Camp Life

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A Civilian Conservation Corps camp in Joe's Valley, Utah, 1934. This was the first CCC camp in Emery County, established in 1933, with over 200 CCC members. Courtesy of the Emery County Archives via Mountain West Digital Library.

CCC enrollees lived in wooden barracks buildings. The larger camps usually included a dining hall, a recreation building, administrative offices, a school house, and officer’s buildings. Some temporary or additional camps were rows of tents. The living conditions often proved to be difficult to adapt to for enrollees from cities.

Benefits associated with the camps went beyond just the salaries paid to CCC workers and sent to their families. The communities in which the camps were located also benefited from local CCC work. When camps needed to be closed or relocated, local politicians, who were aware of the camps’ popularity, often protested.

For many of the men in the camps, the CCC provided the opportunity for regular, high-quality food—a welcome change from living in communities stricken by the Great Depression. The hard physical labor labor involved in CCC work also improved their physical conditioning, while educational opportunities provided by the CCC gave them tools to improve their minds.