Crestviews newsletter - June 1, 1942

Crestviews newsletter - June 1, 1942

Transcript

CRESTVIEW, FLORIDA
VOL. 1, NO. 5.

C.P.S. CAMP #27
CRESTVIEW, FLORIDA

CRESTVIEWS

SPECIAL CONFERENCE EDITION
June 1, 1942

HISTORY OF CRESTVIEW
---
The official opening date of Camp Crestview, Civilian Public Service Camp #27, according to the records, was the rainy day of March 20, 1942, when four conscientious objectors arrived to begin work on this project of national importance. It was a very quiet and unassuming opening day. They arrived to find that the only shelter on the six acre tract of land was two tents and that the sole occupant of the land was Rev. D. D. Funderburg, Chairman of the Adult Education Department of the Church of the Brethren. The Reverend Funderburg was acting as director in the absence of Ralph Townsend who, with Mrs. Townsend, returned the following week with a truckload of equipment.
The opening of this new project in the Civilian Public Service program was the result of months of investigation and preparation on the part of the Brethren Service Committee, the Mennonite Central Committee, and the National Service Board for Religious Objectors. Under the war economy, it is difficult to find work for conscripted conscientious objectors which meets the requirements of (a) being satisfactory to the general public's demand that the nature of the work is difficult and worthwhile, (b) acceptable to Selective Service, (c) is consistent with the conscientious objection of the men to participation in furthering the war effort, (d) is a definite expression of the good will of the persons and organizations supporting the program. Therefore, it was with a feeling of satisfaction on the part of the leaders responsible and the men assigned here that this project which meets these requirements was arranged through the cooperation of the Selective Service headquarters, the Florida State Board of Health, and the Farm Security Administration.
(Continued on page 3)

GREETINGS
To the Annual Conference of the Church of the Brethren at Asheville, N.C. We, of Crestview, Florida, express our best wishes for a successful conference in furthering the work of the Lord.

CHALLENGE OF CRESTVIEW
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A month and a half ago we were visited by the health officers and sanitarians of our own neighboring counties and were impressed with the immediate need and readiness for the work which we have come here to do. Several weeks ago, with only three sanitary privies and a grease trap built, we were visit by the leaders of our neighboring county Santa Rosa asking that a camp similar to this be established in their community. Upon investigation we found a county anxious for our help and willing to provide some facilities for its establishment. The county commissioners and town council had jointly discussed the matter and given the idea its unanimous support. Two of the leaders had been to Washington and had sought official permission. Later conversation with these men further confirms their interest and determination to go as far as they are able in providing facilities and equipment for this camp.
Extension of Concern
Here, it seems, we have indications of some of the things we hope will come out of the work of this camp. That is, that people will recognize their problems, survey their resources for meeting the problems, and make plans for cooperatively solving those problems. This community of Santa Rosa county, and many communities over the land have sore spots, problems, and conditions of great need in which they need outside help. With the great resources of man power in our C. P. S. camps with many varied skills and abilities anxious to do this work, new opportunities opening up is the thing we have been hoping would happen. Possibly this is a pattern for communities to follow in time to come for the establishment of world brotherhood.
Health Work
The direct and more specific result of
(Continued on page 4)


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CRESTVIEW, FLORIDA
VOL. 1, NO. 5.

C.P.S. CAMP #27
CRESTVIEW, FLORIDA

CRESTVIEWS

SPECIAL CONFERENCE EDITION
June 1, 1942

HISTORY OF CRESTVIEW
---
The official opening date of Camp Crestview, Civilian Public Service Camp #27, according to the records, was the rainy day of March 20, 1942, when four conscientious objectors arrived to begin work on this project of national importance. It was a very quiet and unassuming opening day. They arrived to find that the only shelter on the six acre tract of land was two tents and that the sole occupant of the land was Rev. D. D. Funderburg, Chairman of the Adult Education Department of the Church of the Brethren. The Reverend Funderburg was acting as director in the absence of Ralph Townsend who, with Mrs. Townsend, returned the following week with a truckload of equipment.
The opening of this new project in the Civilian Public Service program was the result of months of investigation and preparation on the part of the Brethren Service Committee, the Mennonite Central Committee, and the National Service Board for Religious Objectors. Under the war economy, it is difficult to find work for conscripted conscientious objectors which meets the requirements of (a) being satisfactory to the general public's demand that the nature of the work is difficult and worthwhile, (b) acceptable to Selective Service, (c) is consistent with the conscientious objection of the men to participation in furthering the war effort, (d) is a definite expression of the good will of the persons and organizations supporting the program. Therefore, it was with a feeling of satisfaction on the part of the leaders responsible and the men assigned here that this project which meets these requirements was arranged through the cooperation of the Selective Service headquarters, the Florida State Board of Health, and the Farm Security Administration.
(Continued on page 3)

