The 1985 Jamboree returned to Ft AP Hill, eighty five miles south of Washington D.C. In 1981 the site had proven to be perfect for a Scout Jamboree. Close enough to the historic sites in the nations capitol and on a military base with the US Army providing security. The official attendance is reported at 32,618 which was down almost 10,000 from the 1981 Jamboree. The Jamboree theme was The Spirit Lives On, which was partially a celebration of the 75th anniversary of founding of the BSA. Various events were held around the country to also celebrate the event. At some previous Jamborees, Scouts had been exposed to our nations heritage and history. As in 1981 most contingents visited Washington DC, the Tomb of the Unknown, Arlington National Cemetery, Washington’s home at Mt Vernon, the FBI etc. Visiting the historic sights seemed to be an important aspect of the Jamboree, it was believed that it helped make a Scout a better citizen. Ronald Regan was President, his wife Nancy, spoke and visited the Jamboree.

Other Jamborees had experienced bad weather, rains in 1937 and 1977, but nothing like the after effects of a Hurricane. Torrential rains and winds tore the Jamboree apart. Jamboree leaders made heroic efforts to put the camp back together. Motels and laundries all along Hwy 75 from Washington to Richmond washed and dried Scouts sleeping bags. Tents were repaired and put back up, it was almost a catastrophe, but the staff and friends of Scouting came through and the Jamboree went on. Every Scout that attended has a story.
badges and neckerchiefs
Scouts received two embroidered badges and neckerchiefs. There were official I D cards and luggage/baggage tags.Each Scout was given a guide book that has valuable information about the Jamboree.  New for 1985 were personalized name tags. All staff members received one, units had to order them in advance, most did, but some didn’t. Patches & neckerchiefs were made in huge quantities.
1985 boyt scout jamboree pocket patches
large pocket patch



(far left) is a 5" c 3 3/4" back/jacket patch. There were complaints that the the 5" back/jacket patch was small.

(next to it) 4-5/8" round leather
There are four known 1985 Jamboree prototypes of the pocket patch 
 
non standard issue patchs
non standard issue patchs
standard issue patch
pins at the 1985 boy scout national jamboree 
(above) I comment on the pin phenomenon elsewhere, but something should be said about official and unofficial pins. There were official pins sold at the trading post, but most pin collectors at the time didn’t seem to care. I’m showing a sampling of pins above. Some were made in Formosa, possibly by Howard Ang, others were made by the Gerry White pin company. I suspect there is an interesting story about how so many pins came to be made for the 1985 Jamboree. It’s been suggested that pins were widely popular at the 1984 Summer Olympic Games in California. Perhaps Jamboree pins could be traced to the popularity of pins at the Olympics.

(below) This is a sampling of Jamboree shoulder Patches from 1985. JSP’s were replacing contingent patches. In 1981 there had been about 100 JSP’s, in 1985 there were about 238 councils using JSP’s. That still left about 200 councils not using them, but that would change at later Jamborees. Some councils had multiple issues with troop numbers, different border colors and some like Yucca, just had different border colors for trading. There were pins for a high percentage of patches, most contingents that had a patch and a pin.

CSP’s and JSP’s became a new field of collecting. Many collectors suddenly got interested and council collecting was a big field. Ultimately at later Jamborees with so many unique issues and contrived scarcity council collecting would wane. However, it’s fun to collect your local council and generally speaking many issues that had previously been “tough” are on eBay, reasonable priced. Compiling this in March of 2022 there was a set of 100 1985 Jamboree pins with a minimum bid of $500. the lot did not sell. I don’t see much interest in Jamboree pins, but at maybe $1 or $2 each someone might be.
1985 bsa jamboree shoulder patches
 1985 bsa jamboree shoulder patches
1985 bsa jamboree shoulder patches
1985 bsa jamboree shoulder patches
1985 bsa jamboree shoulder patches
1985 bsa jamboree shoulder patches
1985 bsa jamboree shoulder patches
Generic 1985 bsa jamboree patch


Like in 1981, an enterprising patch manufacturer offered a generic patch if a council didn’t have someone to develop a design. But like 1981 it doesn't appear that many councils used the design.
 
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Paul Myers Goshen, Indiana
gimogash@comcast.net