Some time before the beginning of the Jamboree, the attention of all Italy was drawn on the Scout movement. His Holiness the Pope Paulus VI, in a message to the Archbishop of Athens, expressed His pleasure and wished us a full success; many articles were written on the papers, even the Radio and Tele-vision took notice of the Scouts in their programmes. In short, the whole nation was aware that a very important event was about to take place.
The five hundred Scouts who represented Italy at the 11th World Jamboree, left the harbour of Taranto aboard the battleships “Etna” and “Vesuvio” on the morning of July 29. During the crossing we fraternized with the men of the Navy and this was one of the nicest things both on the outward and return journeys.
After landing at Patrasso a special train carried us to Athens. That very evening we set our tents in the Marathon plain. On the morning of the Inauguration we received the visit of the Italian Government Representative, on. De Meo who also attended the opening ceremony in the Arena at sundown.
It is impossible to describe all the campfires receptions, matches and games which took place during the ten-day Jamboree. It all started with 80 scouts from all over the world (for Italy: Pier Luigi Scandellari, of the “Esploratore” stall) running to carry a message to the Mayor of Athens and a laurel wreath to the Unknown Soldier’s grave. Headquarters of all nations offered receptions to their colleagues; our turn came on Monday 5th August. We were honoured by the presence of H.R.H. Crown Prince Constantine and of the Italian Ambassador in Greece; scouts from ‘Romagna’ performed a folk dance.
On August 6th the King and Queen visited the camp; on the following evening, at the Panathenian Stadium in Athens, all nations repeated before 70,000 spectators the scenes given previously at the Arena. Italy performed the historic "Palio di Siena" in original XV century costume, and was warmly applauded.
On the evening of the 11th August Lady B.P. and Crown Prince Constantine reached the Arena. With their simple, touching speeches they gave us all rendez-vous in the United States the 12th World Jamboree in 1967.
Gino Armeni,Contingent Leader
In Italy there are two Scouts Association: the CORPO NAZIONALE GIOVANI ESPLORATORI 1ΤΑLIΑΝI - Boy Scouts d’ltalia (C.N.G.E.I.) and the ASSOCIAZIONE SCOUTISTICA CATTOLICA ITALIANA (A.S.C.I.).
The first one is an Association open to the boys of every creed and is the first Italian association recognised by Italian Government; the second one is a Roman Catholic Association. At the last Jamboree both Associations were as Federazione Esploratori ltaliani (FEI); in other terms we were there as a single Italian Association.
The GEI Contingent was led by myself under the supervision of the FEI’s Contingent leader Mr. G. Armeni of Rome. The Italian scouts at the Jamboree were 420 boys and leaders and they participated in all the activities and displays planned by the programme.
Travel was made by two ships of Italian Navy from Taranto to Patrasso and then by particular train to Athens. In the International Staff 12 Italian Rovers assolved in various Jobs.
The Italian scouts, as a whole, have been satisfied with the Jamboree of Greece and in first way, of the great spirit of brotherhood that scouting can give to the boys of all the world and that the Greece. In such occasion, has so well realised for a better understanding among men of every race and creed.
Gualtiero Iesurum, Leader, G.E.I. Contingent