First lady Nancy Reagan, keeping a year-old promise to...


DUMFRIES, Va. -- First lady Nancy Reagan, keeping a year-old promise to an underpriviledged child, returned to visit her at a summer camp for inner-city children.

And before she left, the first lady -- who spent five summers at camp herself -- promised to make a third visit.


Mrs. Reagan, wearing a blue T-shirt campers gave her last year, took a leisurely stroll around Camp Goodwill, set deep in the Prince William Forests Park about 30 miles south of Washington. She walked hand-in-hand with Kathy Gray, 9, the girl she promised to visit, and another escort, Kimberly Southerland, 12, from Takoma Park, Md.

'She's a nice lady, you can't say much more,' said Kathy as Mrs. Reagan climbed back into her polished black limousine after the three-hour outing. 'She would be a good person to talk to if you had troubles.'

Mrs. Reagan brought with her a Washington-based puppet troup, whose skits warned campers against drug abuse. She has adopted an anti-drug crusade in the last year and traveled extensively, visiting treatment centers, schools, and appearing on television.

'(Drug abuse) means more and more to me, each time I go out and see how serious the problem is,' said Mrs. Reagan.


Each summer, Camp Goodwill and two other camps give 1,200 underpriviledged Washington children two weeks away from the city. The children are referred by social workers.

A 101-year-old private agency, Family and Child Services, Inc., manages the camp with funding from the United Way and the Washington Post's 'Send a Kid to Camp' campaign.

'I love camping,' said Mrs. Reagan. 'But I loved it when I was little too.'

Mrs. Reagan said she spent five summers at Camp Ketchua in upper Michigan.

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