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Hitch by Jeanette Ingold

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The novel, Hitch, by Jeanette Ingold follows the happenings around a young boy referred to as Moss Trawnley. After a failed attempt to bring his delinquant father home, Moss joins the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps). The CCC was an organization founded in 1933 as part of Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal program, they worked to create more farmable land out west and restore the strained and abused wilderness until 1942 and employed young men ages 18-25 who were unmarried and unemployed, though you learn in the book that they were lenient when it came to the age restriction.

The biggest project that Moss Trawnley and the Cold Day Camp CCC’ers undertook during this book, and a great example of what the real CCC did, is the building of a dam (pg 190). Cold Day Camp had been set up outside a struggling small town whos farms were suffering from the droughts. Nate, a member of the camp and quick friend of Moss, had family who owned a farm on the edge of town. Nate’s family was a great example of the struggles that people were facing during this time and their farms condition throughout this story represents the successes and failures of Cold Day Camp. They had a lot of logistics and smaller things that had to be put in place before they could even start with the actual dam. The dam was to be built on what was once a nice stream, but had since dried up. They planned to use a small reservoir that was nearby to refill the stream and irrigate the surrounding land. At first, things seemed to go off without a hitch (pun intended) , but after a few pieces of faulty equipment come to light and the dam begins cracking during a big storm, it becomes apparent that the concrete they used was also faulty and mixed wrong. Through immense effort and coordination of every member they managed to save the dam, which secured the continuation of Cold Day Camp.

Initially, the CCC could only openly admit people ages 18 or older. In reality this rule was regularly ignored and young men as low as 14 were allowed to join. In Hitch, the agent Moss goes to lets him join at 17 without so much as commenting on it, Moss also meets another CCC’er, Harold, who he states could barely be 16 under his own discernment.The CCC was created to provide employment and relief to the impoverished during the Great Depression. And so I believe it was formed with this outcome in mind, allowing for exceptions and discretion at the local level by the recruitment



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