SIDEBAR: Perhaps Life in the CCC Wasn’t Always A Thrilling Adventure…

Free time in Bureau of Reclamation Camp 57, Ballentine, Montana. Photo Courtesy of U.S. Bureau of Reclamation.

Free time in Bureau of Reclamation Camp 57, Ballentine, Montana. Photo Courtesy of U.S. Bureau of Reclamation.

by Michael I. Smith, CFM, Phoenix, Arizona

Thousands of young workers came from near and far to perform useful work as CCC enrollees across the state of Montana in the 1930s. In hindsight, it can’t be said that every CCC enrollee looked at his time in the CCC with complete wonderment and satisfaction.

Nelson Spaulding, the enrollee from Alexander, New York, remembered a song that was popular among the enrollees with whom he served during his time in Montana:

In Glacier National Park
The home of the fleas
The home of the bed bugs
And the CCC’s
We sing loudest praises
And boast of its fame
While starving to death
On this government plain
How happy we are,
When the cooks go to bed
We hope in the morning
We find them all dead.

Admittedly, in this case the enrollee’s ire seems to be directed more at the cooks and the camp food.


Sources: Please see main article "Civilian Conservation Corps in Montana: 1933-1942."