Camp David Development – Thurmont MD


“One public service site that the public rarely sees because of its very private purpose is in the Catoctin Mountain Park recreational area, sixty miles north of Washington, D.C. This site was developed by the New Deal’s Works Progress Administration and the CCC and was used first as a camp for crippled children, followed by a few other purposes, until FDR visited it in 1942 and claimed it, naming it his ‘Shangri-La.’ The cooler mountain climate provided the president and his family a chance to get some relief from the humidity and heat of the capital in those days before air-conditioning. It was also a place the Secret Service decided would be safer than FDR’s boat or even his Hyde Park home. This ‘safe place’ has been used as a retreat by every American president since. President Dwight Eisenhower renamed it Camp David after his grandson. Occasionally, important sessions are held at Camp David, informal yet serious meetings with dignitaries, such as when Israeli prime minister Menachem Begin and Egyptian president Anwar Sadat met there with President Jimmy Carter to work out a historic peace accord between their nations in 1978.”

Source notes

"The New Deal: A 75th Anniversary Celebration." Kathryn Flynn with Richard Polese.

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Location Info

Catoctin Mountain Park
Thurmont, MD 21788

Location notes:

Coordinates: 39.653733, -77.464461

2 comments on “Camp David Development – Thurmont MD

  1. There are several camps in Catoctin Mountain Park and one, Camp Greentop, has been in nearly continuous use since 1938 as a camp for disabled children.

    Camp Hi-Catoctin, now known as Camp David, was a camp for federal employees and was never used by disabled children.

    While portions of the Catoctin Mountain Park are regularly closed for Presidential visits most of the park remains open to the public. Rarely is the park completely closed to the public and only for major events like the Camp David Accords and the G8 Summit.

  2. Thanks for the information Mel.

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