Afro-Cuban Religious Experience

Camping in the Jungle

Camping in the Jungle: Stories of Scouting in the Panama Canal Zone

Curated by Sarah Marek with assistance from Jessica Marcetti and Lourdes Santamaría-Wheeler.

Often heralded as the “gateway to the world,” the Panama Canal connects the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, merging water, commerce, and culture. Yet its surrounding area, the Panama Canal Zone, was a world unto itself. The Zone was controlled by the United States from 1903 to 1979, with many Canal Zone residents viewing themselves as living the American life. important marker of the American lifestyle in the Canal Zone was scouting. Scouting activities included parades, jamborees, and community-wide fundraisers that brought people together and created a connection to the larger American culture.

The Panama Canal Museum Collection (PCMC) in the Department of Special & Area Studies Collections (SASC) is the leading research collection for the study of the American era of the Panama Canal. The collection documents the U.S. experience in the Panama Canal Zone and in the country of Panama. As a part of the Panama and The Canal project, the PCMC supports and advances the commitment of the George A. Smathers Libraries to excellence
in education and research and contributes to the University of Florida’s standing as a preeminent public research university.

Visit the Panama and the Canal Digital Collection at:

This exhibition explores the role of scouting in the lives of Canal Zone residents in their own words. To participate in future projects like this one, contribute metadata, or view objects from the collection, visit: