Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Skiing at Camp David

The Carter family cross-country skiing near Camp David in 1979

In his Sharing Good Times book, President Carter wrote about his family's winter activities at Camp David: "We enjoyed our first experience with cross-country skiing within the presidential retreat and along the hiking and equestrian trails in nearby state parks. We also had sleds and snowmobiles that we used on the steep slopes within the camp."

He went on to describe one mishap: "I was skiing down a steep slope near our cottage on very thin snow, hit an exposed rock, and broke my left clavicle just two weeks before my term as president expired".

This 1978 newspaper article describes President Carter's plans to have his family take up cross-country skiing at Camp David. He told reporters he thought the terrain at Camp David would be ideal and that they could follow the perimeter fence for two and a half miles.

The Jimmy Carter Library has all of the Carter Presidential Daily Diaries available online. The February 11, 1979 diary describes a day skiing around Catoctin Mountain Park; having lunch at the Misty Mount Lodge; and then skiing to the park visitors center. This March 1980 diary describes the President and his party departing Camp David on skis, briefly returning to Laurel Lodge and then going out again for more cross-country skiing.

Clintons skiing at Camp David
The Clintons also enjoyed cross-country skiing at Camp David.

President Clinton was quoted in a newspaper article about a 1994 trip to Camp David: "I didn't set any Nordic records yesterday cross-country skiing, but we had a wonderful time."

Sources: Sharing Good Times by Jimmy Carter; Gettysburg Times; Jimmy Carter Library; People; National Park Service; Milwaukee Journal

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