The Colorado District

By 1936, there were about 40 companies spread out across Colorado. Some were in high-altitude tent camps occupied only in the summer months; others were in year-round installations. The “boys,” as enrollees were called, were paid a dollar a day, $30 a month. They kept $5, and sent the rest home to help support their families.

NEW! List of Colorado Companies as of Summer 1936 (2.7 MB pdf)

“The efficiency of the [Colorado] District was built by intelligent, unselfish labor, and whole hearted cooperation. Those who gave most, received most. All are happy because of the results obtained. The Colorado District built men.”
—from History of the CCC in Colorado, Summer 1936

NEW! Index to Colorado Companies Online at this Site (pdfs as indicated)

Note: Files above open in new window. Company histories include mention of other camps; not all are indexed at this time. The descriptions accessible above are from History of the Civilian Conservation Corps in Colorado, Summer 1936, compiled by L.A. Gleyre and C.N. Alleger and a similar book published in 1938.

We can take it!

The Colorado campers were not always well treated by the natural resources they’d come to conserve. During their tenure, they weathered some of the worst drought and dust storms of 1935-36 on the Colorado high plains, coped with flood disasters and fires across the state, and survived mountain conditions in the alpine camps.

Conserving Natural Resources—and America’s Youth

The CCC’s direct results weren’t the biggest part of what the program accomplished: Conserving young Americans in a difficult time was perhaps its greatest value. In addition to meaningful work, technical training and experience, and “3 squares a day,” the camps provided educational and leadership opportunities—as well as social and recreational comradery—to the enrollees. Many later credited the CCC with getting their entire working careers off to a good start. The skills they learned in the CCC served them well throughout life.

The extracurricular academic, vocational, and handcraft classes at one Colorado camp in 1936 included:

Leather Work
First Aid
Political Science
Radio and Telegraphy
Auto Mechanics
… and many others.”

Overcoming illiteracy, studying academic subjects, publishing camp newsletters, competing in team sports, taking educational field trips, learning lifetime leisure skills, and doing community service projects— all in their spare time— not only kept enrollees busy, but ensured their well-rounded development. That’s part of what made them winners.


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