In 1957 the Jamboree returned to Valley Forge. The theme of “Onward for God and My Country” had been used since 1950 and was used again in 1957. Much of the infrastructure was already in place. Again the theme of visiting Philadelphia and immersing Scouts in US history was emphasized. Scouting Leaders refer to “generations” of scouts. Boys enter at age 11/12 and while some become Explorers, many leave at about 15/16. By having Jamborees every four years, every Scout generation has an opportunity to participate.

I’ve commented elsewhere what a perfect site Valley Forge was, close to Philadelphia with its historic sites plus the attractions at Valley Forge itself. For touring Valley Forge was close to Washington DC and New York City.

Because of the 1950 Jamboree much of the infrastructure was in place, although Jamboree participants had got used to elaborate stage show and the Arena had to be constructed.
tours of historic sites at 1957 bsa national jamboree
Tours of Philadelphia and the many historic sites at Valley Forge offered Scouts a sense of history.
 
48 states in attendence

All forty eight states were represented as well as Scouts from Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rica & Virgin Islands. I have repeatedly used the word SCOUT when I probably should use the term, Scout & Explorer. A high percentage of the boys at the Jamboree were Explorers or sometimes older Scouts wearing Explorer shirts.

us delegation
Scouts


The US delegation to the World Jamboree camped in a separate subcamp at Valley Forge. Afterwards they traveled to England for the World Jambo. The USA Contingent was 1700 Scouts and Explorers. Sixteen countries were represented at the US Jamboree, a few less than usually because of the World Jamboree.

To the far left is the badge that the Scouts to the W.J wore and to the right of it the World Jamboree Badgr
1957 bsa national Jamboree Arena
The Arena Shows at previous Jamborees had set a standard that probably couldn’t be exceeded, they were all magnificent and 1957 wouldn’t disappoint.

Every Scouts chest swelled with pride to see hundreds of US flags in the opening ceremony and 50,000+ Scouts and visitors on their feet signing the Star Spangled Banner.

Vice President Nixon spoke on opening nights. The view from the podium could take even he most experienced speaker breath away. Then all twelve Regions came on the stage with various shows.
boy scouts on stage
shows at the 1957 boy scout jamboree
The stage shows during both the day and night had become a huge attraction. 50,000 Scouts and countless visitors would jam the arena and watch the Greatest Show in Scouting, often put on by Scouts themselves. There was a big top show with lions, acrobats, donkeys and clowns. Scouts from Holland Michigan demonstrated “Dutch” dancing, Jimmy Dean, the Harmonical Rascals, Jack Sterling and Lanny Ross entertained. Some of the acts had become Jamboree traditions. I have tried for years to find out where Bob Hope was. It appears that he was at the top of his career with weekly television shows and constant travel.
religious services at the jamboreeI have been remis in not highlighting the religious observances at earlier Jamborees. With so many Scout units sponsored by religious institutions, Sundays (and Saturdays) were always taken seriously. All of the major faiths had religious observances and all were well attended. The 1957 souvenir book has better images than former souvenir books, so I’m showing them here. Almost every religion had a Committee for Scouting and Scouting had exceptional support from almost every religion.
1937 boy scout jamboree token1937 medal


This is the Area Award from the 1957 Jamboree, (left) To the right is the keychain fob from the 1957 Jamboree The keychain token was available at the trading post. In later years some individuals made these tokens into “medals” by finding a generic ribbon and pin bar and suspending the token from it.

Novice collectors see the 1957 Jamboree medal and think its something “special”. It’s not. A similar token exists from 1953 Jamboree. Again its just a souvenir token. The Jamboree Area Award is something special and scarce.
1957  Jamboree Badges
 
Scouts received two embroidered badges and neckerchiefs. Badges were again ordered in huge quantities and varieties exist. The Jamboree would have 52,5800 scouts and leaders.
1957 boy scout Jamboree Scput ItemsEvery Scout received a badge, a neckerchief, ID card and baggage tag. This is the basic 1957 Jamboree set. Although many collectors add a back and leather emblem.
Variations of 1957 Jamboree 3" pocket patches
There are three distinct varieties and a 1973-1977 reproduction, made by BSA. With 52,000 Scouts and Leaders the demand for badges was huge. The varieties are caused by BSA using different manufacturers.1957 Boy Scout Jamboree Pocket Patches
I believe that A is the first issue, mailed to registered participants. I have had hundreds of 1957 Jamboree, 3’ pocket badges and seldom find a “mint” Type A. Type B & C were probably sold at the Trading Posts.
 
 
1957 Prototype
1957 boy scout jamboree prototype patch




This is the well known prototype for the 1957 Jamboree pocket patch. The lettering seems almost identical but Washington kneeling is totally different. I state elsewhere that prototypes were probably available to members of the Insignia Committee, perhaps Region level Scouters and certain individuals at the National office. They are collectible but because of limited distribution, they are very scarce.
1957 Jamboree Neckerchiefs
1957 boy scout national jamboree neckechief




There are two varieties of the 1957 neckerchief. Thick and thin lettering.
navigation
 
Paul Myers Goshen, Indiana
gimogash@comcast.net