South Plains Council

1950 National Jamboree

Seventy-six Scouts attended the second National Scout Jamboree at Valley Forge, Pa. from June 30 to July 6.  A parent's meeting was held Sunday afternoon, March 19, 1950 at Westminister Presbyterian church so that they could receive lists of clothing and equipment each boy would be required to have for the Jamboree.  W. R. Postma, South Plains council executive, was in charge of the meeting.

The South Plains Scouts were members of three troops, Troop 33, Troop 34, and Troop 5 for the Jamboree. The group from Littlefield took with them an assortment of horned toads, three boxes of in cushion cactus and a West Texas "horned" jackrabbit.

A group of 90 Boy Scouts and nine adult leaders attended a two-day "Shake-Down camp" in preparatory to leaving for the Jamboree.  The practice was held at Reese Air Force base.  They traveled by bus into Lubbock, ate, and then they boarded a Santa Fe train in Lubbock at 7:00 p.m. Friday, June 23, 1950,  for Fort Worth, where they would meet a special Scout train to take them to the jamboree.

They spent a day and a half in Washington, D.C., before arriving at Valley Forge and then visited Niagara Falls and Chicago on their return trip.

President Harry Truman spoke to the some 50,000 who attended this first National Jamboree since 1937.  The week-long camp was dedicated to the Scouts' 40th anniversary motto of "Strengthening the Arm of Liberty." A United Nations troop was encamped near general headquarters of the 625 acre campsite and was made up of boys from eight nations, including three "Iron Curtain" countries.

Three of the Scouts were digging a dishwater pit at Valley Forge where they uncovered a musket ball identified as one of George Washington's time.  They were photographed by a Philadelphia newspaper with the find.  They were Don Wilson of Littlefield, Gene Martin of Petersburg and David Hughes of Lubbock.

The tired but happy Boy Scouts from 20 South Plains communities returned home Monday, July 10, 1950 at 6:45 p.m..  They returned in two chartered Greyhound buses from Fort Worth.  The came fro New York City to fort Worth by special train.

Below you will find the leadership of those Scouters who led the two Troops from the South Plains Council to the 1950 National Jamboree. They stayed in Section 15.

Troop 33
W. A. (Mose) Hood, Lubbock, Scoutmaster
L. B. Hagerman, Slayton, Assistant Scoutmaster
John Norcross, Lubbock, Assistant Scoutmaster

Troop 34
John Lott, Post, Scoutmaster
Huston Hoover, Littlefield, Assistant Scoutmaster
Robert J. Salem, Sudan, Assistant Scoutmaster

Troop 5
Claude Brown, Lubbock, Scoutmaster

C. A. Henderson, Scoutmaster of Troop 19, a Lubbock troop of black Scouts, accompanied Hugh Dell Whitfield, member of that troop, to Houston where they boarded a chartered train to the Jamboree.  The troop was sponsored by Allen Bros. post of the American Legion

Known Scouts who attended the Jamboree are as follows:

Petersburg - Gene Lewis Martin, Jeffy Day and David Hughes  Their expenses were paid for by the Lions Club of
Littlefield - Gary Pass, Bob Hoover, Elwood Smith, Don Wilson, Ted Carlisle and Walter Still.

Floydada -- David Wilson

Lubbock - Frank Ford, David Hughes, Larry Byrd, Jr., Dane Grant, Stanley Black and Jimmy Watson.

Hale Center - Jimmy Lamb

Elmo Letbetter's 1950 National Jamboree Diary

E. Ray Smyth's 1950 Jamboree Journal

Some photos of 1950 National Jamboree

Last updated:  September 4, 2010
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