Past, Present & Future
“Develop World Peace”
The first world scout Jamboree was held in the UK in 1920 in London. The theme of the Jamboree was “Develop World Peace” and was attended by 8,000 people between the 30th July and 8th August. Since then Jamborees have been held around the world on average every 4 years with the exception of the Second World War.
In 1924 the Jamboree moved to Denmark with the theme “World Citizenship” before moving back to the UK in 1929 for the “Coming of Age” Jamboree with an attendance of 50,000 participants which is still a record to this day. The WSJ then continued to remain in Europe for the next four Jamborees (Hungary – 1933, Netherlands – 1937, France – 1947 and Austria – 1951) with the Jamboree in France, the first following WW2 promoting the theme of “Jamboree Peace”.
In 1955, for the 8th WSJ, Canada was chosen as the host nation. This was the first time the Jamboree had been held outside of Europe. It therefore seems fitting that the theme was “New Horizons” and was attended by 11,129 scouters.
1957 saw the 50th anniversary of scouting. 30,000 participants attended the 9th Jamboree which was held again in the UK, the home of scouting. The Jamboree lasted 12 days from the 1st august to the 12th. The Jamboree would not be back to the UK until 2007.
Just two years passed before the next Jamboree was held, this time taking place in los banos, located in the Philippines. The theme was “Building Tomorrow Today”, and was the first time the Jamboree was held in what could be seen as a developing country.
Moving back to Europe in 1963 for “Higher and Wider”, the 11th WSJ was held in Greece, the home of the Olympics. Eleven days saw 14,000 participants enjoying the Greek sun in marathon.
The USA, with their theme of “For Friendship” hosted the 12th WSJ in 1967 before 1971 saw Japan host the 13th WSJ in Fujinomiya. 23,758 attended the Japanese Jamboree despite it being one of the shorter Jamborees only lasting 8 days, august 2nd to august 10th.
1975 saw a return to Europe for the Jamboree. Norway were selected to host the 14th WSJ with 17,259 attendees with a theme of “Five Fingers, One Hand”
1979 was to see the Jamboree being held in the middle east for the first time. However, due to political instability at the time, the 15th WSJ to be held in Iran was cancelled. Four years on from the cancelled Jamboree, Canada was once again chosen to host the Jamboree. “The Spirit Lives On” was chosen as the theme to remind people that scouting would overcome many difficulties and continue no matter what. 14,434 people attended the second Canadian Jamboree, a significant improvement on the first.
The 16th WSJ saw the Jamboree being held over the winter of 1987-1988. Australia were the hosts and it was the first time for the Jamboree to be held in the southern hemisphere. “Bringing the World Together” was the theme for 14,434 participants between the 31st December and 7th January, and is the only time the Jamboree has been held in Oceania.
Kangwon in South Korea saw 20,000 scouters arrive for the 17th WSJ in 1991. 135 countries attended with a number of them coming from the newly emerging eastern European states including Czechoslovakia, Hungary Romania and Yugoslavia. The Jamboree was held near the North Korean border and some 200 km from Seoul.
The Netherlands welcomed the return of the WSJ in 1995. It was the first time the Jamboree was held in Europe for 20 years and saw 28,960 people attend for the “Future is Now”
Following this south America was the next destination for the WSJ with Chile being the host nation for the 1998-1999 Jamboree. By now it was the 19th Jamboree and saw over 30,000 scouters attend which is the 4th highest attendance at any Jamboree. Sticking with a winter Jamboree, Thailand hosted the 20th WSJ between the 28th December 2002 and the 8th January 2003.
The centenary of scouting saw a return to the UK for the 21st WSJ and at the time was the second most attended Jamboree. “One World, One Promise” was shared by 38,074 scouters over the summer of 2007, 100 years since the birth of scouting, with a sun rise ceremony to mark 100 years since the first camp at brownsea island.
The most recent Jamboree took place in Rinkaby, Sweden, in 2011. The 22nd WSJ, July 27th – august 7th, saw 40,061 scouters take part in “Simply Scouting”, as theme designed to focus on the very basics of scouting…
…And finally, 2015, and the 23rd WSJ, “A Spirit of Unity” and a return to Japan! (O and not to forget 2019 in the USA!)