of the councils from this area that we have been able to search out their history.  The councils have sent a troop or delegation to all the Jamborees either by train, bus or plane.  The Texas Trails Council sent its first Jamboree Troops in 2005. 
Buffalo Trail Council
Texas Trails Council
Concho Valley Council
 Former Comanche Trail Council
Northwest Texas Council
Former Chisholm Trail Council
South Plains Council

Last Updated: April 7, 2017
Return to Home Page