Civilian Conservation Corps Legacy
"Passing the Legacy to Future Generations"  

Elmer Ingle-Camp Zigzag

Zigzag a Great Camp
by E.C. Ingle
Co. 938, Camp Zigag
1937 - 1938
By Elmer Ingle - As it appeared in the Camp Newsletter the "Zigzag Zephyr" July 22, 1937

I believe Camp F-11, Zigzag is by far the best camp in the district.  Being only an hour’s drive from Portland and 12 miles from Mt. Hood, it is ideally located from boys from Oregon City and Portland.  The district it is in is the most beautiful spot on the coast for recreation both winter and summer, and no one can prove otherwise.  For recreation in the summer we have swimming, hiking, fishing or camping while in the winter there is skiing, sleighing, tobogganing, snowshoes etc. 

Together with the above, the boys from this camp have the opportunity of going home at least twice a month.  Most camps have only a truck to a show or dance in a nearby town for recreation.  Going home is a treat enjoyed only once every 4 to 5 months.  While we have the above advantages, the fact that the boys could go home each week end has in the past proved a disadvantage.  The main interest was only the getting out of camp on weekends.  The camp spirit and moral was not up to the standards of camps less fortunate.  During the week the men held more or less a “I don’t give a whoop attitude ”.  We had no classes or athletic teams to speak of.  Discipline was not just right.  In the past few months there has been several changes though.  

Mr. Henderson the Ed. Advisor has whipped together an interest in the athletic games, most prominent for the season, for instance we have 3 fairly good softball teams.  The classes are of more variety and interesting.  There has been built classrooms, reading room and laboratory.  

The Project Supt. and foreman are teaching classes they believe to be a benefit to the men, on their own time.  

Captain Carr, Lieut. Davis and Captain Craft have improved the camp as you can see.  Supposing we visualize the camp as it used to be.  Sloppy barracks and improvised lockers, no shrubbery, lawn-grass, or walks, etc.  Now look at some of the improvements.  

We have shrubbery, trees, and lawn-grass which add a cool and pleasing appearance to the outside.  The ball park has been leveled, a fence put up, and gravel has been hauled for the walks and parade ground.  The wash, dress, and shower rooms have been painted white and grey, 12 lights were installed to make shaving possible and a new cement foot bath replaces the old tin tub.  The barracks boast uniform, dust proof lockers and firtex walls.  The Rec Hall has modern light fixtures, new curtains and paint job.  The canteen has a refrigerator for pop and ice cream.  Two new cement grease traps replace the  several smelly wooden boxes that used to be scattered around camp.  A cement floor has been laid in the incinerator room and garbage rack.  The mess hall has a new floor and new GI metal serving counter.  A new bulletin board is in the Rec Hall and another is being built for the merit board in office.  The infirmary has been changed around for more efficiency and lends a neater appearance.    

The above improvements as well as many others, have brought our camp rating from satisfactory to Superior.  This along with our location make the camp an excellent one.  The men who have worked so hard evenings even when dead tired are to be thanked.  Those of us who are leaving shortly really have a feeling of regret.  We are glad to have been able to in some way do our part towards making this a better camp.  We know that it will continue to be so, and we won’t be ashamed to say we spent a year or more in Camp Zigzag. 

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