Behind the scenes at the G8 summit

Barack Obama will welcome world leaders to the presidential country retreat, Camp David. Photo: Reuters

The G8 summit this weekend is taking place at Camp David, 60 miles outside of Washington DC. It's the largest ever gathering held at the Presidential retreat.

One question of protocol: which leader gets which log cabin? Each cabin is named after a type of tree. So will David Cameron get Dogwood?

We don't know because the information is classified, according to America's National Security Adviser.

It's a pleasant place to stay for 24 hours, although perhaps not amid a global economic crisis and a Eurozone meltdown. Camp David has a bowling alley, a putting green, a swimming pool and lovely paths through the woods of the Catoctin Mountains.

David Cameron might recall that a British Prime Minister was the very first foreign guest ever to stay at Camp David. Winston Churchill was invited there 70 years ago. In those days, the Presidential retreat was called "Shangri-La."

Presidential Eisenhower changed it to Camp David, naming it after his father and grandson. Shangri-La is too exotic a name "for a Kansas farm boy," Eisenhower declared.

But will the charming rustic environment help the decision-making of world leaders this weekend? We had all better hope so.

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