GREETINGS
To the Annual Conference of the Church of the Brethren at Asheville, N.C. We, of Crestview, Florida, express our best wishes for a successful conference in furthering the work of the Lord.

CHALLENGE OF CRESTVIEW
---
A month and a half ago we were visited by the health officers and sanitarians of our own neighboring counties and were impressed with the immediate need and readiness for the work which we have come here to do. Several weeks ago, with only three sanitary privies and a grease trap built, we were visit by the leaders of our neighboring county Santa Rosa asking that a camp similar to this be established in their community. Upon investigation we found a county anxious for our help and willing to provide some facilities for its establishment. The county commissioners and town council had jointly discussed the matter and given the idea its unanimous support. Two of the leaders had been to Washington and had sought official permission. Later conversation with these men further confirms their interest and determination to go as far as they are able in providing facilities and equipment for this camp.
Extension of Concern
Here, it seems, we have indications of some of the things we hope will come out of the work of this camp. That is, that people will recognize their problems, survey their resources for meeting the problems, and make plans for cooperatively solving those problems. This community of Santa Rosa county, and many communities over the land have sore spots, problems, and conditions of great need in which they need outside help. With the great resources of man power in our C. P. S. camps with many varied skills and abilities anxious to do this work, new opportunities opening up is the thing we have been hoping would happen. Possibly this is a pattern for communities to follow in time to come for the establishment of world brotherhood.
Health Work
The direct and more specific result of
(Continued on page 4)

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Crestviews, page 2

THE LIFE OF THE SPIRIT: As the physical body is sustained with food, so our spiritual lives are constantly enriched by meaningful experiences. Several fellows have found great value in observing 30 minutes of quiet meditation before breakfast. Morning devotions are held daily at the breakfast table when campees take turns in directing the meditation. Vesper services are held on Saturday nights. These services are often held in connection with picnic trips to the Gulf and to the nearby Shoal river. A series of discussions has been started in which each campee tells of the background of his pacifist convictions. On Sunday mornings most of the men take the opportunity to worship in the Baptist, Methodist, Assembly of God, and Presbyterian churches in Crestview.

EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM: The number of men in the camp has become sufficiently large to warrant the establishment of an educational program. Plans are being made to open classes in the first aid and foreign language study. Other courses will be added as the need arises.
Subscriptions to numerous papers and magazines provide the library with adequate reading material for the purpose of keeping up with the news. The only books available at this time are those which each individual has brought from his private collection. Many of our friends would be interested to know that one of our greatest needs is for wholesome books in the fields of religion, philosophy, pacifism, history, fiction, foreign language study, etc., which might well be placed in our library.

COOPERATIVE ADMINISTRATION: Civilian Public Service Camp #27 is administered jointly by the Brethren Service Committee and the Mennonite Central Committee. This is the third camp in which such a cooperative policy has been adopted. The B.S.C. has supplied the director, Ralph Townsend, and the nurse and dietitian, Mrs. Townsend. The M.C.C. has supplied the business manager, Robert Geigley, and the educational director, Roland Bartel. The men in the Crestview camp have come from camps administered by the three historic peace churches, Brethren, Friends, and Mennonites.

