Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Camp Newspapers

I love the CCC camp newspapers, published by the enrollees under the guidance of the camp's educational advisor. The newspapers were meant to teach literacy to the enrollees and to build camp morale. They had regular articles about the camp's work projects, filling in some of the blanks about these projects left out of the official government CCC reports. They also contain articles on the camp's educational program, safety concerns,  and how to be a good American citizen.

But the best part of the newspapers are the jokes and stories the enrollees tell about themselves. These were young men, and the newspapers are full of jokes about how much they love to eat, what happened at last weekend's dance in town, who is dating what girl in the community, and how well (or badly) their camp sports teams are doing. The enrollees also contributed illustrations to the newspapers, such as these illustrations from the Walker Canyon Reporter newspaper in Santa Cruz County:

                                                                     The Proposal


This joke from the Madera Canyon camp newspaper shows that pranks were a regular part of CCC camp life:

Tommie Gavagen says he is going to take his bed with him next time he goes to Phoenix. When he came home the other day, the boys in barrack four had removed the springs that held the mattress, and put strings instead.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Civilian Conservation Corps in Southern Arizona

This blog will talk a little bit about some of the history of the CCC in Southern 
Arizona. Feel free to contact me with any comments or further questions! All 
information in this blog is copyrighted by the author.

Food in the CCC

August 18, 2011
Food in the CCC
Napoleon has been credited with the saying, "An army marches on its stomach."  
When it came to feeding the men of the Civilian Conservation Corps, this saying was 
taken very seriously. Food was an important part of CCC camp life. Many of the 
enrollees came from homes where food was scarce, and they expended plenty of 
calories working on their CCC conservation projects.

It was the U.S. Army who was responsible for feeding the enrollees. Army personnel trained 
the cooks and bakers, developed menus and recipes, and bought the food.

Cooks and bakers attended U.S. Army training schools and/or were trained on the 
job. They were paid $45/month, quite a bit more than the $30 other enrollees 

Menus were developed each day, approved by the camp commander, and sent to 
CCC headquarters in Washington, D.C. For special celebrations, such as Christmas, 
the enrollees were fed special meals.

Here's a sample menu from 1941 at Camp SCS-26-A, Patagonia, AZ


    Stewed fruits                         
    Dry Cereal                             
    Pork sausage                         
    Gravy & Biscuits                  
    Fried Potatoes 

Dinner (in field)
      Meat spread sandwich
      Fruit spread
      Cheese spread
      Fresh fruit

      Beef soup               
      Vegetable salad
      Boiled beef and dumplings
      Iced cocoa
      Boiled potatoes                 
      Buns & butter
      Raisin pie

Food came from local markets and from CCC district quartermasters.The food 
allowance ranged from 40 to 45 cents/day per enrollee through the history of the 

Here's a recording of the perishable food consumed at Camp SCS-26-A, Patagonia, 
AZ, in 1941. The camp had about 200 enrollees.

    Fresh Beef: 1,402 lbs.          
    Bread: 2,350 slices     
    Potatoes: 4,000 
    Ice Cream: 30 gallons 
    Butter: 320 lbs. 
    Cheese: 389 lbs. 
    Eggs: 480 dozen                  
    Milk: 5,033 quarts     
    Frankfurters: 302

Lots of fats and meats in the CCC enrollee's diet, which provided fuel for their 
demanding physical labor.