Every year, SCA provides training, tools and projects that place motivated teens and young adults in the field to effect changes great and small. How do we measure the effects? Sometimes its through decreased CO2 levels or by the tons of trash collected or in the number of trees planted. Our success is also measured by the lessons learned, the perspective gained and the lives we transform—today and into the future. Often when the SCA project is over, the success story is just beginning. Take a look at some of our most recent accomplishments.

Posted by Joseph Thurston | Wednesday, April 24, 2013

More than 1,500 volunteers joined in SCA Earth Day projects nationwide over the last two weekends. Earthsavers of all stripes planted trees in Kansas City, prairie grasses in Houston, and shrubs in Seattle.

Posted by Joseph Thurston | Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Is time, once more, for another round of the Conservation Caption Competition! For round two, we have a photo that you may recognize from SCA’s follow me blog, but only if your memory extends all the way back to 2011.

Comment, either here or on Facebook, with something cleverly resembling a caption by 5 PM EST Monday, 4/22.

Posted by Joseph Thurston | Tuesday, April 2, 2013

It’s time! Time to revive the Conservation Caption Competition! Spring is, after all, a season of renewal. To start things off, we have a pic from last month’s NPS Academy session in Grand Teton National Park. Quite an outfit, amiright?Comment with your cleverest caption by 5 PM EST Friday 4/5 either here or on Facebook.

Posted by Venice Wong | Monday, April 1, 2013
Norming to Performing

Photo: Hiking Big Sycamore Canyon Falls

A week can seem like forever yet go by in a flash. We spent our last day(Friday, March 29th) as a group working with native plants, for a change of pace, in the Rancho Sierra Vista, not too far from the Wendy Trail trailhead. To prevent over watering natives planted earlier in March by the first California ASB, we established a simple system.

Posted by Venice Wong | Friday, March 29, 2013

For a small change of pace, the National Park Service led us to Upper Zuma Canyon. Despite a new location with greenery that was vaguely reminiscent of the forests of Washington, our task for the day was a classic conservation work: removing invasives This time we took on the poison hemlock and Italian thistle.

Posted by Venice Wong | Friday, March 29, 2013

The second day at Malibu Lagoon State Beach we continued our invasives battle. A small group kayaked out to one of the further islands to do work. One problem. There were only two kayaks available so ASB members had to be ferried out two at a time - a hilarious scene to behold.

Posted by Venice Wong | Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The majority of ASB participants spent most of yesterday flying into either Burbank, CA or LAX. After waking up early for morning flights, I was glad that we were saving group introductions for Monday. Instead we met each other at our own pace as people arrived to Malibu Creek State Park. Students who arrived first, like myself, set up tents for ourselves and for those getting in later.

Posted by Venice Wong | Monday, March 25, 2013

It begins, but who’s to say when it begins. The drive and desire to protect natural spaces, to ensure adequate resources for future generations, to promote the recovery of endangered species while preventing others from becoming threatened, and to simply enjoy something so majestic that man can never hope to recreate it. It’s conservation.

Posted by Staff | Monday, March 25, 2013

BIG CYPRESS NATIONAL PRESERVE, Fla. (March 22, 2013) – How can one sum up the past week here with SCA alternative spring break? Gathered around a campfire, under a big clear sky, with Orion overhead, a mandolin strums. Bluegrass fills our ears. Songs of the mountains and the stars. Marshmallows are passed around.

Exploring a gator pond in a swampy cypress mound. Knee deep in water.

Posted by Staff | Friday, March 22, 2013

Photos by David Krantz

BIG CYPRESS NATIONAL PRESERVE, Fla.

Posted by Staff | Thursday, March 21, 2013

Photo via Giovanni Paccaloni, Flickr

BIG CYPRESS NATIONAL PRESERVE, Fla. (March 19, 2013) — Nearly everybody here has a story of someone who has driven into a canal. That’s just life in the ‘Glades.

Canals cut along all the roads here; they always have. The roads were made by digging the canals and dumping the dirt to form the roadways.

