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Shenandoah National Park will be hosting a Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) Alumni Reunion and celebrating the 75th Anniversary of the CCC establishment. The reunion and park activities will take place at Big Meadows, September 27th and September 28th. The public is invited to participate in ranger-led programs and to meet with Alumni and hear first hand about their experiences.
The Civilian Conservation Corps was established in 1933 as a work relief program, putting young men to work in Federal and State lands during the Great Depression. CCC camps were first established at Skyland (NP-1) and Big Meadows (NP-2) in May 1933 and from 1933-1942 the park supervised the work of eleven CCC camps. The Skyland and Big Meadows Camps were the first in the National Park Service and were visited by Franklin Delano Roosevelt in August 1933. During the course of the New Deal program over 1,200 “boys” a year worked to build facilities and to create the landscape of the park. The park we see today would not exist without the work of the Civilian Conservation Corps.
During the reunion weekend, visitors are encouraged to stop by the Byrd Visitor Center and explore the highly interactive exhibit, “Within a Day’s Drive of Millions.” This exhibit tells the story of Shenandoah’s establishment and development including the work of the Civilian Conservation Corps. Visitors can learn more about the Civilian Conservation Corps by viewing a free film entitled, The CCC Boys. A new ranger-led program called “CCC Stroll” will be conducted at 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m., and 2:30 p.m. on Saturday and at 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m., and 3:00 p.m. on Sunday. This easy 45-minute walk takes visitors to the site of Camp Fechner (NP-2) in Big Meadows. Ranger-led programs are free, open to the public, and no reservations are required for this program.
The alumni reunion weekend events will take place at the Big Meadows Lodge Massanutten Room beginning 10:00 am on Saturday. This event provides an opportunity for those who participated in the Civilian Conservation Corps to meet with one another and share their experiences with the public.
For additional information, call 540-999-3495.