The American Legion, Department of Maryland

Within The American Legion, Department of Maryland, there are two youth camps that are supported and run by The American Legion. See below for more information on these summer camps.


Camp West-Mar is now leased by the YMCA of Frederick County
More info can be found at the YMCA of Frederick County

The American Legion, Department of Maryland, believes in supporting the development of our youth in our local neighborhoods. Toward that end, the Western Maryland District of the Department of Maryland developed Camp West-Mar.

In November, 1959 at a meeting of the Western Maryland District of The American Legion, it was agreed upon to hold a summer camp for boys (ages 9 thru 12 years) on a trial basis. Further, it was established that the boys would be from financially depressed families, broken families or be juvenile delinquents. They would need to be recommended by either their school principal, minister or social agency. Boys would be selected from Carroll, Frederick, and Washington Counties.

The first encampment was held in the summer of 1960 with forty (40) boys in attendance. The all-volunteer staff held the camp for one week at Camp Summit near Emmitsburg, MD. That first encampment was deemed a success and the Western Maryland District decided to continue with future encampments.

From 1960 thru 1971, various sites were used for encampment; i.e., Camp Echo Lake, Camp Airy and Camp Summit. In 1972 camp was held for two (2) weeks at our present sit on Brown Road, off Route 77 in the Catoctin Mountains. We are very proud that the Western Maryland District purchased this land and went on to construct the camp, known today as Camp West-Mar. To date, this site consists of 6 cabins, an Olympic size swimming pool with bath house, rifle range, archery range, man-made fishing pond, all-purpose court, mess hall, ball field, outdoor chapel and a pavilion.

Camp West Mar remains the only all volunteer American Legion camp in the country. As such, the Western Maryland District is proud of the staff and their accomplishments in providing leadership, learning, and fun to the boys who have attended the past encampments. In the past 39 years of operation, over 3,200 boys have attended the two week encampment, and 10,000 to 12,000 hours of volunteer time is spent each year. Many volunteers stay 24 hours a day for the two week duration of the encampment. Of the original Legionnaires and staff, many are in their 70s and 80s and still active! Activities scheduled each year for the boys include: softball, basketball, swimming, fishing, archery and rifle range shooting. The camp tries to include a police day, helicopter tours and demonstrations, military shows, shotgun shooting, fire department equipment and personnel; as well as, many other activities including bingo, movies and crafts. Two favorites of the boys has always been our day trip to Hershey Park and an evening trip to watch a Frederick Keys baseball game. The American Legion Camp West-Mar is very proud to have operated an all volunteer encampment for 40 years. Wont you consider giving your time and talents to the encampment? Those interested should contact one of the local American Legion Posts in Carroll, Frederick, or Washington counties.


The Department of Maryland's Southern Maryland District is in the process of developing a youth camp near the state of Maryland's Boys Village in Cheltenham, Maryland. The aim of The Southern Maryland Youth Camp is to provide camping and recreational activities for our young people, including those with disabilities. The objectives of the Youth Camp include, but are not limited to:

  • Nurturing traditional values, support democratic ideals, and to provide educational opportunities that may not otherwise be available
  • Providing an opportunity to mainstream interactions between children with disabilities and those who are not
  • romoting a better understanding of nature through a direct interface with the environment
  • Helping to teach youth how to live in harmony with their environment in order to promote the preservation of natural resources
  • Providing primitive camping facilities for organized youth groups
  • Providing domiciliary and recreational facilities for all youth
  • Providing facilities for picnics, hikes, athletic contests, and other events

The Youth Camp is managed by the Youth Camp Board of Directors and Youth Camp Operations Committee. The Board of Directors is composed of Legionnaires from the Southern Maryland District of The American Legion, Department of Maryland. The Board is elected by their respective American Legion County Councils and is responsible for administration and Youth Camp policy. The Youth Camp Operations Committee, consists of Legionnaires and members of select organizations appointed by the Board of Directors. It is responsible for the construction and day to day operations of the Youth Camp.

The facilities and programs are available to all youth, regardless of sex, race, color, creed, or religious belief, provided: Those wishing to use the Youth Camp must belong to a bonafide youth group that subscribes to the above criteria; A requesting group must complete an Application for Use and return it to the Youth Camp Operations Committee 90 days prior to the requested date of use;

Additional Youth Camp Information Additional information may be obtained by calling telephone number 301-782-3338 or 301-855-5001 e-mail . Leave a message and a representative of the Youth Camp will return your call.

The mailing address of the Youth Camp is:
Southern Maryland District Youth Camp
P.O. Box 30
Clinton, MD 20735


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