Nancy Reagan brought her anti-drug message to the 1985 National Scout Jamboree

In 1985, smack dab in the middle of her tenure as First Lady of the United States, Nancy Reagan spoke at the National Scout Jamboree.

Nancy Reagan, who died Sunday, brought her anti-drug message to the 30,000-plus Boy Scouts and leaders gathered at Fort A.P. Hill in Virginia.

President Ronald Reagan had been scheduled to appear to deliver remarks, but he was still recovering from cancer surgery.

Nancy Reagan, speaking at the closing show, told the Scouts that they are “what is most positive about America’s young people today.”

But using drugs, she said, can derail a young person’s life.

“No one can use drugs and remain a true Boy Scout,” she said. “Drug-free is the best way and the only way to live. Boy Scouts can help save their generation from drugs.”

Also appearing on stage at the closing arena show that day: a country band known as The Oak Ridge Boys. The Beach Boys performed at the opening arena show days earlier.


Photo via Ronald Reagan Presidential Library

About Bryan Wendell 2843 Articles
Bryan Wendell, an Eagle Scout, is the founder of Bryan on Scouting and a contributing writer.