Chisholm Trail Council


1937 Jamboree

Forty Scouts and leaders attended the 1st National Boy Scout Jamboree in 1937 in Washington, D.C., from the Chisholm Trail Council.   "The forty Boy Scouts and leaders left Abilene on the morning of June 24 for Washington, D. C.   Led by scout executive Ed Shumway, the group boarded the Sunshine Special for Fort Worth where the car was joined to a special train headed for the Jamboree.  Assisting Ed Shumway were scoutmaster Ed (Chig) Burnam of Abilene, assistant scoutmaster W. Graham Webb, Jr., of Albany, assistant scoutmaster Tommy Grant of Abilene, and special officer Rex Palmer of Abilene.  Boy Scouts attending the Jamboree came from all parts of the Chisholm Trail Council.  The Abilene boys included Frank Myers, Bobby Jay, Robert Ford, Alex Bickley, Bobby Phillips, James Phillips, William Snow, Jimmy Connor, Pat McCarty, and Eugene Bradshaw.  The Boy Scouts from Albany included E. J. Tackett, Sonny Gray, Glenn Reynolds, Jake Miller, Russell Hammock, Thomas Wylie, Jack Behling, and Worth Dalton.  Coleman had two representatives, Eugene Fluellen and Wallace Dingus.  Hugh Lowe, Zug Phelps and Dan Oakes were from Haskell.  From Elmdale came Milner Antilley.  There were two boys from Weinert, Frank Cadenhead and Harmon Josslet.  There was Pete Place from Rule, and Karl Bonneaux from Trent to complete the group.

"Troop 9 N 21 was the mark of identification of the Chisholm Trail Council Unit at the Jamboree.  The nine represented the Region IX, the N was the section number and 21 was the troop number.  Troop 9 N 21 met at Camp Tonkawa, near Buffalo Gap, on two successive Sunday afternoon to set up organization, elect patrol leaders, learn Jamboree songs, check equipment, practice drilling and many other assignments necessary for a well trained group.  This troop took horned toads to the Jamboree to use for 'swapping.'  Crates were made to hold the toads until they could reach Washington.

"The Sunshine Special, left Abilene on the morning of June 24th, and met a special train in Fort Worth.  This special train carried more than three hundred Boy Scouts and scouters from Buffalo Trail Council, Chisholm Trail Council and Circle Ten Council.  The train was enroute two and one-half days before arriving in Washington, D. C.  All meals on the train were served in an air-conditioned diner. 'One of the scout's top thrills was in marching for the first time, single file, into an air-conditioned diner.'  The train arrived in Washington on June 27 in the midst of a hard rain.  The boys were met by buses that took them to their Jamboree Camp sites.

"All Boy Scouts and scouters from Texas were camped in East Potomac Park, on the golf course or Haines Point as it was called.  Each troop was assigned an area ninety feet square to use as a camp site.  Each camp site was furnished with a canvas fly, to cover the cooking tables, and four patrol dining tables, also a latrine tent.  The tents had to be erected in a hurry as there was no other protection for the equipment from the rain.  Section N was made up of all thirty-two troops from Region IX, which consisted of Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico.  The cooking, for all thirty-two troops, was done in a central kitchen and three hot meals a day were served.  Just before meal time, four boys from each patrol, would go to the kitchen for the food.  The food was carried from the kitchen in 'Hot Heater Stacks', which were metal boxes insulated to keep the food hot.  Paper plates and cups were used which helped to cut down on the amount of dish washing.  The duties of the patrol cooks each day were to prepare fresh vegetable salads, milk drinks, set tables and serve the foods.

"The daylight hours, at the Jamboree, were spent in visiting public places of national interest and Federal Government buildings.  The facilities, of the City of Washington, were thrown wide open to the Boy Scout groups.  Boy Scouts could visit many places normally closed to the general public.  One place, normally closed, was the Federal Bureau of Investigation Building.  Here the Boy Scouts were allowed to fire on the pistol range.  Each  boy was finger-printed and given a copy of his finger prints to carry in his bill fold as a souvenir.  Other places of of interest to the Chisholm Trail Council Boy Scouts included the White House, Capitol Building, Smithsonian Institute, House Office Building, Library of Congress, Supreme Court Building, Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, and Arlington National Cemetery.

"Another interesting occupation, of the 27,000 Boy Scouts at the Jamboree, was the swapping and trading.  All the Boy Scouts from every section of the United States and some foreign countries, brought something to trade at the Jamboree.  Usually the trading items were native only to one particular section of the country.  The Boy Scouts from Chisholm Trail Council went prepared for this trading game.  They carried more than three thousand horned toads from West Texas.  This proved to be a very popular item of trade.  Some of the items for which they swapped included little live alligators from Florida, neckerchief slides, wooden money, little birch bark canoes, wooden shoes from Holland, camp emblems, bamboo from the Philippines and many other things.  ONe lucky scout returned home with a metal button from the uniform of a guard at the Smithsonian Institute.

"One of the many highlights of the Jamboree for the Chisholm Trail Council Boy Scouts, was at a Regional Camp Fire Service.  At this service, Robert Ford, of Abilene, was one of a group of twenty-one Boy Scouts receiving an Eagle Badge.  This beautiful ceremony was conducted by the most loved of all Scouters who was known to men and boys alike as Uncle Dan Beard.

"The most beautiful and inspiring of all ceremonies was witnessed by the scouts at the Grand National Convocation at the Washington Monument.  This beautiful service was held on Sunday evening, July 4.  Twenty-seven thousand Boy Scouts and adult leaders assembled on this occasion 'to objectify our allegiance to the religious principles which undergird our national life.'  Congressmen George Mahon, Clyde E. Garrett and Charles South visited the Chisholm Trail Council often and were with them on the night of July 4.  These Congressmen took the boys on many tours which the boys could not have made without their services.

"One afternoon the Chisholm Trail Council Boy Scouts were guests of the Washington Senators Baseball Club.  They were thrilled when Jimmy Fox hit a home run, in the eleventh inning, to break a 2-2 tie with the Boston Red Sox.  Another exciting experience was a boat ride down the Potomac river.  Most of the Boy Scouts had never been on a river board before.  This boat ride included a visit to Mt. Vernon, the home of George Washington.  It was an inspiration to men and boys to be able to walk over the home place of the 'Father of our Country.'

"The day came for the Jamboree to end.  Tents had to be struck and the camping grounds cleared, but there was more fun ahead for the Chisholm Trail Council Scouts.  They boarded a train in Washington for New York City and upon their arrival took a boat ride out to the Statue of Liberty.  Afterwards, they took a bus tour over Manhattan Island, from the Battery of the South End up to Central Park and Harlem.  There they visited the Empire State Building and ate lunch in one of the famous Child's restaurants.  The boys took rides on the subways, the elevated railways, and a bus tour of beautiful Fifth Avenue.  They saw the Rockettes in a stage show at Radio City.  Late that night they boarded a train to take them to Buffalo and Niagara Falls, New York.

"In Niagara Falls, some of the scouts went across the Honeymoon Bridge into Canada.  Some of the boys took a boat ride on the Maid of the Mist, a steam boat that took passengers almost under the Great Falls.  Several hours were spent round Niagara Falls, and then the boys were back on a train headed for home.

"When these boys arrived in Abilene, July 15, they were a tired but a happy group.  The way the boys felt was best expressed by the little fellow who asked 'when will the next Jamboree be?  Sign me up for it now.'

"A rousing welcome was in the form of a banquet for the Jamboree Scouts and their parents.  This banquet was sponsored by the business men of Abilene.  The banquet committee consisted of O. E. Radford, Ed Stewart, Sr., and Thomas E. Hayden.  Ed Stewart was Master of Ceremonies."

Photos of 1937 Jamboree
Additional Photos of 1937 Jamboree
Letters from Marvin H. Carr
Frank Pellizzari, Jr.'s 1937 Jamboree Journal

Other Jamboree Troops:

1950 - Troops 4, 5, 6, 7  Go HERE for story and list of participants.
1953 - Troops 20,21,22  Go HERE for lis of particpants and story.
1957 - Go HERE for list of participants.
1960 - Troops 74, 75, 76 Go HERE for list of participants and photos.
1964 - Troops 65, 66, 67 Go HERE for list of participants
1969 - Troop 30 Go HERE for list of participants and photo of troop.
1977 - Go HERE for story from The Abilene Reporter-News
1981 - Troop 750 
1985 - Troop 718
1993 - Troop 1524
1997 - Troop 1601 Go HERE for list of participants.
2001 - Go HERE for Scoutmaster's Notes

Quoted from "A History of Chisholm Trail Council Boy Scouts of America," a thesis presented to the faculty of the Graduate School of Hardin-Simons University by Claude Olen Willis, August 1952. 1950 Jamboree from E. Ray Smyth's web site with his permission.  Willis obtained his information from The Abilene Reporter-News, statements by Ed Burnam, Alex Bickley's Scrap Book, and the Jamboree Bulletin.  Also from the Region 9 Handbook for Section 15. 

Last Updated: June 22, 2011
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