Francis Scott Key Post 11
The American Legion, Department of Maryland, believes in supporting the development of our youth from local neighborhoods. Toward that end, the Western Maryland District (WMD) of the Department of Maryland developed Camp West-Mar.
In November, 1959 at a meeting of the WMD, it was agreed upon to hold a summer camp for boys (ages nine through twelve years) on a trial basis. Further, it was established that the boys would be from financially depressed or broken families, or be juvenile delinquents, who were recommended by their school principal, minister or social agency. Boys would be selected from Carroll, Frederick, and Washington Counties, which make up the WMD.
The first encampment was held in the summer of 1960 with 40 boys in attendance. The all-volunteer staff held the camp for one week at Camp Summit near Emmitsburg, MD. It was deemed a success and the WMD decided to continue with future encampments.
From 1960 through 1971, various sites were used; i.e. Camp Echo Lake, Camp Airy and Camp Summit. In 1972 camp was held for two weeks at our present site on Brown Road, off Route 77 in the Catoctin Mountains. WMD purchased this land and constructed the camp. The site consists of six 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, most of which was constructed by Legion members to include a large contingent from Post 11. Many volunteers stayed 24 hours a day for the duration of the encampment. Camp West-Mar remained the only all volunteer American Legion camp in the country until 2017 when it was leased to the YMCA for use as a Summer Camp.
Post 11 continues to provide funding to sponsor a number of campers annually.