AUGUST 14, 1941
HYDE PARK Wednesday,—After our visit to the Pioneer Youth Camp yesterday, we motored on up to Camp William James. There a group of young people are trying to find out the value of working with their hands. At the same time, they are deciding their evaluation of future occupations.
They want to know what they really do want out of life, what they think democracy means, what they can do to help develop their country and make it strong in democratic principles.
Some of the young people who worked here are at present working in Mexico with a group of young Mexicans in the territory where the earthquake created such havoc. Others are now in the Army, but wherever they go, they carry with them the results of this experience. I think they will lead more interesting lives, because they have set themselves to find the reasons for their beliefs and to translate into daily living their ideas and ideals.
The drive up was very beautiful and we found another route to follow coming down, which gave us a variety of scenery.
Last February, there was held in Washington an Institute of Rural Youth Guidance. In this institute the following organizations cooperated, The Alliance for the Guidance of Rural Youth; The American Youth Commission; The Harlan County (Kentucky) Planning Council; The National Education Association; The National Youth Administration; The United States Department of Agriculture; The United States Employment Service; The United States Office of Education.
I have just received a report of the proceedings and a "suggested plan of action." These pamphlets are going to be distributed by the agencies interested to those concerned with this problem in various parts of the country. I hope that many newspapers in rural areas, particularly the country weekly papers, will quote many of the recommendations.
There is a great deal of emphasis laid on the possibilities in selective service for training which may be given these young men while in the Army, which will be valuable to them when they return to civilian life. I know that this is true, for one boy from my own county writes me that he has been assigned to radio work, which is something he has wanted to study for a long time. Let us hope that this will be the experience of many of the boys now being inducted into service from rural areas.