The Norfolk Jamboree has been held in several forms over the years. The County held a ‘Jamboree’ to welcome the World Chief Scout to the County in 1918 and again had a Jamboree in 1921.
The idea of a fixed jamboree every set number of years was born around 1924 and several sites were used including Sennow Park, Woodbastwick, Sandringham, Holkham and Blicking.
The Jamboree as we know it today really started after the Second World War and jamborees were held in Sandringham and Sennow. They stopped in the 60s due to the health and safety concerns of the day and the rising costs of putting the infrastructure in place.
In the late 70s they were again looked at and, in 1983, the Norfolk International Jamboree was held at the Norfolk Showground. The infrastructure was able to be found on this permanent site and some 200 young people gathered from 14 countries. The Jamboree has been held every four years since in 1987, 1991, 1995, 1999 and 2003. It changed to three years due to the World Scout Jamboree in 2007 and it was agreed to try and plan and deliver the next one in three years. This was done, and the County welcomed some 23 countries to the 2006 International Jamboree with the next and last one in 2010. The 14th International Jamboree will be held in 2014.
The Norfolk International Jamboree has become well known throughout the UK and the Scouting and Guiding worlds and offers a life changing experience to those who come. We now see some 4000 young people with over 1000 adults involved in the delivery. A world of difference from 1918 to 2014 but one thing remains the same, the delivery of a quality experience for young people from different backgrounds: ‘like plums in a pudding, all mixed up’, Baden-Powell once said.