Former CCC Worker Shares Experiences with YCC Crew

Oscar Odom, former CCC worker, shares his personal experiences with the YCC Crew at Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area.

Nelson Matthew

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News Release Date: June 26, 2015

Contact: Veronica Greear

On June 18, 2015, former Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) worker, Oscar Odom was the featured guest for “Experience Your Park – A Day on the Trail,” a special park event that showcased the work by Big South Fork’s Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) crews.

“Life is what you make it,” was the message of hard work, integrity, and passion for life that 97-year-old, Oscar Odom shared with members of this season’s teenage Tennessee Youth Conservation Corps crew. The YCC crew is working this summer to restore the historic integrity of an 80-year-old CCC firewatch cabin, located in the southern end of the park. Mr. Odom worked in the same cabin and firetower during his time with the CCC during 1933-1935, prior to being drafted in World War II, and then later worked as a professional mason based on his CCC experience. 

Also known as the “Tree Army,” the U.S. Congress established the Civilian Conservation Corps, in 1933, as a relief program that put unmarried young men between the ages 18-25 to work. By 1942, roughly two million young men took part nationwide during the decade. The CCC planted trees to combat soil erosion, maintained national forests and parks, built cabins, and recreation facilities, and established thousands of miles of telephone lines in the United States. 

In celebration of the upcoming National Park Service Centennial, Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area is offering a variety of opportunities to reintroduce the National Park System to the public and to engage them in a new dialogue on the value of public lands. 

For more information about the Youth Conservation Corps, please use the following link: 

Last updated: August 19, 2016

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