Lesson Plan: Camp David Presidential Retreat Choice Board

George W. Bush Memories of Camp David

Former President George W. Bush shared some memories of his family's experiences at Camp David.


Camp David is the retreat home for U.S. presidents that is located in Frederick County, Maryland. It provides a tranquil place for presidents to share time with family. It also offers an opportunity for presidents to host international leaders. In this lesson, students will view videos to learn about the origin of Camp David and how presidents have used it .


  • SET-UP:

    This lesson offers several options for you to use with your students whether you are teaching in class, using a hybrid model, or engaging through distance learning. It can be completed in steps as a class or students can move at their own pace and complete the activities independently.

    You can post links to the videos in the lesson along with the related handouts and engage in discussion to share responses on a discussion board or learning management system.

    You can also save and share the following Google resources for students to use with this lesson.

    Vocabulary Chart: Camp David Presidential Retreat (Google Doc)

    Note-taking Chart: Camp David Presidential Retreat (Google Doc)

    Handout with Questions: Camp David Presidential Retreat (Google Doc)

    Choice Board with Activities: Camp David Presidential Retreat (Google Slides)

    In Google, choose "File" then "Make a Copy" to get your own copy. You can make any needed adjustments in the instructions such as which activities students need to complete, when it is due, etc. and then make it available to them via Google.

  • WARM-UP:

    Have students view the video clip below. Then engage in class discussion with the related questions.

    Video Clip 1: George W. Bush Memories of Camp David (2:15)

    Former President George W. Bush shared some memories of his family's experiences at Camp David.

    • What is the meaning of Shangri-La?

    • How did President Bush and his family spend time at Camp David?

    • Is there a special place you enjoy spending time with your family? Why is it special?

    Video Clip 2: Origin of Camp David (2:19)

    Stewart McLaurin, President, White House Historical Association, explains the origin of Camp David as a presidential retreat.

    • Explain the origin of Camp David.

    Have students view the following video clips and respond to the accompanying questions. They can watch each video independently or view a video with a partner, prepare responses to the questions and share them in class discussion.

    Video Clip 3: Developing Relationships at Camp David (3:27)

    Former White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten talks about the significance of developing relationships at Camp David.

    • According to Josh Bolton, why is Camp David important to staff members as well as leaders?

    • Describe the experience he shares while he was there.
  • Video Clip 4: Camp David Accords (1:40)

    In September 1978, President Jimmy Carter invited Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat to Camp David to discuss peace between the two nations. After almost two weeks of negotiations, the two leaders signed the agreements which established a framework for peace.

    • Explain the significance of Camp David as it relates to the signing of the Camp David Accords.
  • Video Clip 5: International Leaders Visit Camp David (2:46)

    Stewart McLaurin, President, White House Historical Association, talks about some of the international leaders who visited U.S. presidents at Camp David including former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Winston Churchill, former Premier of the Soviet Union Nikita Khrushchev and Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev.

    • Describe some of the experiences international leaders have had with presidents at Camp David.
  • Video Clip 6: First Ladies and Camp David (2:48)

    Stewart McLaurin, President, White House Historical Association describes the influence former first ladies Mamie Eisenhower and Laura Bush had on Camp David.

    • Explain some of the ways first ladies have contributed to changes at Camp David.

    Have students share their responses to the questions to ensure understanding of the purpose of Camp David and its significance.


    Ask students to complete one of the activities listed on the handout and slides, as well as below, to apply what they have learned in this lesson.

    Draw a Picture:

    Where is a special place you like to visit? This could be your home, a park, a family member's home, a vacation spot. It's your choice! Draw a picture of it and then write a brief explanation of why this place is important to you.

  • Journal Entry:

    Your family is visiting Camp David. Write journal entries chronicling your experiences. Some ideas to consider are:

    • How did you spend your time there?

    • Who was with you?

    • What outdoor adventures did you have?

    • You can include illustrations as well of things you saw.
  • You're the U.S. President!

    Who would you invite to Camp David? This could be a national or international person. Draft a notice indicating the following information:

    • Who are you inviting?

    • Why did you invite this person?

    • How did you spend your time with this person?

    • What did you accomplish?
  • Camp David Graphic Organizer:

    Complete the Graphic Organizer found on the last slide to show what you have learned about Camp David. Use your notes for reference. Follow the steps:

    • In the blue space, type the topic of the video you chose.

    • In the green space, type the reason you were interested.

    • In each red space, type a fact that you learned about Camp David.

    • In each yellow space, type something you would like to know about the person and their visit.

    • In the purple bonus space, share any other information you found interesting.

Additional Resource


  • Contentious
  • Delegation
  • Dwight D. Eisenhower
  • Franklin D. Roosevelt
  • Herbert Hoover
  • Laura Bush
  • Legacy
  • Mamie Eisenhower
  • Prime Minister
  • Richard Nixon
  • Shangri-la
  • Summit
  • Tony Blair
  • Winston Churchill


Executive BranchU.S. History


Middle SchoolHigh School