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Carderock in Montgomery County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Unexpected Benefits in the CCC

Chesapeake & Ohio National Historical Park

 
 
Unexpected Benefits in the <small>CCC</small> Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, November 23, 2020
1. Unexpected Benefits in the CCC Marker
Inscription.  
Has a job ever rewarded you with more than a paycheck? This was the case for many young African-American men who reported for duty each morning at Camp NP-2, where you are now standing. They lived a military lifestyle as Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) enrollees. During the day, the men worked hard restoring the C&O Canal. But during their free time on evenings and weekends, they had the opportunity to enroll in camp classes to finish their academic education or learn new technical skills.

Academic classes ranged from English and mathematics to world history and theater. Vocational training included auto mechanics, carpentry, stenography, cooking, and truck-driving. An active sports program, featuring baseball, basketball, and softball, played a large role in building teamwork. As the men wrote in their camp newsletter, Tow-Path Journal, the camp's military discipline, educational and social experiences, and spiritual support "helped prepare them for life ahead."

[Sidebar:]
Amos I. Custis
Amos I. Custis lived in a Virginia mill town
Unexpected Benefits in the <small>CCC</small> Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, November 23, 2020
2. Unexpected Benefits in the CCC Marker
before enrolling in the CCC in 1939. Assigned to NP-2 MD camp, Custis took an active role in camp life. He helped edit the Tow-Path Journal, played on many sports teams, and aced in theatrical performances. He also worked as a typing instructor—one of few enrollees entrusted with teaching.

The military discipline and collaborative spirit Custis learned at camp prepared him and other CCC participants for military service during World War II. After the war, Custis settled in Washington, D.C., where he was well-known as a community leader until his death in 1986.

"…continue to improve yourself along all lines—education, work, and good clean recreation, God Spirit to All."
C. Rushton Long
Educational advisor
Tow-Path Journal, June 1939
special commencement issue

[Captions:]
Imagine the sounds of reveille and taps played each day as the flag was raised and lowered in the area in front of you. The ritual set the tone for the camp's daily rhythm.

Enrollees learn auto mechanic skills during an evening class.

A typical daily schedule at Camp NP-2-MD, which operated from 1938 to 1942.
6:00 First Bugle, get out of bed
6:30 Reveille,
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Flag Ceremony
7:00 Breakfast
7:30 General clean-up of camp buildings and grounds
7:50 Work Call (canal restorati on)
Noon Dinner
4:00 Return from work project
5:00 Retreat, Flag Ceremony
6:00 Classes and/or free until 9:00
9:00 Lights out in barracks
10:00 General lights out

Amos I. Custis, later in life.

 
Erected by C&O Canal Association; Maryland Heritage Area Authority; Heritage Montgomery; C&O Canal Trust; National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African AmericansCharity & Public WorkEducationParks & Recreational Areas. In addition, it is included in the Chesapeake and Ohio (C&O) Canal, and the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) 🏞️ series lists.
 
Location. 38° 58.289′ N, 77° 11.994′ W. Marker is in Carderock, Maryland, in Montgomery County. Marker can be reached from Carderock 0.3 miles south of Clara Barton Parkway, on the left when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 9500 Macarthur Blvd, Bethesda MD 20817, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Working Hard To Survive (within shouting distance of
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this marker); Burling Defenders (approx. 0.4 miles away in Virginia); The Lock-Keepers (approx. 1˝ miles away); Swing-Gate Locks (approx. 1˝ miles away); Repairing the Breach at Anglers (approx. 1.7 miles away); Drop Gate Locks (approx. 1.7 miles away); At All Hours (approx. 1.7 miles away); Lockhouse 10 (approx. 1.7 miles away).
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on November 23, 2020. It was originally submitted on November 23, 2020, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 48 times since then and 10 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on November 23, 2020, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.
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Mar. 5, 2021