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Jul 29, 2019 Washington, D.C.

The White House Historical Association’s new episode of its monthly podcast The 1600 Sessions, called “Life at Camp David,” released today, serves as an insider’s look at the president’s retreat. The conversation was recorded during the George W. Bush Presidential Center’s program series “Camp David: An Insider’s Look” in front of an audience and features stories told by Joshua Bolten, former Chief of Staff to President George W. Bush; Rear Admiral Michael Giorgione, Former Commander at Camp David and author of Inside Camp David: The Private World of the Presidential Retreat; Holly Kuzmich, Executive Director of the George W. Bush Institute; and Stewart McLaurin, President of the White House Historical Association.

Camp David, the country retreat for the President of the United States, is located near Thurmont, Maryland, about 62 miles northwest of Washington, D.C. and has served every U.S. President since Franklin Roosevelt.

“Two hundred acres, Catoctin Mountain Park…It is a rustic retreat,” said Rear Admiral Michael Giorgione when describing Camp David. “Simple, single story cabins, oak plank siding, cedar shakes shingled roofs. Just enough amenities, enough security of course, but very pleasant, a simple place to go where many presidents have found the respite they are looking for.”

The group also talked about Camp David’s use as a location to host foreign leaders.

“Camp David provided for building a warm personal relationship between the leaders…to get to know each other and establish the kind of relationship that becomes critical especially in a crisis,” Bolten explained. “When I was Chief of Staff, I had the privilege of basically hosting my counterpart or counterparts for a wide variety of world leaders. And the relationships that were established there, in many cases turned out to be, extremely important in the months and years to follow.”

The 1600 Sessions

In this podcast series, White House Historical Association President Stewart McLaurin interviews luminaries, historians, and eyewitnesses to history about America’s most famous residence and office—the White House. Each episode includes a prominent guest or guests to discuss varying facets of White House history, including insights from former staff and many other topical issues.

The 1600 Sessions is available on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, and Stitcher.

To hear the full episode, visit

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About the white house historical association

First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy envisioned a restored White House that conveyed a sense of history through its decorative and fine arts. She sought to inspire Americans, especially children, to explore and engage with American history and its presidents. In 1961, the nonprofit, nonpartisan White House Historical Association was established to support her vision to preserve and share the Executive Mansion’s legacy for generations to come. Supported entirely by private resources, the Association’s mission is to assist in the preservation of the state and public rooms, fund acquisitions for the White House permanent collection, and educate the public on the history of the White House. Since its founding, the Association has given more than $50 million to the White House in fulfillment of its mission.

To learn more about the White House Historical Association, please visit

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