The World Jamboree of Boy Scouts 1929

Dinner in the Belgian Section
From The Times of London, 1929


ARROWE PARK, Aug. 3, 1929

Although there are no Wolf Cubs living in camp there are many packs of them in the district surrounding Birkenhead, and in their thousands they came to take their part in the Jamboree to-day, when they held a great rally and entertained us with play and pageant. If literature had brought him no other reward Mr. Kipling, one likes to think, would still rejoice in having invented the perfect story for boys to act, and the Cubs yesterday revelled in their lively presentation of the story of Mowgli.

Conditions were all against play-acting, even such loosely organized play-acting as this, in the open. The arena had been trodden into something like a slough. The sky was leaden and the wind was chill, but Mowgli, the Old Wolf, the pack and the rest went through their task with fine spirit. They trotted incredible distances on all fours, they growled and howled and gambolled in the best possible cub manner. Later on the Liverpool cubs gave us Mowgli and the Banderlog, a terrifying drama of which the moral was well disclosed.

The other cubs began The Pageant of Good Turns by playing a prehistoric episode, in which a party of lads cured a suffering brontosaurus of toothache by hitching a rope to the offending tooth and pulling it out. Let it be granted that the grateful monster looked more like a gigantic centipede than the scientist’s reconstructed beast. He was at least as good fun as he was intended to be. There were Biblical good turns and a good turn from ancient Rome, when the boys alleviated the sufferings of slaves. The Children’s Crusade of A.D. 1212 showed Nicholas of Cologne leading- his party of zealous children through Germany and across the Alps into Italy. We saw the stragglers helped and the footsore encouraged. The good turn of the 17th century was based on the familiar picture "When did you last see your father ?" and then various other episodes brought us to good turns of 1929, which anybody who knows anything about scouting can imagine for himself. The rally ended with the "grand howl," in which every Wolf Cub promised to "do his best."

That is the motto of the Cubs. Every one of them has promised to do his best to be loyal and to do his duty to God and the King and to keep the law of the Wolf Cub pack and to do a good turn to somebody every day. The law of the pack is " The cub gives in to the old wolf; the cub does not give in to himself." Sir Robert Baden-Powell is the Chief Old Wolf, and- the howl of the 4,000 cubs who surged about him as he stood on the rook in the oentre of the arena told him in the language of the pack that each and all of them meant to do his best.

Egyptian Scouts outside their headquarters tent.
Greece was represented by Sea Scouts as well as Boy Scouts.

Sir Robert Baden-Powell has sent the following reply to the message from the King:—

"In the name of 50,000 Boy Scouts assembled at the Jamboree I desire to express to the King our deep sense of gratitude for his Majesty’s message. It will be an immense inspiration and encouragement to all ranks. May I also offer my humble thanks for his Majesty’s all too generous recognition of myself as figure-head of the movement? We al1 deeply regret his Majesty’s inability to visit our camp, and earnestly hope that his health will be speedily restored."

In the absence of Prince George the Chief Scout also attended a Sea Scout display at West Kirby. The Hungarian Sea Scouts gave a display of ski-in" on the lake and a demonstration with collapsible boats. The Merseyside Sea Scouts gave an amusing water play entitled The Incredible Adventures of Captain Curdle, in which cannibals, mermaids, a sea serpent, and characters famous in local and national history played their various parts.

The Chief Scout read a message from Prince George, saying what a disappointment it was to him that, owing to illness and doctors’ orders, he had been obliged to remain at home, and sending good wishes. Mr. Baldwin has telegraphed to Sir Robert Baden-Powell "My warmest personal congratulations to you and every good wish to your Scouts."

A cheery group of Boy Scouts from France.

Arrowe Park, August 2, 1929

Reprinted from The Times, London, 1929

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