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The CCC wanted their men to have a positive image in the community.
Rules and expectations for the CCC men was a good way to make sure that the mark they left on the community was a positive one. CCC camps were run like military camps would run and the employees used to be called Roosevelt’s “tree army.” The employees were held to high expectations whether it was…
Rules and expectations for the CCC men was a good way to make sure that the mark they left on the community was a positive one. CCC camps were run like military camps would run and the employees used to be called Roosevelt’s “tree army.”
The employees were held to high expectations whether it was behavior, cleanliness or physical appearance. In the Cumberland Falls Spray, a camp newsletter, a Lieutenant was “offering a package of cigarettes to the man in each barrack who is standing the best inspection each Saturday morning.”6 The Lieutenants kept the boys in tip-top shape so they could impress important leaders and to represent Roosevelt well by giving the camp a good face.
The CCC wanted to make such a good impact on the local community that they even discouraged little things such as cussing. In the Goose Rock Gazette, a CCC camp newsletter, a camp member wrote, “A gentleman does not use such language for fear that he will offend someone.”7 The CCC wanted such a positive image that even little things like cussing were a huge deal to them.
The strict rules that the men had to follow were things such as, no “… women, liquor, drugs, gangs or fighting…. discipline was maintained by the threat of dishonorable discharge,”8 as mentioned in a Conservapedia article.
For the most part, the rules worked. However, there were a few incidences where rules were broken off camp. An example of this was written about in The Broadcast9, a camp newsletter. Several employees went to a local “Wild West” show and had been drinking. A drunk local man, unprovoked, came up to them and started a fight. The drunk local ended up pulling a knife and stabbing one of the CCC employees which killed him. This example of bad behavior reflected negatively on the camp which drove more people to not want any more CCC camps. The family of the deceased didn’t think positively about the camp because their son died. The community didn’t think positively about the camp because the men were drunk and irresponsible. Their image was important to the CCC camp for a positive impact so people would have supported them.
To learn about how the local women got involved with the CCC camps, check out my next post!
6 “Spic-Span,” The Cumberland Falls Spray, Vol. 1, No. 6 (December 21, 1936): 2.
7 “Editorial,” Goose Rock Gazette, Vol. 1, No.7 (December 13, 1937): 4.
8 “Civilian Conservation Corps,” Conservapedia, accessed April 2, 2019.
9 “Enrollee Goodman, Company 1516, Victim of Drunken Man’s Attack,” The Broadcast (August 1935): 3.