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March 31, 1938 Conservation Corps celebrate five years

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Published on: Thursday, September 29, 2011

Each week, The Sentinel revisits a memorable story from our archives.  

It has been announced by the Director Robert Fechner, that the Fifth Anniversary of the Civilian Conservation Corps will be observed this year during the week of March 31st to April 5th,

In the spring of 1933, the first CCC Camps appeared in Maryland, a part of that vast chain of outdoor camps which have given employment to a great army of unemployed young men. The CCC was organized for and has served two purposes. It has given jobs to thousands of young men and it has made of that employment a sound program of public work of real and lasting value. Today, this work is conserving and expanding our timber resources, it is increasing our recreational opportunities, and it is reducing the annual toll levied by forest fires, diseases, pests, erosion and floods.

Four Federal Departments cooperate in the CCC program. The Department of Agriculture and the Department of the Interior supervise the work programs. The War Department administers the Camps. The Department of Labor is responsible for the selection of enrollees and appoints an agent in every state who selects applicants except war veterans. The latter are selected by the Veterans’ Administration.

Life in the Camps has proven beneficial to regular hours, nourishing food, comfortable quarters, proper recreation, and medical and dental treatment when necessary have improved the general physical condition. Job training is done in connection with camp work. In addition to systematic instruction on the job preferred, there is today an opportunity in each camp for a spare time educational program under the supervision of competent advisers. Courses are given in elementary, high school, and college subjects such as printing, agriculture, bookkeeping, type-writing, surveying, ect. By advice and help in making contacts, educational officials are assisting enrollees to find employment after discharge from the Corps.

The aggregate number of young men and war veterans from Maryland who participated in the CCC program during 1937 was 5,534. It is estimated that Maryland boys allotted $763,604.07 to their dependents last year. The number of camps in Maryland has varied. At one time there was more than thirty, but at the present time there are but twenty-three, eight of which will be closed soon. There are seven forest camps; one in Allegany, one in Frederick, three in Garrett, one in Prince George’s and one in Worcester County. There are two park camps; one in Howard and Baltimore counties and one in Cecil County. There are three Soil Conservation Camps; one each in Anne Arundel, Harford, and Washington Counties. There is one mosquito control camp in Worcester County. Several camps have been established on the National Agricultural Research Center in Prince George’s County, and there are now three of these camps in operation at Beltsville. There are three drainage camps; one each on Caroline, Dorchester, and Somerset Counties. There is now one Navy Camp in Charles County, and there are two Army Camps in Harford County and one in Anne Arundel County.

Young men between the ages of 17 and 23 years are eligible for selection. Enrollment is for six months, after which time opportunity is given for reenrollment. Maximum length of service is limited to two years. An honorably discharged enrollee many not be again selected for enrollment until the expiration of six months from the date of his discharges.

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