*Scroll down for photos and video*
On Sunday night, President Obama returned to the White House from a weekend trip to Camp David, where the first lady remains with daughters Sasha and Malia. This marks the family's third visit since the inauguration.
After the family’s first visit in February, the president called the retreat “beautiful” and said “You can see during the summer it’s going to be a nice place to spend a lot of time.”
Camp David...just the name sounds fun. That’s probably because its official name is the Naval Support Facility Thurmont, which probably sounds less like a place you’d want to go. The Catoctin Mountain Park, Maryland country home functions as a place for the president to find a little peace and quiet―and occasionally host foreign leaders, as Jimmy Carter did during a little-known negotiation process called the Camp David Accords.
Here’s a little more history from WhiteHouse.gov: “Adapted from the federal employee retreat Hi-Catoctin, President Franklin Roosevelt established the residence as USS Shangri La, modeling the new main lodge after the Roosevelt winter vacation home in Warm Springs, Georgia. President Eisenhower subsequently renamed the institution in honor of his grandson David.”
And like any good weekend retreat, Camp David remains a private place that the press has very little access to, and that remains part (or more than part) of its charm.
In this Voice of America News video on the history of Camp David, made in 2007, 80-something-year-old Thurmont town historian George Wireman, who's seen a few presidents come and go, says "One thing I'm very thankful for is that the community of Thurmont realizes the importance of Camp David, that it's a place for the President to go in private and relax. We have never in any way, shape or form commercialized on that idea. And that goes good with me."
Here's a look inside...or as inside as anyone's gonna get.
*Or see a slideshow of Presidents' non-Camp David retreats*