About Camp David

Camp David is the U.S. Presidential Retreat. Located in Catoctin Mountain Park in Frederick County, Maryland, Camp David has offered Presidents an opportunity for solitude and tranquility, as well as an ideal place to host foreign leaders.

Construction of the facility began in 1935 by the Work Projects Association as the Catoctin Recreational Demonstration Area Project and was opened as a camp site to federal government employees and their families three years later. President Franklin Roosevelt renamed the retreat Shangri La after the fictional Tibetan mountain kingdom in 1942. The buildings on the site, including the main lodge, were remodeled after the Roosevelt winter vacation home in Warm Springs, Georgia. In 1953 President Eisenhower renamed the retreat Camp David in honor of his father and grandson, both named David.

Since 1942, Camp David has been used by every American president as place to relax among family and friends and to tend to business outside of Washington. Camp David has also been used extensively to host foreign dignitaries. Prime Minister Winston Churchill of Great Britain attended the first such meeting in May of 1943.