The Civilian Conservation Corps

Group of men standing by a flag pole.
Group of CCC men standing at attention by a flag pole under the cliffs of Zion National Park.

Zion National Park Archives

The Civilian Conservation Corps

As part of the New Deal Program, to help lift the United States out of the Great Depression, Franklin D. Roosevelt established the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1933. The CCC or C’s as it was sometimes known, allowed single men between the ages of 18 and 25 to enlist in work programs to improve America’s public lands, forests, and parks.

For many, just the prospect of three meals and a bed were enough to get young men to enroll. As jobs and income were incredibly scarce, the CCC for a lot of these young men was their first job. Enlisters would make $30 a month, $25 of which would be sent straight to their families, while the other five was for the worker to keep. Meals and lodging were provided in military camp fashion.

Education opportunities were an added bonus of joining the C’s. In fact, many completed their high school education while serving. Leadership advancement positions with an increase in pay were also offered to hard-workers.

Last updated: February 8, 2018