In celebration of the Civilian Conservation Corps, commonly known as the "CCC", New Germany State Park will be participating in the first annual CCC On-The-Air Weekend on August 10th, from 10 am to 5 pm.
The CCC On-The-Air Weekend is a nationwide event in which Amateur Radio Operators will be setting up radio operations from the actual locations of former CCC camps throughout the United States. As New Germany State Park was once the site of a CCC camp, local Amateur Radio Operator, Scott Beitzel, will setting up communications from the Recreation Hall - a structure built by the CCC in the 1930's.
Throughout the day, Beitzel will be communicating with radio operators stationed at other CCC camps across the nation. Participants will have the opportunity to learn about Amateur Radio and also about the important role of the CCC in our nation's history. CCC photographs will be on display at the Recreation Hall, and there will also be a guided CCC hike beginning at 1:00 pm. For more information about the CCC On-The-Air Weekend, please visit www.qsl.net/ccc or call 301-895-5453.
The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC)
The early 1930’s was a dark time in American history. With the Great Depression in full swing, millions of hard-working Americans found themselves unemployed and unable to provide for their families. An estimated 12-15 million people were out of work, equaling roughly one in every four workers. In an effort to create jobs for some of the millions who were unemployed, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt developed a new program in 1933, called the Civilian Conservation Corps, or the “CCC.” In addition to creating jobs, the purpose of the CCC was to help restore the nation’s struggling natural resources. The CCC recruited young, unemployed men ages 17 to 25 to live and work in camps supervised by the U.S. Army. These young men — nicknamed “CCC boys” — went to work building parks, restoring forests, planting trees, fighting forest fires, and restoring watersheds across America. Between 1933 and 1942, the CCC provided jobs for over three million Americans.
The Local “CCC Boys”
One of the nation’s many CCC camps was located in the area that is now New Germany State Park. In the spring of 1933, approximately 125 “CCC boys” arrived at the camp, ready for work. For the first year, the “boys” lived in army tents, while they worked on constructing the barracks, mess hall, and other buildings for the camp. Much of the camp was constructed in the winter months, despite bitter cold temperatures, heavy snowfall, and icy conditions. Once they finished building the camp, the “boys” went to work on a number of projects at New Germany and the surrounding area.
The Development of New Germany State Park
A top priority for the local CCC camp was the development of recreation facilities, which would later become the foundation of New Germany State Park. When the “boys” began their work at New Germany in 1933, the park did not exist – there were no cabins, pavilions, picnic areas, or parking lots. There also was no running water. By 1940, the “CCC boys” managed to transform the area into a popular recreation destination. Without the CCC, New Germany State Park would not exist as it is today.
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