1st National Jamboree - 1937
Buffalo Trail Council
Some forty-five Scouts from the Buffalo Trail Council attended the 1937 1st National Boy Scout Jamboree at Washington, D.C. The group won honors in camping and as part of a regional pageant they presented a portrayal of an old western wagon train. They also took many relics of the old west with them for display in their campsite. The council has pictures of its Scouts that were taken by national news agencies and sent all over the country. Ten of twelve Scouts from Sweetwater that went to the Jamboree were Jimmie Jay, O. H. Henry, John Palmer Leeper, John Simpson, Clifton Perkins, Billy White, Maurice Reich, and Joe Ben Lewis. Two of the Jamboree leaders were Garland Vinson, Scout leader, and Henry Rodgers, Jr., Sea Scout leader, both from Sweetwater.
Note the dog in the photo above. He is with the Scout on the first row, fourth from the left. We have blown that part up so you can see it more clearly. We do not have the names of the 38 Scouts and adults in the photo, but hopefully their names will turn up in time. We do thave three of them. John Palmer Leeper is standing to the left of the Troop flag in the back row. Garland Vinson, Scout Leader, is standing to the extreme right on the back row. Buster Howard is standing to the extreme left on the back row. The Scout on the second row, second from the left is Goodrich Hejl.
A story appeared in the Sweetwater Reporter, Wednesday, July 14, 1937, written by John Palmer Leeper, one of the Scouts who went to the Jamboree.
Boy Scouts Had Big Time At Jamboree
But All Mighty Glad To Get Back Home
After leaving Washington we had a very uneventful time. Just saw a few little things like the Empire State building and New York.
All was arranged on both the tours in New York and in Philadelphia that we might see "It all" in a short time.
In Philadelphia we had the "treat" of dining in an Automat. In connection with this, however, there were many difficulties. It was really a hard job to decide which dessert to choose. The only way to arrive at a satisfactory conclusion on this matter is to follow the example of the scout who saw some huckleberry pie that looked mighty good so he bought that pie. But he hadn't counted on that slice of watermelon being there, and did you ever see a Texas boy that was able to resist watermelon? So he bought the watermelon.
Further on was a big bowl of iced blueberries. Having never eaten these they couldn't be omitted form the diet. And so he bought the berries.
Independence Hall was opened after the regular closing hours in order that we might see it. It was a distinct honor to stand in the room where the Declaration of Independence was written and the Constitution framed. The Liberty Bell was in the same building.
After leaving Philadelphia
about 9 p.m. we arrived in "little old New York" in the wee hours of the
night and made our way to the 23rd St. Y.M.C.A., where we spent the night.
But not the whole night, as we were up at 6 a.m. ready to go.
It was fun to have breakfast and be able to see Jack Dempsey's restaurant across the street. Madison Square about a block away. Down from us was the noted Cotton Club, abode of such shady maestros as Duke Ellington and Bill Robison.
Immediately following breakfast we had a delightfully "jerky" ride on the elevated railway to the battery on the harbor. Here we saw the aquarium.
Next we walked down Wall Street and past Trinity Church. In the center of the Banking Districts one boy had the enviable experience of falling over a fire plug in front of the Bank of Manhattan.
Saw Al's "Nest Egg"
Speaking of Manhattan, we next went through the SS Manhattan that plys regularly between New York and Europe.
After lunch we went to Al Smith's nest egg, the Empire State Building. Making a speed of 1000 feet per second the 102 story elevators are enough to curl ones hair. The view was splendid and we might have been looking at a map, so perfectly laid out was the city.
Nest we went to the noted Statue of Liberty. We were disappointed in the limpid green structure. Liberty obviously needs a bath.
As a grand finale we went to Rockefeller Center and to the Radio Center Music Hall. Boy, those trains looked good that night.
It has been a truly great pleasure to have been to Washington. Eleven others will vouch this for me. We would all jump at the chance to go to another Jamboree tomorrow were there one available.
We want to thank David O'Neill for sending us the 1937 Jamboree photo.
Return to Buffalo Trail Jamboree
Return to Home Page