World Scout Jamborees

What is a Jamboree?

A gathering of Scouts & Guides from across the world, sharing international experience through a programme of global development, peace, cultural understanding and adventure. Long standing friendships are often made at these events. A world Jamboree occurs every 4 years and often has over 150 countries involved. They are exciting, inspirational and incredible fun, providing memories that will last a lifetime.

How to get involved

In the UK Scouts may apply at the appropriate time, often attending a selection event if numbers are high. Scouts must be over 14 and not yet 18 on the first day of the camp – as they run every 4 years that means you only get one chance! Leaders also go through a selection process and as such you may not find your own leaders with you. Local fundraising is an integral part of helping Scouts to attend these events and special effort is made to support applicants. Surrey County Scout Website has further information including the application form.


To be involved in a world Jamboree is to be part of an amazing adventure that has evolved continually since the very first one in 1907.

The name ‘Jamboree’ is thought to be derived from the Swahili for hello – ‘Jambo’ (Baden Powell spent time here). Olave Powell, his wife, is said to have used the term ‘Jamborese‘ to describe how Scouts from different nations and cultures are able to communicate with each other despite the language barrier.

Interestingly Baden Powell’s message from the very first Jamboree is as relevant today as it was then;

“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.”

1st (1920) Olympia, London, England

‘Develop World Peace’

Held indoors, turf was laid in the arena so tents could be pitched! Baden Powell was named ‘Chief Scout of the World’.

8000 Scouts from 34 Nations

2nd (1924) Copenhagen, Denmark

‘World Citizenship’

One week under canvas and one week hospitality in Danish homes. The Danish Royal Family visited.

5000 Scouts from 35 Nations

3rd (1929) Arrowe Park, Birkenhead, England

Coming of Age’

The greatest assembly of international youth the world had ever seen up to that time.  It rained so much that the mud was not unlike that we regularly experience at our Wintercamps!

30,000 Scouts from 35 Countries, plus a further 10,000 UK Scouts camping near by.

4th (1933) Godollo, Hungary

‘Face New Adventures’

Excellent weather meant the trees of the Royal Forest of Godollo were a welcoming feature. Baden Powell made a tour of the site on his horse – a memorable site!

 25,000 Scouts from 34 nations


 5th (1937) Vogelenzang, Holland

‘Lead Happy Lives’

Queen Wihelmina opened the Jamboree. Baden Powell was now 81 years old and unknowingly it was to be his last Jamboree (as he passed away in January 1941). He said…

“I… am nearing the end of my life.  Most of you are at the beginning, and I want your lives to be happy and successful.  You can make them so by doing your best to carry out the Scout Law all your days, whatever your station and wherever you are…Now goodbye. God bless you all!”

27,000 Scouts from 51 countries


 6th (1947) Moisson, France

‘Jamboree of Peace’

A time for reflection alongside the River Seine, as Jamborees that should of happened in 1941 and 1945 (at the time of war) held Scouts thoughts. Organising this camp was full of difficulties, but the camp was a great success. The drive for Peace was a clear message that strengthened through this Jamboree.

25,000 from more than 70 nations


 7th (1951) Bad Ischl, Austria

‘Jamboree of Simplicity’

In a country suffering from military occupation, this camp was ‘basic’ in principle, but rich in the scenery of the Salzkammergut mountains. It was created entirely by volunteers and numbers were limited by resources. Beacons were lit from the mountains – a stunning site.

15,000 Scouts


8th (1955) Niagara-on-the Lake, Canada

‘New Horizons’

The first outside of Europe saw 1000 UK Scouts fly across the Atlantic. The Canadian hospitality was excellent, even fundraising to help those less privileged.

11,000 Scouts


9th (1957) Sutton Coldfield, Warwickshire, England

50th Anniversary of Scouting

Celebrating the Jubilee year of the Movement and the Centenary of its Founder B-P, a combined Jamboree (Scouters’ Indaba and Rover Moot) was held in 2,400acres of Sutton Park. The Queen, Prime Minister (Harold Macmillan) and World Chief Guide Olave, Lady Baden-Powell attended. Heat Waves and stormy floods kept the campers on their toes. Commemorative postage stamps were made.

33,000 Scouts from 90 countries


10th (1959) Laguna, Philippines

‘Building Tomorrow Today’

105 from the UK went by air to the first Jamboree in Asia. At a cost of £300 each it required much fund raising at the time.

12,000 Scouts from 69 countries


11th (1963) Marathon, Greece

‘Higher and Wider’

Held on the plain of Marathon, the site of the great battle in 490 B.C. between the ancient Greeks and Persians.  1,498 Scouts from the UK attended. H.R.H. The Greek Royal family opened each day and Sir Charles Maclean, Chief Scout of the Commonwealth attended.

