||Nos. 2 & 3|
THE CCC RECORD
The admirable achievement of the Civilian
Conservation Corps in improving the general physical standard of the
vast majority of the 2,300,000 youths who have spent six months or
longer in its park and forest camps (see page 24) merits within itself a
generous measure of public commendation.
There is no need for recourse to the expansive
generalities of wishful rhetoric. It is necessary to consider only the
great body of coldly impersonal statistics amassed over a seven-year
period by the staff of the Surgeon General of the Army. The official
figures provide a precise mathematical measure of the national dividends
in adolescent health. Their social and economic implications are, of
course, of far-reaching and utmost significance.
The tabulations show clearly what the Corps has done
for the health of youth, but they are not concerned with some of the
immeasurably valuable contributions which have been made to the
self-confidence, the ability to perform useful work, the many intangible
qualities of balanced development that every young American is entitled
to receive. Nor is the report concerned with the contributions which the
youths themselves have made to the nation.
Some of the latter are described in the annual report
which the National Park Service has just transmitted to the Corps. In
keeping with the issues which now claim the first attention of the
country, it summarizes CCC operations in the nation's parks as a
three-fold contribution to national defense.
"Park work first accomplishes the protection and
conservation of forest, water, and other important natural resources
present in these area," said the report. "Second, it develops these
areas for the types of outdoor recreation chiefly valuable for building
up and maintaining the physical well-being and morale of the American
people. Finally, through its park work, the Corps finds extensive
opportunities for training CCC men not only in the habits of work and
orderly living, but also in basic skills of many different trades and
The 310 CCC camps working in national, state, and
local parks and allied recreational areas during the 1940 fiscal year
provided additional facilities for millions of American citizens. Since
the inception of the CCC in 1933, however, there has been a total of 198
camps established in 94 national park and monument areas, and 697 camps
in 881 state, county, and metropolitan parks.
Their total physical contributions may be measured
mathematically by reference to great record books citing aggregate
quantities of linear feet of this, cubic yards of that, and miles of
another thing. The different types of work performed total 109
and range from the control of tree diseases to the rescue of lost
persons. Yet these serried figures, like those of the Surgeon General,
calculate only the visible, physical achievements.
Statistical data accumulated so painstakingly over
the years since 1933 are needful and desirable. But they cannot measure
the CCC. The method would be equivalent to describing a home as a house
having rooms in it. The record of the CCC is yet to be written.
Human to a fault, The Review beams and shifts
shyly from foot to foot when a kindly correspondent sends in a pleasant
word. That agreeable experience came recently when Ormond S. Danford,
instructor in the Fenton (Michigan) High School, graciously informed
"The Regional Review is making history real to
us. Our greatest ambition is to finance some day a class tour of the
eastern historical monuments."