COMMUNITY RELATIONSHIPS: Prior to Dan West's first visit here to investigate the possibility of a C.P.S. camp in this vicinity, it is doubtful whether anyone here had heard of conscientious objectors. Therefore, we knew that one of our important tasks was to make friends and be accepted into the community. Under ordinary circumstances this would be a comparatively easy thing to do but we are living in trying times.
In our first meetings with the public which generally amounted to a few "hello's" at church, it was difficult to know exactly how to proceed. When asked where we were from, we would tell them we were from the C.P.S. camp. to our surprise no one seemed inquisitive. Apparently the people here are not affected by the word "camp" because of the numerous army camps nearby. As we continued to attend church, generally in groups of two's and three's at different churches, we slowly began to learn the people's names and they ours. Noticing our interest in church affairs their interest in us grew and bit by bit they came to know us and the principles for which we stand. In fact at the present time we have been fully accepted. Young people's groups ask us to their socials, have us take part in their programs, and in many ways make us feel right at home. One of our group is even teaching an intermediate Sunday School class.
Not all of our associations have been through churches. We keep on the lookout for chances to meet our neighbors and ask them in to visit us. In keeping with our idea of rendering a service we want to help people who are not able to help themselves. At this writing we are doing some garden work for a neighbor who is ill. In return he wants us to plant part of his garden for ourselves. Such acts as these help us to learn more about the people whom we are to work and live with and enables us to become part of the community.
Specific problems sometimes come up that make us think we should have a better planned program to make the community conscious of us, but time has proven that the best way is to simply get acquainted through personal contacts rather than a group effort.

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Crestviews, page 3

Roster of men in Crestview Camp

Name
Albrecht, Marion
Bartel, Roland
Bartram, Smedley,
Beehler, Orvillo
Bell, B. Tartt
Brelsford, John
Burrows, Edward
Geigley, Robert
Hostetler, Mark
Johnson, Curtis
Kime, Earl
Mullen, Wilbur
Widmer, Galen
Ralph Townsend, dir.
Mrs. Mildred Townsend

Home Address
Morton, Ill.
Hillsboro, Kan.
Media, Pa.
Fruitland, Idaho
Anniston, Ala.
Ames, Iowa
Oswego, S. Car.
Carlisle, Pa.
Westover, Md.
Mead, Nab.
North Liberty, Ind.
Scalp Level, Pa.
Wayland, Iowa
Woodland, Mich.
Dayton, Ohio

Transferred from
Henry, Ill.
Col. Springs, Col.
Patapsco, Md.
Magnolia, Ark.
Magnolia, Ark.
Col. Springs, Col.
Buck Creek, N. C.
Sideling Hill, Pa.
Sideling Hill, Pa.
Largo, Ind.
Largo, Ind.
Kane, Pa.
Col. Springs, Col.
Largo, Ind.

Rel. Affiliation
Mennonite
Mennonite
Friends
Ch. of the Brethren
So. Baptist
Methodist
Episcopalian
Mennonite
Mennonite
No. Baptist
Ch. of the Brethren
Ch. of the Brethren
Mennonite
Ch. of the Brethren
Ch. of the Brethren

Men are assigned to this camp from other camps after they have indicated their interest in this type of work. Therefore we have assembled here the men possessing the skills, character qualities, and interests that would also be essential in reconstruction work. This presents a unique fellowship and affords a cross-fertilization of ideas, as well as giving us a bird's-eye view of C.P.S. camps.
The technical skills that are needed to construct our permanent buildings are provided by Earl Kime, plumber; John Brelsford, mason; Marion Albrecht, Orvillo Beehler, Mark Hostetler, carpenters; Curtis Johnson, engineer. They are supported by willing helpers including Tartt Bell, Roland Bartel, Smedley Bartram, and Edward Burrows. Wilbur Mullen does the office work while Robert Geigley acts as business manager. Galen Widmer meets our physical needs thrice daily.
We are fortunate to have the able leadership of Ralph Townsend, former assistant director at Largo, and Mrs. Midred Townsend, who is our dietitian and nurse.
The entire group works enthusiastically feeling that they are meeting genuine human needs, similar to the opportunity which will be presented in post-war reconstruction work.

