Despite bitterly cold February weather, some locals already had summer camp on their minds in the 1930s, including one camp that may not be very popular today. A re-employment service was experiencing unusual success during the Great Depression. Also, a new church opened in Sidney. All were part of our local life and times in February 1934.
Nearly 1,000 youths from across New York state were set to be recruited for Citizens’ Military Training Camps, it was announced on Monday, Feb. 13, 1934. These were held every summer from 1921 to 1940, allowing male citizens to obtain military training without an obligation to call-up for active duty.
Local quotas for counties were Otsego, 12; Delaware, 5; Schoharie, 5; Chenango, 8. At that time there were seven training camps. Local youths might train at Plattsburgh, Fort Niagara, Camp Dix, N.J., Madison, San Juan, Purta Rico, Fort Ethan Allen, Vt., or Fort Myer, Va.
Apparently there was a waiting list for youths wishing to join a CMTC, as Raymond M. Tucker, chairman of the Otsego County enlistments, said, “Because of the small quota this year, preference will be given youths who were on the lists last year.” Applications were being accepted until Feb. 26. Names of 27 Otsego County youths were listed in an article in The Oneonta Star as being given the first opportunity to enroll.
Oneonta’s office of the National Reemployment Service was apparently performing its duties with success. An article in the Star on Wednesday, Feb. 14, told of how busy the office was in the Municipal Building, today’s 242 Main St., directed by Mr. John Lambrecht.
“‘It’s the best job I’ve ever had in my life,’ one Oneonta woman for whom Mr. Lambrecht had secured a job as housekeeper wrote him. Her letter of gratitude is but an echo of many similar expressions Mr. Lambrecht receives each day. Although a great many of the places which are offered afford only temporary employment, many of the jobs are permanent and pay more than a bare living wage.’”