Big Shoulders in the CCC Camps
Published on 7/13/2008
William Jamerson knows a good story. He knows how to tell one and he knows when he hears one. Many years ago he saw a film about the Civil Conservation Corps (CCC) and, as a historian, he knew he had stumbled upon a golden slice of American history. The CCC was a work program for troubled and underprivileged young men in the 1930s. In the CCC, young men were put to work restoring natural resources, building roads and fighting forest fires.
Big Shoulders is a story about a young man from Detroit who gets into some trouble and chooses to work in the CCC for a year over staying in Detroit on probation. He is sent to Camp Raco in the Upper Peninsula. Sending a youth from Detroit to a work camp in the U.P. in the 1930s is bound to have countless of entertaining stories.
Bill shares with us his experience visiting with the CCC alumni, an excerpt from Big Shoulders and a few of his songs. He advocates starting a program similar to the CCC. Bill comments on a positive juvenile corrections program, "Something wonderful happens when you give an angry teenager a shovel, 8 hours a day, and send him out in the woods. Take away the headphones, get them off the pavement...it's a healing process."
More information about him and his mission can be found at williamjamerson.com.