After the 1937 Jamboree, events prevented the BSA from holding any future Jamborees. Germany invaded Poland in the spring of 1939, then Belgium and France in 1940. In September of 1940 the USA started military conscription and entered WWII in December, 1941. Most men of Scout Leaders age were involved in the war effort. The war ended in September, 1945 but it took a few years for the troops to get home and life to return to normal. In the late 1940’s the USA was consumed with the “red menace”. China went Communist in 1949. The theme of Strengthen the Arm of Liberty was being used nationally and became the theme for the Jamboree. Scouts would camp at Valley Forge where Washington and his troops spent the terrible winter of 1777-78. The Jamboree was almost twice the size of 1937, 45,000 Scouts and Leaders. Valley Forge was a secure location and close enough for visits to historic sites in Philadelphia.

The 1950 Jamboree was the first of what would be three Jamborees at Valley Forge.The national historic park was perfect. 3500 acres of property administered by the National Park Service. A short distance Northwest of Philadelphia and all the historic sights of that city. A couple hours from New York City or Washington DC. Plenty of touring opportunities for traveling Scouts and within a reasonable distance from the major population centers of the USA. Although it was a long way from the southwest and far west, but troops came despite the distance and costs.

Touring was really part of the Jamboree experience for many troops. they stayed in university dormitories, church basements and scout camps along the way. Semi local groups came by motor coach and longer distance travelers by rail.
Costs were always a concern and friends of Scouting threw open their doors along the way to traveling Scouts. Scouts from Lansing, Michigan would be transported to Valley Forge in a fleet of brand new Buick automobiles. Some of the Scouts fathers probably helped build those cars. Buick would supply cars for future Jamboree’s. What a beautiful example of a business (and probably the union) supporting Scouting.

Health and Safety were of the utmost importance. Scouts had to have a physical prior to attending and were checked again at the Jamboree. Scouter physicians, dentists and other health care workers volunteered their time.

Probably just as important were the sanitary and food handlers who took great care to avoid any potential risks to the Scouts.

In all the histories of the Jamboree there has never been the hint of an outbreak of an infections disease or food poisonings.
setting up camp 1950 bsa jamboree
Setting up camp is not one of the highlights of the Jamboree experience, yet it has to be done. Supplies had to be off loaded then hauled sometimes to distance campsites. Tents need to be pitched, picnic tables and other supplies transported and usually in 80 degree weather. After all the tent were pitched and personal gear stowed, the Gateway entrances had to be erected. I have shown gateways from several Jamborees. I won’t show any from 1937 because in many cases they were similar to 1950 or later years.

In some ways the 1950 Jamboree would determine what future Jamboree’s would be. In 1937 the attraction was Washington, DC. In 1950 it was Valley Forge and Philadelphia, but that left a lot of time in camp for the average Scout. In later Jamborees there would be a Merit Badge Midway and Skill o Rama’s, but these were missing from 1950.
setting up camp at the 1950 bsa jamboree
1936 bsa jamboree activities
There was so much to do in the troop campsites. Water had to be hauled, three meals a day cooked and cleaned up afterwards. There were troop campfires, subcamp, regional and Arena campfires and wood had to be constantly hauled. Swapping/trading was everywhere.
strengthen liberty
Strengthen Liberty was the theme with a minor theme of the Spirit of Valley Forge. The arena and stage was huge. Thousands of Scouts could be on stage. The shows were full of impressive patriotic themes of George Washington and the revolutionary war. I seem to be constantly commenting on the facilities constructed at the Jamboree. There are fifty flag poles behind the main stage, each about 40+ feet tall and the backdrop is huge. That’s quite a construction project.
strengthen liberty at 1937 bsa jamboree
Things to do at 1950 bsa jamboree
There was a lot to do and see just at Valley Forge. All with a patriotic theme.
1937 bsa jamboree tours
traveling to 1937 bsa jamboreeVisitors came by the tens of thousands. Mom and dad, brothers and sisters wanted to visit the campsite and see everything in the Jamboree. At 1937 there were few visitors, by 1950 most families had a dependable vehicle and many Jamboree participants lived within a couple days drive of the Jamboree. What to do with so many visitors wanting to roam all over the Jamboree and stay for evening shows would become a problem.
visitors at the 1937 bsa jamboree
president eisenhower

President Eisenhower and former President Truman visited, on different days.

Eisenhower had recently bought a home in Valley Forge. Truman received the Silver Buffalo from a Scout from Independence, MO. Truman’s home town.
1950 Jamboree Badges
Each Scout received two 3” round printed composition pocket badges. Rayon neckerchiefs and ID cards. At the Jamboree an embroidered cloth badge and cloth neckerchief were available at the Trading Posts.

1950 Boy Scout National Jamboree pocket badges  
 This is the general 1950 Jamboree collection, although you might wants some of the trading post items
rolled edge badge
Printed composition badge.
A contingent added a string
for hanging from a pocket button
Cloth Badge
Sold at the trading post.
This badge has a "rolled edge" border.
Cloth Contingent badges
have a embriodered cut edge border.
They were not made by the national supplier.
Some contingents recognized the durability issue of the printed composition emblem, mailed with registration. One contingent punched a hole in the composition emblem and wore it on a string on the breast pocket of the scout uniform. But most contingents sewed the composition badge on the uniform. The concern about durability led some contingents to develop their own embroidered cloth badges. The basic Jamboree design was used, but these embroidered badges have an embroidered cut edge border. Most scout badges in this era had cut edge borders. The 1950 cloth badges sold at the Trading posts have a rolled edge border. In 1950 only the largest embroidery companies were using the new machine to apply rolled edge borders. Since these badges weren’t made by BSA National Supply sources, these companies didn’t have rolled edge machines. Collectors commonly refer to these cut edge badges, as “prototypes”, but my research has led me to believe that most were issued by local council contingents.
Cut Edge 1950 Jamboree Patches 
1950 Jamboree Patches 

1950 Jamboree Patches

1950 Jamboree Patches
1950 Boy Scout National Jamboree Patches

The Meshingomesia and Rainbow Council (next page) issues lend credence to the fact that council made cloth embroidered badges. Most didn’t put their name on them.
One of these was issued by a Chicago district, but I’ve lost the documentation.
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Paul Myers Goshen, Indiana