The main body of our contingent assembled three days prior to departure from the United States and camped at facilities near New York. There they were formed into patrols and troops and given orientation preparatory to the trip and Jamboree experience. En route to and returning from Marathon they travelled in eight tour groups, two troops each. All of them visited the same places but at different times. They had great experiences in Great Britain, Switzerland, Italy and Greece. Through the splendid co-operation of the other Scout associations, they had the opportunity to meet Scouts in most of the cities, camps and parks along their itinerary. The members of these 16 troops assembled near New York on July 18th and returned on August 20th. They traveled by air with the exception of some bus trips in England and some of the European countries.
We set high standards for participation and all candidates were screened by their own leaders and by their local councils. Many of the participants earned all the money for their own trip. In other cases parents helped and in still others partial help came from the Scout’s own unit or sponsoring institutions. There was no national subsidy. Highly qualified medical doctors accompanied the contingent and we are most grateful to report that there were no serious illnesses or accidents. A United States Public Health Service official rendered most valuable service not only to our participants but to the entire Jamboree. Arriving several days before the opening, he helped the Jamboree officials in matters of sanitation and pure water supply, remaining during the entire period of the Jamboree.
The 17th troop was made up of selected Scouts from our troops and Explorer units in 12 countries. They travelled from their homes to the assembly point in West Germany, were formed into patrols and placed under excellent troop leadership there and then journeyed together to Greece.
Our Scouts elected to give their tents and troop and patrol equipment to their brother Scouts in Greece at the close of the Jamboree.
We were all elated that our invitation was accepted and that we will have the opportunity to serve as hosts for the 21th World Jamboree in 1967. It was a thrilling moment for every member of the Boy Scouts of America Contingent when the torch was passed by Crown Prince Constantine to one of our Scouts in the closing ceremony.
It is too early early to announce any details of this forthcoming event. Preliminary studies and recommendation have been made and are now being considered. There are a number of excellent locations to choose from. Interest is running high both in the United States and in many other countries, and it is anticipated that the location, the dates and the size of the Jamboree will be determined by the fall of 1964. We are deeply conscious of the high standards of excellence set by the host associations of all the previous World Jamborees, and we are preparing to do our best to measure up to these high standards. With the co-operation which we know will be forth-coming from all our brother Scouts we feel confident that the 12th Jamboree will prove to be another great milestone on the upward trail of Scouting.