Welcome to SHE Camps History: a website devoted to finding and sharing the forgotten sites and stories of American women’s history. I’ve always been an avid explorer of historical and natural sites across the country, but in January 2021, a trip to a CCC Memorial Park led me to ask the question, “Where are the women?”
Now I’m on a search for answers- a search for these lost women of our nation’s past. The answers are proving hard to find. What I have discovered so far, is that despite over 50% of Americans being women, we are woefully missing from our own parks, memorials, historical sites, and even our children’s textbooks.
I want to help change that- starting with the women who lived and worked in the Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA) “She She She” work camps of the 1930’s. Haven’t heard of them? Don’t worry, until recently, neither had I! While the more than 800 CCC men’s work camps across America are well documented and preserved, there were also some 90 women’s camps that served over 8500 women whose stories have gone almost completely unnoticed. I plan to research, visit, write and raise awareness about these sites and the women who were involved with the camps.
Update: It’s now June, and my search has morphed into so much more than I anticipated starting out. I’ve delved into all aspects of women’s history from the 1930’s and 1940’s, and have found some very different places to expand my background knowledge of the era. If I’m not writing here as much as I first anticipated, its only temporarily as I work to fill in some of the gaps in my own education to allow myself to better understand the things I find, and then I will pass them on to you, here.
Family obligations, and continued Covid-19 challenges have mostly kept me closer to home, but I look forward to that changing in the near future. While I first saw myself out there camping every weekend, I’m learning that many people have the same idea this year, and heard just the other day that there will be an estimated 34 million Americans hitting the road for their own Great American Road Trips this summer. This is changing my travel plans some, but I am working on adapting to the challenges of crowded campgrounds and highways. Please stay tuned, and keep coming back to see where the winding paths of history have taken me, and where they may be leading me next. Best wishes to you all heading into an exciting summer, and thank you for continued interest and support for my project. Maybe I’ll see you out there.
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