One of the legacies of the Civilian Conservation Corps is the legacy of inspiration. The work, dedication, and pride of the CCC experience has inspired others for decades. Now, let it inspire you!
Spend about a week researching and talking to people about organizations that depend on volunteers. As a class, generate a list of local (or larger with local affiliates) groups. Try to identify as many as you can. With each, include a short description of its mission. For example, does it help people in trouble like Red Cross; does it help some natural feature like Friends of the Shenandoah River, or does it provide a service, like Performing Arts Luray? At the end of the week, review the list and share some thoughts about it.
As the culminating activity of this unit, be inspired by the civic-mindedness of the CCC and choose one of the projects below:
- From the list your class generated, choose the organization you feel is most worthy of your time. Write a journal entry about the organization you chose and explain why it is worthy. Then volunteer! Continue to write in your journal about your experience. Take photos, video, and otherwise document what you do and how you contribute to the goals of the organization. Prepare a presentation about your experience.
- Choose some area of your local community (like a park or a playground) that needs some help to make it better - more useable or accessible - to the people. Make a list of all the "things" that need to be done to achieve your goal. After you have made the list, put the "things" in priority order - what should be done first? Who can you ask for help? Who can help fund the project? How long will it take? Is it feasible…can you do it? Adjust until you have a workable plan, then approach the person or group in charge of the area you want to improve. Present your plan, get their input and permission, and then...Do It!
- One of the projects that the CCC boys accomplished was to make picnic tables for the park. A copy of the original design used by the CCC has been included. With a group, plan, organize, design, build, and place the picnic table in an appropriate place. Click here (pdf, 475 kb) for a copy of the plan the CCC boys used to build picnic tables.
Suggestions: have a member of the group keep a video record of the work, record all the hours worked, ask for donations of materials and knowledgeable help from a woodworker, sell raffle tickets for the completed table, donate the proceeds to a conservation-oriented organization…Are you ready? On your mark, get set, GO!!!