A National Scout Jamboree is a gathering, or jamboree of thousands of members of the Boy Scouts of America, usually held every four years and organized by the National Council of the Boy Scouts of America. Referred to as "the Jamboree", "Jambo", or NSJ, Scouts from all over the nation and world have the opportunity to attend. They are considered to be one of several unique experiences that the Boy Scouts of America offers. The first jamboree was held in 1937 in Washington, D.C. 1937 and attracted 25,000 Scouts, who camped around the Washington Monument and Tidal Basin. The event was covered extensively by national media and attended by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Jamborees have been held in a number of locations including Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, Idahoe, and since 1981, the jamboree has been located Fort A.P. Hill, Virginia. The BSA is searching for a new permanent site as of the 2013 jamboree.
The jamboree program reflects the skills of Scouting—physical fitness, environmental conservation, our national heritage, and the true spirit of Scouting. Scouts enjoy rappelling, discovering scuba, kayaking, rafting, sailing, trap shooting, archery, bikeathlons, buckskin games, confidence courses, conservation trail, and more.
Daily activities include the merit badge midway with typically 80 offerings, a re-creation of Robert Baden-Powell’s original Scout camp on Brownsea Island, entertainment stages, and more. The arena shows are a highlight for all participants.
A jamboree is held for ten consecutive days and offers many activities for youth participants and the 300,000 members of the general public who visit it. The jamboree is Scouting at its very best!
List of National Jamborees
- 1935 National Jamboree - Washington, D.C. - BSA Silver Jubilee (25th) - Cancelled due to a polio epidemic
- 1937 National Jamboree - Washington, D.C.
- 1950 National Jamboree - Valley Forge, PA - "Strengthen Liberty"
- 1953 National Jamboree - Irvine Ranch, CA - "Forward on Liberty's Team"
- 1957 National Jamboree - Valley Forge, PA - "Onward for God and my Country"
- 1960 National Jamboree - Colorado Springs, CO - "For God and Country" BSA Golden Jubilee (50th)
- 1964 National Jamboree - Valley Forge, PA - "Strengthen America's Heritage"
- 1969 National Jamboree - Farragut State Park, ID - "Building to Serve"
- 1973 National Jamboree - Farragut State Park, ID & Moraine State Park, PA - "Growing Together"
- 1977 National Jamboree - Moraine State Park, PA - "Forward Together"
- 1981 National Jamboree - Ft. A.P. Hill, VA - "Scouting's Reunion with History"
- 1985 National Jamboree - Ft. A.P. Hill, VA - "The Spirit Lives One" BSA Diamond Jubilee (75th)
- 1989 National Jamboree - Ft. A.P. Hill, VA - "The Adventure Begins... With America's Youth"
- 1993 National Jamboree - Ft. A.P. Hill, VA - "Scouting.. A bridge to the Future"
- 1997 National Jamboree - Ft. A.P. Hill, VA - "Character Counts... Be Prepared for the 21st Century"
- 2001 National Jamboree - Ft. A.P. Hill, VA - "Strong Values, Strong Leaders... Character Counts"
- 2005 National Jamboree - Ft. A.P. Hill, VA - "Character Not Only Counts, It Multiplies"
- 2010 National Jamboree - Ft. A.P. Hill, VA - "Celebrating the Adventure, Continuing the Journey" 100th
- 2013 National Jamboree - The Summit Bechtel Reserve
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