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May Co. Scout Jamboree  

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About the May Co. Scout Jamboree

           May Company was a high-end department store and Southern California landmark founded in Colorado in 1877 by David May.  The Store expended to the west coast and Los Angeles in 1923. Through a series of mergers and acquisitions, May Co. became a national retail merchandiser with over 400 stores that consolidated under the name of Macy's in the late 1990's. Some time before World War II, Thomas May, son of the founder, thought there was a marketing opportunity in linking up with the Boy Scouts. He started a show and event called the May Co. Scout Jamboree which lasted into the 1960's. By 1947, the Jamboree became an event exclusively for Cub Scouts.

Los Angeles Examiner
Half Page Newspaper Advertizement

Almost 2,500 scouts and their parents attended the May Co. Scout Jamboree on February 6, 1943.

          Jamboree shows, scheduled during Scout Anniversary week, were originally held at the flagship May Co. department store on Wilshire Boulevard, located on the eastern boundary of Crescent Bay Council. When attendance became too large, the Jamboree was moved to the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. The shows boasted favorite screen and radio stars along with animal and Western acts.
The Scout Jamborees became hugely popular with thousands of Los Angeles area scouts and their parents attending each year. Sometime in the 1950's, separate tickets were offered for the Cub Scout shows and the Scout shows.

Felt Mini Pennants  

           As a promotion and souvenir, May Co. offered free tickets to the jamboree and felt mini pennants to all registered cub scouts.
The free pennants and tickets brought thousands of cubs and young scouts into the May Co. department stores along with their mothers who, in turn, spent money in the stores. The pennants were too large to be worn as patches on the cub uniform but were considered as treasured souvenirs by the cubs who, unlike the boy scouts of the late 1940's, had very few event and camp patches they could earn.
The mini pennants are silk screened on felt and about 3" across the top and 6" tall.

1946   1947   1948   1949

Post Cards




February 6, 10:30 A.M.
Mayco, Wilshire 7th Floor
February 12, 9:30 A.M.
Shrine Auditorium

February 4, 8:45 A.M.
Shrine Auditorium
Cub Scout

February 4
Shrine Auditorium

Boy Scout 12:45 A.M.
Dark Khaki Ticket

Cub  Scout 12:45 P.M.
Silver Ticket



February 8, 9:15 A.M.
Shrine Auditorium
November 26, 1:00 P.M.
Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena



May Co. Letter
February 6, 1946


Invitation to Proctor Weir, Crescent Bay Council Field Commissioner to attend the
1946 May Co. Scout Jamboree on February 9, 1946. An attendance of seven thousand
scouts and leaders was expected. Signed: Tom May

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