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HISTORY OF CREST VIEW (concluded from page 1)
The establishment of Camp Crestview arose out of the insistent requests from men in the original camps for projects which are closely associated with satisfaction of human needs in this period of ill-will and confusion, and from the effort of the Service Committees to find more effective ways of implementing the Christian faith of the members of their churches. Thus it is a cooperative venture of the men in the camps and the people in the churches who are making the program possible.
The work project itself is also a cooperative venture. The technical supervision of the project is furnished by the Okaloosa County Board of Health while funds for the operation of the project will be furnished by the Farm Security Administration. The work will be a three fold program of (1) building sanitary privies, (2) drilling wells, (3) screening houses. Okaloosa County, of which Crestview is the county seat, is one of the counties of West Florida where the devastating hookworm is rampant, being both cause and effect of the low level of education, economic well-being, and cultural life. The need here is very great. Of the 2600 families living in the county, it is estimated by the county nurse that half of them are in need of one or more of the services to be furnished through the camp.
Due to the fact that it has been necessary for the 13 men now in camp to spend a large portion of the time in the erection of buildings for our own camp site, only a relatively small amount of work has been completed for the health
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department. At present one building has been practically finished. This will house the Townsend's, as well as serving as kitchen and dining hall, office, and infirmary. Meanwhile the men are living in tents and working on a second building which will house eight men, the wash room, and the laundry. This building will soon be complete and will afford protection from the intense summer sun and heat. In the building of these structures the most economical and simplest construction has been followed. It has been difficult to secure materials and many substitutes have been necessary, but this has developed the resourcefulness of the men assigned here.
With the priority system in operation and the freezing of certain materials, there are serious problems with regard to the operation of the program as it has been planned. At the present time one of the most serious is that of transportation. The State Board of Health has been unable to secure for the camp the trucks which will be essential to the success of the work. However, pending word from the officials of the State Department, who have assured us that every effort is being made to secure the trucks and materials, we are proceeding with our own construction. Thus it is hoped that when the go ahead signal comes we will be prepared to give full time and attention to meeting some of the tremendous needs of the people of the county.

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CHALLENGE OF CRESTVIEW (concluded from page 1)
The health work which we have come to do, is to eradicate hookworm from this area. We are told that if every person in this county had access to and would use a sanitary privy, hookworm would soon be eradicated. With the ground no longer contaminated by bowel discharge, the source of the disease spreading, people can be readily cured with a hookworm medicine. This with screening of houses and well improvement will also lessen the prevalence of typhoid fever and malaria.
We believe that the complete or near eradication of these diseases will greatly increase the energy of these people. Hookworm, particularly saps the people of much strength, makes them anemic, tired, and susceptible to other diseases, and that once rid of it they will have tremendously more possibilities for improvement. We do not have false illusions that all of their problems will automatically be solved. This work, however, should give us a place in the community where we can be of help in their social and economic development.
We share with the State Board of Health the hopes that this county may be made a model county in health and sanitation. This will mean for the work we do here a wider result than that which we can immediately see.

Life in Camp
Camp life and physical facilities of the camp are developing so that we live as a community. We are building cottages so that we may live as small units, with the possibility of the buildings being used later by families.
Planning is now done as a group, meeting problems as they arise; we are fast finding and accepting responsibilities for various phases of the camp life. We hope to become an integrated group with each making a significant contribution and having an important role.
While doing the work at hand and providing for our own needs, our interests reach much farther. Indicative of this is our interest in low cost housing. We are making plans to build at least one house out of dirt in a method called "rammed earth". This is one possible contribution to the low income people of this community, which we can make, and it may have use in other areas. We are receiving training here for more effective work in war reconstruction, new types of education, and community living.
May we then look again to what lies ahead in three main areas: (1) The prospects of this project arousing other communities to see their problems, survey their resources, and plan to work cooperatively in solving the problems; (2) the increase in energy from the eradication of disease and possibilities for improvement in social and economic life; (3) the development of those participating in this program for rendering increasingly more effective service. These do not seem to be impossible results as we put our shoulder to the wheel.

Source

State Archives of Florida: Series S419, Box 12, Folder 12

Description

June 1, 1942 edition of a newsletter titled "Crestviews," published by members of the Civilian Public Service Program residing at Camp Crestview in Okaloosa County, Florida. The Civilian Public Service program provided conscientious objectors with an alternative to military service during World War II. This edition of "Crestviews" includes a history of Camp Crestview and an explanation of its work. Residents were engaged primarily in projects benefiting public health, including building sanitary privies, screening houses, and drilling wells. Many of the conscientious objectors at Camp Crestview belonged to religious groups traditionally opposed to war, including Quakers, Mennonites, and the Church of the Brethren.