Mom's Cautionary Weed Tale
"In the summer of 1979, my mother, Marianna, was sent to a Christian church camp program in Catoctin Mountain National Park at a group camp called Camp Round Meadow. Camp Round Meadow used to house the National Job Corps and the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 60’s. She did not want to go, but was told by my grandparents she didn’t have a choice, so she asked if she could take a friend, Kim, with her. Kim and my mother partied together as teenagers. The bus ride to the camp took about two hours and along the way they made some other like-minded friends named Theresa, Billy and Tommy from other churches. My mother, her friend Kim, and one of the others had packed some weed for the weekend.
During the opening activities, the new friends took their snacks and snuck off to get high in the woods. Sitting in the trees and laughing hysterically, my mother decided she was going to go visit the President. Camp David was only 1.5 miles from Camp Round Meadow. The others followed. They got to the main road and walked toward the entrance to Camp David through the woods. When they got close, there was a very short wire fence, only about a foot off the ground, so they jumped over it and kept going. My mother said it was hysterical, they kept laughing about knocking on the door and asking to visit the President, making fun of those tiny fences. Of course, they were ridiculously high and thought they were pretty invincible. Little did they realize those fences were letting the secret service know they were coming through the woods on the property of Camp David. They jumped over a couple more of those low fences and finally came upon a very tall fence with large “shot tower” buildings high in the air on each corner. There were no lights, but the moon was bright, so they could see the buildings in the distance. They decided to climb that fence and continue on their journey.
Well, about halfway up that fence the spotlights blasted on all over the property, they heard the dogs racing toward them and men yelling. My mother said you never saw people scream, jump and run as fast as they could in your life. They ran the entire way back to the church camp. Out of breath, stoned and now paranoid as hell, they hid in the dorms for the rest of the weekend, sneaking out one at a time to get food and bring it back.
She told us this story when we use to visit Catoctin Mountain and she used to warn us “know your audience and don’t get caught”. One year when the leaves had fallen, she took us to where you could see the little fences and the big “shot towers” through the trees. That was when we knew she wasn’t just trying to pull our leg and had really tried to visit the President!"
Photo: Mrs. Price. Circa 1979.