“Jamboree Includes 5,000 Mormon Youth,” Ensign, Oct. 1973, 88
Almost 80,000 boys from the ages of 11 to 18 and their leaders, including almost 5,000 members of the Church, recently combined 200 tons of charcoal, one million quarts of milk, and 200,000 loaves of bread at opposite ends of the country—and came up with the 1973 U.S. National Scout Jamboree.
Besides attracting the largest crowd in jamboree history, this was the first year that the festivities were held in two locations. Jamboree West was held in August at Farragut State Park, Idaho. Moraine State Park in Pennsylvania was the site of Jamboree East, also held in August.
To help serve the spiritual needs of the Latter-day Saint Scouts and their leaders, a 10-member Mormon chaplain corps was stationed at each site. President Robert L. Backman of the Aaronic Priesthood MIA was chaplain general at Jamboree East, heading the LDS chaplain corps. President Jack H Goaslind, second counselor in the presidency of the Aaronic Priesthood MIA, was chaplain general at Jamboree West.
The chaplain corps for both sections was composed of members of several stake presidencies, high councilors, past and present members of the Aaronic Priesthood MIA general board, and one Regional Representative of the Twelve.
Latter-day Saint boys attending the jamboree received a card signed by the Presiding Bishopric admonishing them to remember they were “the Lord’s representatives” and that in a missionary effort they were to “keep the standards of the Church, obey the Scout oath and law, and partake of this rare experience to the fullest.”
While living in two-man tents in a huge “tent city,” boys who attended the jamboree participated in fishing, swimming, boating, baseball, track, and football. As part of a special environmental control project, the boys monitored the air and water conditions at each site, and recycled beverage cans.
During the evenings, they participated in campfire activities and singing fests, as well as discussions of major issues concerning youth today.
They also participated in two special events, the Skill-o-Rama and the Arts and Sciences Expo. The Skill-o-Rama featured everything from a Hawaiian pig roast and a logrolling contest to a water bronco riding experience and folk dancing.
A new feature of the ’73 jamboree, the Arts and Sciences Expo, comprised of over 1,200 entries housed in two giant tents, included displays from young painters, photographers, craftsmen, writers, poets, sculptors, musicians, and scientists. Music displays included not only singing, but also compositions played on brass, woodwind, and stringed instruments as well as the accordion, piano, organ, and drums.
Science projects included a device to transmit signals along a laser beam and a device to detect pollutants in the air.
The gathering was the kind of event that molds character and builds vision in the hearts of young men while welding together boys and their leaders as they enjoy a common experience.