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1st & 2nd Jamboree
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1st and 2nd World Scout Jamborees

1st World Scout Jamboree - Olympia, London, England, 1920

The 1st Jamboree was quite an occasion; nothing like it had ever before been attempted, and it took a lot of courage by B-P and his team of organisers to make it the success it undoubtedly turned out to be. The 1920 Jamboree would bear little resemblance to the World Scout Jamborees of today. The most outstanding difference would be that the first Jamboree was held indoors, at Olympia in the heart of London. The great Olympia arena had to have a foot of earth and turf laid especially to enable the Scouts to pitch tents! A camp site in the middle of the metropolis is difficult, if not impossible, to find and a camp of 5,000 Scouts was, therefore, set up in the Old Deer Park at Richmond, whilst the rest slept at Olympia ready for the following days' performances. In the great side halls at Olympia various exhibits were on show, even a tent was something of a novelty in those days, and demonstrations of handicrafts by Scouts and Wolf Cubs went on non-stop. So it was that the first World Scout Jamboree became more of a display and exhibition than a get-together camp. What had begun as a Scout celebration turned into a great demonstration of international goodwill. Towards the close of the Jamboree a tribute was paid which was not a scheduled part of the programme. In the great arena packed with Scouts and in the presence of many thousands of spectators, B-P was spontaneously acclaimed by the boys as "Chief Scout of the World" - a title which no government or King could confer and one which lapsed on his death. At the closing ceremony B-P gave a parting message, as full of meaning today as it was on this historic occasion. Here is an extract: "Brother Scouts. Differences exist between the peoples of the world in thought and sentiment, just as they do in language and physique. The Jamboree has taught us that if we exercise mutual forbearance and give and take, then there is sympathy and harmony If it be your will, let us go forth fully determined that we will develop among ourselves and our boys that comradeship, through the world wide spirit of the Scout brotherhood, so that we may help to develop peace and happiness in the world and goodwill among men". A number of lessons were learned from this first Jamboree and these were carefully noted for future guidance. An indoor display limits the activity and prevents a full demonstration of Scouting, which is an outdoor Movement. It was also realised that above all else, a Jamboree is a means of developing a spirit of good comradeship between the boys of many nations and the more that aspect can be stressed, the more successful a Jamboree becomes.

2nd World Scout Jamboree - Copenhagen, Denmark, 1924

The 2nd World Scout Jamboree was held near Copenhagen, Denmark, in1924. The Jamboree camp lasted for seven days and was followed by seven days of remarkable hospitality in the homes of the Danes. Five thousand Scouts from 35 nations assembled for a week under canvas, the first time such a huge camp had been planned. A special Rally was held which was honoured by the presence of Their Majesties the King and Queen of Denmark. The Jamboree proved a great success and once again Scouting had shown the world something new.