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National Jamboree 1935 Organizational Manual

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  • 2 months later...
11 minutes ago, wearrepair said:

I just scanned through but this impressive for something that did not happen! How did you get it? My dad was signed up to go and did make the 37 one. Thanks for posting, Jim

I was hoping someone would comment that the 1935 Jamboree did not happen. 

The 1935 National Jamboree in Washington, D.C. would have celebrated the 25th Anniversary of the BSA.  At nearly the last minute, President Roosevelt canceled the event due to a polio outbreak.

Every registered troop in every Council was entitled to send one Scout – to fulfill President Roosevelt’s wish that,

every nook and cranny of America be represented in the Jamboree.



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1) Understand the President Roosevelt and James E West were involved. 2) It your attachment there was a drawing, etc. of a drainage pump. My dad told me that where the scouts camped was quite wet at high tide. I assume it was not too bad since he entered professional scouting after the 1937 event. Jim

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Oh how I wish my friend Tom was still alive. I met Tom almost twenty years ago. Long story so I won't digress with details.

Tom was a ww2 vet, he was also an eagle scout. He told me about the 35 jamboree which never happened. He was supposed to attend. He did attend the next one. As an avid photographer (and motion pictures) he had filmed that next jamboree. iirc he also attended and filmed a world jamboree. Either the BSA or the LC  had put out some publication for the 75th anniv of Scouting(or some other important milestone) and referenced the 35 jambo. He contacted them to remind that it did not occur. I beleive he then donated his footage to BSA (or LC). 

Anyway, I miss Tom and his stories. I wish I could send him a message to inquire about this thread and share his recollections. 

Rest in Peace my friend.

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Time Magazine article on Boy Scouts and the first National Jamboree in 1937.


...But right from the start the most important figure was a young Washington attorney named James E. West, hired as executive to put the young organization on its feet. James West was no Boy Scout in his youth. He was an orphan and in his boyhood he developed tuberculosis of the hip & knee so that he was an unwelcome inmate at Washington institutions. Over immense handicaps he got himself an education and became a lawyer. Interested in the Y.M.C.A., he was attending a settlement house meeting one evening when his one-lunged automobile disappeared. He found it at the foot of the hill along with a policeman and a badly scared boy. Summoned to court as a complaining witness he acted instead as the boy's attorney, got him off from a charge of operating without a license. Then he went to President Theodore Roosevelt and demanded that a Juvenile Court be created for the District of Columbia. Thereafter T. R. was one of his backers. ...

But more fascinating than spectacles, drills or speeches by oldsters about Scout ideals was the extra-curricular activity in which all 25,000 assiduously engaged--swapping. To Washington they had brought a strange assortment of impedimenta: wampum, pine cones, stuffed birds sharks teeth, shells, sponges, live hoot owls pickled scorpions. Texans (dressed in chaps) brought a large consignment of live horned toads. West Virginians brought hunks of coal shellacked for paperweights. Californians brought 20-ft strips of movie film. With these trade goods, the young merchants wandered around, to the wooden fence near the camp of the Bahamians, the barbed wire fence of the Texans, the Paul Bunyan display of the Wisconsin Scouts, the Florida encampment hung with Spanish moss. All day, every day the tent cities echoed with the wrangling of Young America trading what it possessed for something else it wanted.

Full news article (very good)




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