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In July and August 1971, I attended the 13th International Scout Jamboree near Fujinomiya, Japan on the Asagiri Heights. There were 7,947 scouts selected to attend from the United States, and 15 from my local council, Minsi Trails Council. I was one of those 15 selected to attend.

Attending the World Jamboree was the high point of my scouting experience, and as I look at it now, the close of my adolecence. Within a year after the Jamboree I graduated from High School and started the great adventure of my life, being a member of the United States Air Force.

Recently, while visiting my mother's home in Pennsylvania I discovered a time capsule of sorts. It was my old Boy Scout footlocker which I hadn't opened in over 30 years. Much of what you'll see on the following pages comes from the contents of that footlocker, preserved just as I left it in 1971.

Every four years there is a World Jamboree, which is when scouts from all over the world get together to celebrate the world brotherhood and sisterhood of scouting.

About 24,000 scouts attended the Jamboree from 87 different countries. It was was held at Asagiri Heights, Japan, about 75 miles southeast of Tokyo on the northwest slope of Mt. Fuji. The Jamboree site was used previously by the Japanese Boy Scouts for several national Jambrees in the past and was well suited for camping. In addition to attending the Jamboree, we also spent several weeks touring Japan, staying at the 1964 Olympic Village in Tokyo, and in Kyoto.

Being chosen to attend the Jamboree was a competitive process. I applied in the autumn of 1970, and over the next few months I submitted to Minsi Trails council many pieces of information they requested, I also had to write an essay about what scouting meant to me and why I wanted to attend the World Jamboree. In March, 1971, I was notified of my selection to attend.

Cover page of the 3 page application form I submitted to attend the World Jamboree.

News Release form which was sent to the local Morning Call newspaper about my selection to attend the World Jamboree

Advance posters of the 13th World Jamboree

Jamboree Troop 334

1971 USA Contingent patch. These came in a small (3") for your shirt, as well as a larger (6") size for a jacket.

Small embroidered USA flag for our right shoulder sleeve.

Minsi Trails Council special shoulder patch, Troop 334 numeral, and my Senior Patrol Leader Patch.

1971 USA Contingent neckerchief.
I was assigned to Jamboree troop 334, as we were from US Scout region 3, on the 3rd flight, and the 4th troop on the flight to and from Japan. Special passports were issued by the Federal government so we could travel to Japan which had visas in them. They were issued at no cost to us. Besides the physical, we had special uniforms to purchace and a specific listing of camping gear to obtain, as well as a long list of things we were required to bring.

In late June 1971 all of us selected to attend the Jamboree were invited to spend a week at Camp Trexler for a "Pre Jamboree Training Camp". This is when we all met each other, and our scoutmasters. This was very similar to a summer camp, but instead of working on merit badges, we concentrated more on learning about each other's backgounds and skills. The week was a general 'shakedown' for our Jamboree experience. In addition we were divided up into patrols and I was elected Senior Patrol leader.

USA Contingent hat, authorized for Jamboree wear only

The following were members of 1971 Jamboree Troop 334 from Minsi Trails Council:

Brent Wade Moll, Allentown Troop 2
Louis W. Beer, Bethlehem Troop 2
James D. Balshi, Bethlehem Troop 6
Randy Phillips, Allentown Troop 7
James R. Anderson, Allentown Troop 9
Gregory A. Lorah, Hellertown Troop 19
Brian Lee Gabel, Allentown Troop 22
David A. Donio, Allentown Troop 74
Erwin L. Hawk III, Lehighton Troop 82
Jeffrey Schlicher, Summit Lawn Troop 85
John M. Bixler, Stroudsburg, Troop 86
Patrick Gibbons, Allentown Troop 107
George M. Matyus, Allentown Troop 107
Platte B. Moring III, Allentown Troop 107
Thomas J. Whildin, Hellertown Explorer Post 549

John G. Waldner, Bethlehem, Minsi Trails Council, Asst. Scoutmaster
W. Roger Witworth, Yardley, Bucks County Council, Scoutmaster

There were 6 others from Hawk Mountain Council, 11 from Bucks County Council and 4 from Penn Valley Council in our troop. Unfortunatley, those names have been lost to time.

