Cambridge District Scout Archive
Cam Jam is Cambridgeshire International Scout Jamboree.
The first CamJam was in 1978 at Croxton Park, courtesy of Lady Fox when Derrick Prince was CC. The Chief Scout William Gladstone visited on this occasion.
It was restarted in 1990 and held every four years: 1990, 1994, 1998, 2002, 2008, 2011, 2015 and 2019 initially at East of England Showground (EESG) and from 2008 at Huntingdon Race course.
The organizing committee looked at a number of venues in 2004; Wimpole Hall, Waterbeach and Bassingbourn Barracks, Cottenham, Brampton and Newmarket Racecourses, Oakington Airfield, Croxton Park, and Horseheath Point to point among them.
Interestingly, little remains readily acccessible of these events. 1990 is 30 years ago and the record base will only diminish. Who came from abroad, how many attended, who was camp chief – all these questions and others need recording and not kept in the heads of those who were there.
Following a request for information in June 2020 the fact that Cam Jam was flooded out of the showground in 2002 was offered up as a snippet (K Trickey and T Claydon) and that 2011, 2015 and 2019 held good memories for L Mason.
Cam Jam 78 was a weekend event, I know as scouts we went canoeing on the Ouse, there was off road driving. Plus Saturday night they showed James Bond Live and Let Die.I seem to recall we camped as troops without leaders as they were elsewhere on site, oh and yes we all travelled in a large vehicle without seatbelts.As for all the other CamJams yes I’ve been a leader at every one since, helping on transport, linking up with international scouts, getting the local radio onto site. Plus driving all night moving scouts and leaders to a dryer place when the camp flooded. David Robinson
Malcolm Robinson I can remember going to the 1978 event. I had just moved from Ely Scouts to Newborough and one of our Scouts received his CSA at the event. The current cycle of Cam Jam started at the East of England Showground and I was involved as a sub camp leader. More recently my involvement has been more in the background. But at the 2019 event I helped in the Craft area. Malcolm Robinson
I attended for the day as a Cub, remember outside latrines and a badge pennant that has moved from one blanket to another. I would have been 9 1/2 so just about to go up to scouts. Don’t remember much else. Mark Royle
There was torrential rain and many areas of the east of England show ground flooded. Numerous groups had tents under water. Drainage ditches were spontaneously dug which later caused the organising team headaches with the site management. The majority of the young people were evacuated over night to the empty cattle sheds that were used for activities during the day. Many people left the following day and the camp was finished earlier than planned. Although I do remember several kayaks being paddled in the deeper puddles the following day!I helped run a climbing wall with 32nd Waterbeach that year. We had a lot of Venture Scouts/Adults on our subcamp so most stayed at the camp site. I remember sitting in our chairs in a long row, with a few drinks and snacks, watching the lightning. It was amazing. Thankfully it stopped raining which is why we all sat outside Sarah Claydon
The current CamJam can be contacted at http://www.camjam.org.uk
If it isn’t really history ‘because it only happened in my Scout lifetime’ (and 1978 was 42 years ago) it soon will be. Please record it.
JWR Archivist Oct 2019