For Mr. Bush, the location offered an escape from Washington and an opportunity to gather family and friends in a relaxed, scenic environment, said Bush White House press secretary Scott McClellan.
"The extended Bush family enjoyed gathering there for Christmas. The president and Mrs. Bush enjoyed inviting their closest friends to spend weekends at Camp David," Mr. McClellan said. "I think it allowed him to relax and unwind a little more than a president can at the White House. Having a retreat like Camp David is a great benefit for any president to decompress, get outside the White House fishbowl and spend time with family and close friends, and I think that is important for helping to keep a president grounded."