10,394 Scouts from 89 countries


12th (1967) Farragut State Park, USA

‘For Friendship’

1,300 from the UK attended in their Diamond Jubilee year. Olave, Lady Baden-Powell (widow of the Founder of Scouting), and Hubert H Humphrey, VicePresident of the United States attended. A reconstruction of Baden-Powell’s Brownsea Island camp was made.

12,000 Scouts from over 100 countries


13th (1971) Asagiri Heights, Japan

For Understanding’

A memorable one! Three days of Typhoon Oliver left this camp a little worse for wear. Scouts came together to help all in need across the water logged 800 acre site. Expeditions up Mount Fuji were still managed and much of the programme carried on despite the conditions.

20,000 Scouts


14th (1975) Lillehammer, Norway

His Majesty King Olav V opened “Nordjamb ’75”. Lord Baden Powell himself led the British contingent of 1,624. As well as the more normal activities such as hiking, orienteering and camping, this Jamboree included modern technology.

17,000 Scouts from 94 countries

 Original 15th (1979) Iran

The regime of the Shah of Iran was toppled in a revolution and the Jamboree was cancelled. At short notice a series of camps were organised all over the world so no one missed out on an international experience.


15th (1983) Kananaskis Country, Canada

The Spirit Lives On’ 

In a Provincial Park, 4,000 feet up in the Rocky Mountains, 80 miles west of Calgary, Alberta 1345 UK Scouts got their first taste of bears and moose!

15,000 Scouts from nearly 100 countries


16th (1987) Cataract Park, Sydney, Australia

Bringing the World Together’

A unique tent town was set up in Cataract Park, near Sydney, for the first World Scout Jamboree to be held in the Southern Hemisphere. 850 attended from the UK including members of the Guide Association for the first time. Mrs Betty Clay, daughter of the Founder, and 11 members of the Baden-Powell family were there.  The opening ceremony took place at midnight on 31st December 1987; it was the first official event of Australia’s Bicentennial celebrations.

16,000 Scouts from 80 countries


17th (1991) Mount Sorak National Park, South Korea

Many Lands, One World’

A few kilometres from the disputed border with North Korea and 200km from Seoul. 1,407 attended from the UK, taking with them a replica Brownsea Island camp to re-enact Baden-Powell’s 1907 experiment in Scouting. Once again flooding was to feature, however this didn’t prevent shows that rivaled the Olympics. Hospitality for UK scouts was experienced in Korean and Japanese homes.

16,000 Scouts from 130 countries


18th (1995) The Netherlands

Future is Now’

Droten, in Flevoland saw 2,800 participants from the UK enjoying fantastic weather and vast range of activities. A Global Development Village, helped all share experiences and learn more about other peoples’ ways of life.

28,000 Scouts from 166 countries


19th (1998/9) Chile

Building Peace Together’

On the 27th December the first Jamboree took place in Latin America at ‘Picarquin’, famous for vineyards and orchards, approximately 70 kms south of Santiago. Amongst the activities participants helped to refurbish facilities in local villages. The Global Development Village was larger than ever before. A memorable New Years Eve Party was held. 1,982 went from the UK.

31,534 from 157 countries


20th (2002/3) Chonburi Province, Thailand

‘Share our World, Share our Cultures’

3000 from the UK enjoyed a Thai experience, touring Bangkok and experiencing 40 degrees centigrade in the day. Major attractions included the Global Development Vllage, Crossroads of Culture,Our Heritage, City of Science, Community Action day, Explore Nature and Tournaments.

24,000 Scouts from 147 countries


21st (2007) Hylands Park, Chelmsford, Essex, United Kingdom

‘One World, One Promise’

The opening ceremony was attended by Prince William and the Duke of Kent and the site divided into 5 areas –  Tropical, Ocean, Mountain, Island and Desert. There was music, dance and fireworks and visits to Hyland Park.

On the 30th of July 300 Scouts traveled to Brownsea Island where they celebrated the start of Scouting 100 years before (when Baden-Powell held an experimental camp on the island to test out the scheme of Scouting).

37,868 participants from 155 countries


22nd (2011), Kristianstad, Sweden

‘Simply Scouting’

Rock Bands, trips to the beaches and many more traditional activities. Bear Grylls abseiled on the stage. Even the King of Sweden retook his promise with everyone.

40,061 participant from 146 counties


23rd (2015) Kirarahama, Yamaguchi, Japan

‘A Spirit of Unity’

A sustainability centre offered unique activites regarding our worlds resources. A global village, cultural exchanges and staged shows made this a memorable event.

33,628 participants from 155 countries


24th (2019) Glen Jean, West Virginia, USA

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