The China Mail.
Hongkong, Monday, September 3, 1934.
AUSTRALIA'S BOY SCOUT JAMBOREE
From Bush Land To Canvas City
15,000 EXPECTED TO ATTEND
What was simply bush land but a short while ago is rapidly being converted into a splendidly organized canvas city which will spring to life when the Australian Jamboree commences on December 27 this year. Near the fashionable watering place called Frankston, in the State of Victoria, Australia, there are 350 acres of picturesque country which has been chosen as the site for the Jamboree Camp at which it is confidently estimated 15,000 members of the Boy Scout movement will assemble for the first international gathering of this nature to be held in the Southern Hemisphere. Over one hundred and fifty experts, working through fifteen committees under the control of a central council, are concentrating their time and talents to make this Jamboree Camp an outstanding success, and already the preliminary work is well under way.
Commencing with the clearing of the dense undergrowth on this beautiful country, every care is being exercised to preserve the typically Australian "bush" aspect of the camp site. With the judicious clearing of some of the timber, entrancing vistas have been unfolded, and in other parts where the timber has been untouched there are ideal campsites shaded by the luxuriant foliage of the native trees. Within half a mile of the Jamboree Camp is a huge reservoir, and gangs of workmen are engaged in digging the trenches which will contain the pipes conveying the water supply to all parts of the camp. The State electric power plant will be used to illuminate the thoroughfares of this great camp. The Frankston Shire Council and the Country Roads Board are preparing all roads leading to the camp.
Preparations For Visitors
In the surrounding districts, outside the camp reserve, guest houses capable of accommodating a large influx of visitors are being built. On the foreshore of Port Phillip Bay a vast camp for motorists is being constructed where motorists may picnic and camp, and for a small charge they may have the use of gas stoves, ovens and drying rooms. Motor carrying companies have intimated that they are planning for large fleets of the most modern and comfortable vehicles to convey huge crowds to the Jamboree Camp, whilst the State Railways Department has guaranteed special train facilities. To the camp itself concrete and bitumen surfaced roads are being constructed to facilitate the easy flow of traffic. These are but a few of the many plans which are being carried out on and around the Jamboree Camp site, and as the days roll on towards December this campaign of organizing will be intensified.
Some of the most elaborate planning will be done in connection with the great arena, which is capable of accommodating 25,000 Scouts. The portion of the camp selected for this arena is being leveled and planted with grass, whilst around its borders there will spring up capacious grandstands. Adjoining the arena will be an expensive marshaling ground, where the participants in displays and pageants will assemble before entering the arena.
The Administrative Block
Builders are hammering and moulding the component parts of what will be the administrative block at the camp, and already the skeletons of buildings are taking shape. There will be thousands of square feet of office accommodation in this big block. Nearby will be one of the largest Scout Shops in the world, equipped with everything that a Scout needs from a needle to a marquee. Near this Scout Shop will be the shopping area which will cover several acres where articles of every description may be purchased from approved vendors.
The basic lay out of the camp provides for five sub camps - Headquarters camp, Supply camp, Scouters' camp, Lady Scouters' camp, Rover camp - and the hostel. Then in another part there will be a fully staffed hospital and ambulance cars.
The provisioning of the camp has been the subject of the most careful consideration. Acres of vegetables will be planted to provide that section of the camp supplies. As this part of the country is famed for its orchards and poultry farms, excellent provisions have been guaranteed by farmers in the district. All meat will be brought to the camp on hoof, killed, inspected. and cut up under the supervision of the Quartermaster.
Spacious Camp Sites.
Particular attention has been paid to the allotting of spacious campsites to the various nationalities to permit of the establishing of camps characteristic of the countries whence the contingents come.
Some idea of the standard of camping amongst troops in the State of Victoria will be conveyed by a series of model camps which will be dotted over this splendid domain.
Judging by information received at the Melbourne headquarters it would seem that the popularity of the Jamboree will be even greater than was at first optimistically anticipated. Plans are being based upon an estimated attendance of 15,000 Scouts, but the organization in such that, in the event of that grand total being exceeded, then the general plan can be expanded without difficulty.
Simultaneously with the holding of this great Jamboree there will be the Centenary Celebrations of the City of Melbourne and the State of Victoria. It is anticipated that these celebrations will attract visitors from all parts of the world.