Recieving our Bethlehem Steel "hard hats" at the final sendoff meeting on Wendesday, July 21st, 1971. That's me, 2nd from the right, recieving my hard hat. We left for the Jamboree in Japan at 4:45am on Saturday, July 24th.
(Photo from the Allentown Morning Call newspaper, July 22nd, 1971 edition)

On July 21st we all met for one last time over at East Hills Jr. High school in Bethlehem for a final sendoff. This was where our parents could also have any last mintue questions answered by the Council staff. I also was able to meet our Minsi Trails Council leaders. As Senior Patrol Leader, I recieved from Mr Frank C. Rabold, the head of Real Estate development at Bethlehem Steel, a ceremonial 'hard hat' and a neckerchief ring with a special "I-Beam" design.

Travelling To Japan

JAL Engligh-Japanese phrase guide given to us by Trans-International Airlines on the flight to Japan.

Ad on the back cover of our Tour Guide for Trans-International Airlines
About 4:45am on July 24th those of us from Minsi Trails Council left for Japan. First, a bus ride to Philadelphia airport where all of us assigned to Troop 334 gathered at the Trans-International Airlines counter. There were a total of six Jamboree troops, 331 through 336 scheduled on our charter flight.

TIA Douglas DC-8. This was the kind of jet we flew to Japan. It was a sixteen hour flight from Philadelphia to Tokyo.

At 9:30am we boarded our flight and left on an 8-our flight to Anchorage, Alaska. It was my first time going to Alaska and I remember vividly flying over the Canadian Northern Territories, and seeing glaciers in July. Also, it was a good 45-mintue break where we could strech our legs and get something to eat in the terminal. When we got back on the plane it was another 8 hour flight to Tokyo. On landing we realized we had 'lost' a day, as it was now about 1:00 PM on July 25th. After 16 hours of flight time we were all quite exhausted when we landed.

When we arrived our backpacks and duffle bags were delivered to us and we were directed to Japanese customs and immigration. Once cleared there was a Japanese Boy Scout guide to greet us. He gave us all a subway token and we were directed to the Tokyo subway where we boarded a train, heading to the Olympic Village where we would be staying. After checking in, we were given the balance of the afternoon and that night to adjust to the 12 hour time change.

Travelling In Japan

Cook's Travel managed the tour in Japan before we visited. This is my tag which I attached to my backpack. "TKJ" means our itenenary would be Tokyo, then Kyoto, then to the Jamboree

Tokyo: Olympic Village
Tokyo: Sightseeing July 26th & 27th
Kyoto: July 28th - August 1st

Click on above links to view some photos of my visits to Tokyo, Kyoto and other places we visited

Map of Japan showing cities we visited and the World Jamboree site
( Click on drawing for satellite image )

2005 Landsat 7 Satellite Image of Japan showing Jamboree Site
( Click on image for full resolution )

Enhanced Japanese Map of Fujinomiya, (2005) detailing Jamboree Location and sites.
( Click on image for full resolution photo )

My Jamboree Experiences

Click On The Day For Details

Day One, 2 August

Day Two, 3 August

Day Three, 4 August

Day Four, 5 August

Day Five, 6 August

Day Six, 7 August

Day Seven, 8 August

Day Eight, 9 August

Day Nine, 10 August

Day Ten, 11 August

The photos on the above links are courtesy of the
Boy Scouts of Nippon Jamboree Picture Album

World Jamboree Souvenirs and Momentos

Jamboree Momentos I

Jamboree Momentos II

Jamboree Momentos III

Jamboree Momentos IV

Jamboree Momentos V

Jamboree Momentos VI

Jamboree Momentos VII

Jamboree Momentos VIII

Jamboree Momentos IX

Jamboree Momentos X

Yesterday & Today - 13th World Jamboree

The location of the World Jamboree site can be found on Google Earth @ 35 degrees, 22 minutes, 40 seconds North Latitude; 138 degrees, 35 minutes, 9 seconds East Longitude. The most prominent features that can be seen today is the Friendship tower @ 35,22,29 N; 134,34,39 E. and the Arena @ 35,23,1 N; 138, 35,2 E.

Most of the major camping and activity areas today have been turned into golf courses. Some of the major roads in the Jamboree site still exist, but most of the secondary roads have been removed as part of the redevelopment.


13th World Jamboree Sign at the Asagiri Jamboree site, on the east side of Highway 139 at the intersection of the road to the Jamboree Arena.

Memorial erected at the site of the XIII World Jamboree Arena, looking eastwards towards Mount Fuji.
The XIII Boy Scouts World Jamboree was held on this site in 1971.
Both photos taken, January 2001.