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1st National Jamboree
Boys Scouts of America
Washington, D. C.
June 30 - July 9, 1937

The First National Jamboree was held in Washington from June 30 to July 9, at the invitation of President Roosevelt, with an attendance of 27,232 representing 536 councils.  This site presents over 100 photos, aerial views, maps and articles providing a unique resource for Jamboree history and for this significant moment in the history of the Boy Scouts of America. Most of the material comes from The National and World Jamborees in Pictures published by Boy Scouts of America in 1937 to commemorate the two Jamborees.

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Walter W. Head,
Boy Scouts of America
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THE NATIONAL JAMBOREE at Washington was without a doubt a high point in the history of Scouting in America, indeed in the history of youth. This was followed by the Fifth World Jamboree in Holland in which a contingent of Scouts and Leaders from the United States took part.

This Volume sets forth in graphic pictorial form the high spots and the day by day life as it was carried on in these two great camps. To those who took part it will prove a permanent souvenir of never to be forgotten experiences. To those who did not participate it will be a revelation of organized youth.

Our Councils throughout the country are justified In their feeling of satisfaction in the conduct of their representatives at these great gatherings. Under conditions sometimes involving strain and difficulties, both Scouts and Leaders acquitted themselves in accordance with the highest ideals of the Scout Oath and Law. More than anything else these Jamborees, as will be revealed in the following pages, were demonstrations that the Scout and Law are real, vital things in the lives of those who take part in the Scout Program.

We take pleasure, therefore, in dedicating this Volume to those thousands of Scouts and Scouters who made possible the adventure portrayed in the following pages.

Walter W. Head,

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Dr. James E. West,
Chief Scout Executive,
Boy Scouts of America
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THE PHOTOGRAPHS of the National Jamboree have been selected with great care from hundreds and hundreds made under our direction by Paul Parker and Clinton Martin, experienced professional photographers in the Scout Field, and others. These pictures have been supplemented by the splendid response to my personal appeal to the Scout Field to share with us what had been made due to the development of amateur photography in America.

The World Jamboree pictures are largely from a collection secured by Mr. William Hillcourt from professional photographers, as well as amateurs, in Holland, supplemented by pictures loaned us by Scouts and Scouters from America who participated in the Jamboree.

Dr. H. W. Hurt, assisted by Mr. Stacy Wood, with the advice and cooperation of many here, have had the responsibility of putting the book together, arranging sequences, and developing captions and we feel they have done a very satisfactory job. The photographs tell their own Story. It is hoped that this volume may become a permanent record not only with everyone who attended the Jamboree, but with other Scouts and Scouters, and help to insure a continuation of many of the values of the National and World Jamborees.

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Chief Scout Executive

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link-1935-nj1-emblem-small.jpg (2206 bytes) The 1st National Jamboree was originally scheduled for the summer of 1935.  It was canceled due to an outbreak of polio early in the summer. 
link-1937-nj1.jpg (2557 bytes) 1st National Jamboree
Jamboree Photo Gallery
Maps, Aerial Views and Photos
link-1937-nj1.jpg (2557 bytes) "Scouts National Jamboree" Cover story from Time Magazine, July 12, 1937.
link-1937-nj1.jpg (2557 bytes) Dr. George Fisher, Deputy Chief Scout Executive, described the Jamboree in "The Nations Capital Captured by 27,232 youth At Our First National Jamboree" from Boy Scouts of America, The National and World Jamboree in Pictures, 1937.
link-1937-home.jpg (2737 bytes) Shortly after the close of the 1st National Jamboree in Washington, 1000 Scouts and leaders travelled to Holland to represent the Boy Scouts of America at the 5th World Jamboree at Vogelenzang in the Netherlands.
thumb-jambo-1937-gallery.gif (2232 bytes) Baden-Powell Photo Gallery
Baden-Powell at the World Jamborees
Links to the World Jamborees, 1920-1937
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Copyright Lewis P. Orans, 1998
Last Modified: 1:48 PM on October 3, 1998