Jamboree! The very word brings into the mind of Scout, Guide, or Scouter, the great conventions
of Scouts and Guides from around the globe. We recall the Jamborees we attended, the exchange of ideas,
skills, thoughts, the very idea of youth from around the world together.
Though originally an American colloquialism for a large and loud gathering of people, it was Scouting founder
Lord Robert Baden-Powell who used the word Jamboree for the first international assembly of worldwide Scouting
in 1920. Baden Powell's close association with America's Scouting founders William Boyce, Dan Beard,
Ernest T. Seton and James West must have brought the word to mind when looking what to call this first great
England 1920 and Denmark 1924
The first two World Jamborees were held in England and Denmark in 1920 and 1924 respectively. There were
no special stamps or cancels for these two events by either country. Most of the mail that came out of
these Jamborees cannot be recognized form any other mail of the day. The first class, post cards, and
most of the limited air mail service was collected at the Jamborees and canceled at the general post office
using the every day cancelers. The only way that we know if an item is from one of these Jamborees is
by the corner card (return address), the messages on the post cards or when one of the Jamboree labels or
cachets was used on the item being mailed. These are treasures for the collector.
Arrowe Park 1929
The Third World Jamboree was held at Arrowe Park, England in 1929. This was the first World Jamboree to
have a special cancel used for the event, there were three slightly different ones. These canceling
devices use was limited to registered mail, intercamp mail and on a few that were canceled as favors on
airmail covers. Most of the mail being sent from the Third Jamboree was handled the same way as in the
two previous one. The post office collected the mail from the Jamboree and canceled it at the Post
Office with the regular daily used canceler. A good part of the mail from this Jamboree that is in
collections is noted by the corner cards, return addresses, messages on post cards or when one of the
Jamboree labels were used on the card or corner.
The three different skeletal cancellers
used at the Third World Jamboree.
The Arrowe Park Jamboree was the first one
to have an advertising slogan on a meter for it.
Only 2 or 3 copies are known to exist.
Hungary was the site for the Fourth World Jamboree
in 1933. This was the
first Jamboree to have stamps; five stamps
were in the set. This Jamboree
is a stamp collector's dream; beside the stamps there were special canceling devices for this event. They
differ one from another by a letter in them (a
). The registry labels were
produced for exclusive use at the Jamboree at Godollo.
The special cancel for the IV World Jamboree.
Thirteen different ones were used.
A series of special flights were commemorated with special colored flight cachets and special
labels. These flights took place from the Jamboree campsite to Budapest and back. A great looking
postal announcement was printed for the issuance of the stamps. Souvenir items were available to
collectors, like the Esperanto sheets that had the stamps canceled to it. For philatelists this Jamboree
holds a special collecting distinction, it is the only Jamboree that has mail from the Jamboree to be carried
by the Graf Zeppelin.
Four different cachets were used on the Scout flights from the Jamboree.
The Fifth World Jamboree
was in the Netherlands in 1937. This was the first
Jamboree to have stamps and a cancel issued from other than the host country. The Dutch Indies colony
of the Netherlands issued both a set of stamps
advertising cancel that tells everyone to Buy Jamboree Stamps
. Like the 1933 World Jamboree this
event offered many items for the stamp collector. There were four different Jamboree cancels and many
different labels. They were used in combination to create many interesting items. Most famous of
all the Jamboree connected items is the use of the Jamboree stamps in May before the Jamboree opened on mail
carried on the last flight of the Zeppelin Hindenburg. The crash of this great Airship ended the era of
Zeppelin flight, but created the most sought after covers recovered from that fiery disaster at Lakehurst,
The Second World War brought with it a hiatus to the holding of World Jamborees. It was not until 1947
that World Jamborees were resumed. The Sixth World Jamboree
was held in
France. They issued a single stamp for this along with five different cancels, three hand cancels and
two machine cancels. There were a number of beautiful die proofs and essays issued in many different
colors. These are great items to add to any collection.
The Jamborees of the 1950s into the early 1960s saw a slow growth of the number of stamps issued to each
one by the host country
as well as others that issue stamps to honor the
Jamboree. Meters became part of the normal items issued for the events along with the cancels at the
event themselves. The number of stamps issued by non host countries
grown steadily since the 1967 World Jamboree.