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Celebrating the Civilian Conservation Corps

Scouts from Boy Scouts of America Troop 88 dig a hole for a new interpretative sign. (Forest Service photo/Tiffany Holloway)

Scouts from Boy Scouts of America Troop 88 dig a hole for a new interpretative sign. (Forest Service photo/Tiffany Holloway)

On a recent cool, crisp spring morning in the mountains of Virginia, the Boy Scouts of America Troop 88 followed in the footsteps of the first “boys” of the Civilian Conservation Corps, the CCC.

The first CCC camp, Camp Roosevelt, was established April 17, 1933 at the George Washington and Jefferson National Forest. Over time, the forest had 14 camps.

The forest was celebrating the Civilian Conservation Corps’ 80th anniversary by inviting the scouts, missionaries, and Forest Service employees to participate in stewardship projects around an old CCC camp.

Volunteers Westin Yardley and Ethan Richins said this was their first time participating in the clean-up.

“We cleaned out the fire pits, cleared off the trails from debris, and did some leaf blowing,” said Yardley.

Other stewardship projects included re-posting interpretative signs, which included pictures of what the camp looked like in the 1930s and snippets of history about the camp. The interpretative signs were financed by one of the Civilian Conservation Corps members.

Scouts from Boy Scouts of America Troop 88 dig a hole for a new interpretative sign. (Forest Service photo/Tiffany Holloway)

Scouts from Boy Scouts of America Troop 88 dig a hole for a new interpretative sign. (Forest Service photo/Tiffany Holloway)

“In his will, it stated that money would go to the Civilian Conservation Corps to help commemorate their legacy,” said Stephanie Chapman, recreation specialist on the George Washington and Jefferson National Forest.

Ian Buschong, from Boy Scout Troop 88, was lead for this project and said, “I was interested in doing this project because the new signs will add to the camp experience.”

The Civilian Conservation Corps, a public work relief program under President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal, operated from 1933 to 1942. The program, for unemployed, unmarried men between 18 and 25 years old, provided unskilled manual labor jobs related to the conservation and development of natural resources in rural lands owned by federal, state and local governments.

Nationally, the Forest Service had several hundred camps across the U.S. mainland and Hawaii, Alaska and Puerto Rico.

Civilian Conservation Corps projects included:

  • more than 3,470 fire towers erected
  • 97,000 miles of fire roads built
  • 4,235,000 man-days devoted to fighting fires
  • more than 3 billion trees planted
  • disease and insect control
  • forest improvement — timber stand inventories, surveying, and reforestation
  • forest recreation development — campgrounds built, complete with picnic shelters, swimming pools, fireplaces, and restrooms.

“I’m really glad the Boy Scouts are taking care of the place. If someone doesn’t do it, it’s not going to be done.” said Joan Sharpe, Civilian Conservation Corps legacy president.

“Conservation efforts such as this help to continue with tradition and helps (the scouts) learn by exposure.”

Joan Sharpe, Civilian Conservation Corps legacy president, points to one of the old interpretative signs that displays the site where “the boys” built the Army headquarters.  (Forest Service photo/Tiffany Holloway)

Joan Sharpe, Civilian Conservation Corps legacy president, points to one of the old interpretative signs that displays the site where “the boys” built the Army headquarters. (Forest Service photo/Tiffany Holloway)

2 Responses to “Celebrating the Civilian Conservation Corps”

  1. Jay Alexander says:

    Consider joining CCCI, Inc (wwwe.wecantakeit.org) and be a part of the grassroots effort to re-mobilize the “TREE ARMY” to put millions of work boots back on the ground for generations to come!

    Eighty years ago, under the Roosevelt Administration, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) program demonstrated that no conflict existed between preserving the environment and job creation. CCC is going Back to the Future!

    I propose to create a civilian conservation corps to be used in simple work, not interfering with normal employment, and confining itself to forestry, the prevention of soil erosion, flood control and similar projects. I call your attention to the fact that this type of work is of definite, practical value, not only through the prevention of great present financial loss, but also as a means of creating future national wealth…. the More important, however, than the material gains from their labors will be the moral and spiritual value of such work.” FDR March 21, 1933

    “We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build them for the future!” ~ 32nd President of the United States Franklin D. Roosevelt

    “I want generations that follow to see that we used this moment to encourage a 21st century civilian conservation corps for our young people. ” ~ President Obama’s address at the 160th Anniversary of the Department of the Interior on March 3, 2009

    And then with the political will of the PEOPLE get the CCC that was FDR’s first in 1933 his best alphabet Soup initiative expanded world wide via FDR’s last initiative the UN!

    http://www.facebook.com/groups/315650290291 Make time to make the call to your Member of Congress in Washington to co-sponsor HR 188 the 21st Century CCC Act to re establish a program that would give a start for many of our young people and spots for Veterans that need work @ 202 224 3121 or http://www.house.gov/representatives/

  2. nobama says:

    Yes Boys and Girls, once upon a time in the USA you actually had to work to get your welfare paycheck. Really, you actually had to work for that welafare money. It started as a demoncrat program and evolved into a free money program. Under the horrible and dire circustances of the terrible depression of the 1930′s, 25% of Americans were getting welfare. Today, thanks to decades of demoncrat control of the congress we have evolved into a society that has 50% of Americans on welfare. HOORAY!

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