Follow Me: Alternative Spring Break Blog

Posted by Staff | Thursday, March 21, 2013

Photo via carolinabirdclub.org. Woo!

BIG CYPRESS NATIONAL PRESERVE, Fla. (March 18, 2013) — Sandwiched between mangroves, alligators float on the water’s surface, manatees float just below, and a woodpecker works for its lunch: Tck tck tck. Tck Tck Tck.

“This is the woodpecker mecca,” says Ross Scott of Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission.

Posted by Vivian Nguyen | Thursday, March 21, 2013

Today, we got the insider view of some of the struggles the National Park Service is currently facing.

Pedro Ramos, the Big Cypress National Preserve superintendent, came to our campsite and joined us for dinner. After our delicious meal, we gathered around the campfire. He asked us what he can do to improve the National Park System. The main issue was relevance.

Posted by Joseph Thurston | Wednesday, March 20, 2013

On March 4, a culturally and geographically diverse bunch of students gathered with SCA in the Grand Tetons to learn what it takes to run a national park. Here are a few highlights from the week.”On the second day we did a lot.

Posted by Joseph Thurston | Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Session 2 of NPS Academy 2013 commenced on March 10 at Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Here are some highlights from a week of training and camaraderie amongst a diverse group of conservation-minded young people.”Lance, our facilitator, spoke on the importance of a key element in all relationships, including our own with the NPS: trust.

Posted by Joseph Thurston | Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The third session of NPS Academy 2013 took place in Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska, during the week of March 11. Here’s a sampling of the hijinks that ensued.@the_sca NPS Academy AK hiked to Tonsina Point outside of Seward for lunch and discussions on day two!!

Posted by Joseph Thurston | Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Shake-Off time! Here they are, all together, student-produced Harlem Shake vids from all three NPS Academies: Alaska, Great Smoky, and Grand Tetons.Which one reins supreme? Tell us in the comments!

Posted by Staff | Monday, March 18, 2013

We begin by rubbing our fingers together. The sound, imperceptible, is obscured by a light breeze and the occasional bird overhead. Next, we snap our fingers. It’s hard in the cold, but the sound is persistent, an organized cacophony. Better still is the light clapping. The tips of our fingers on our right hands meet the palms of our left. With 42 campers the rhythm is undeniable.

Posted by Staff | Friday, March 15, 2013

After a restful Wednesday, my fellow campers and I visited Rio Sierra Vista State Park — one of only 5 Mediterranean climates in the world alongside the Mediterranean Basin, Chile, Southern Australia and South Africa. To say the least it was a rare sight to behold.

There were rolling hills, for miles it appeared, and expanses of dense green.

Posted by Staff | Thursday, March 14, 2013

Hello, readers!

My third day of camping and serving with the Student Conservation Association (SCA) in the Santa Monica Mountains has wrapped up.

Yesterday was a day of toil well worth the exhaustion. We spent several hours at Santa Monica Beach Park removing the rest of the leafy carnations and clover weeds.

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Our 2015 Summer Roadtrip takes you to amazing places and member stories around the country.

75000 Members have served with SCA

Over 75,000 women and men have served with SCA - read some of their stories here.

Read about the women and men who helped build America’s oldest and largest youth conservation service organization here

Meet some of the amazing women who blazed a trail with SCA

Member Bloggers

Rachelle Hedges
San Mateo County Parks
See Posts by Rachelle Hedges
Sarika Khanwilkar
Hobe Sound National Wildlife Refuge
See Posts by Sarika Khanwilkar
Elizabeth Braatz
St. Croix Wetland Management District
See Posts by Elizabeth Braatz
Noah M Schlager
National Trails Intermountain Region
See Posts by Noah M Schlager
Dakota McCoy
Yosemite National Park
See Posts by Dakota McCoy
Ariel Lepito
Necedah National Wildlife Refuge
See Posts by Ariel Lepito
Jessica Zamudio
Yosemite National Park
See Posts by Jessica Zamudio

Staff Bloggers

Ann Pedtke
New York City
See posts by Ann Pedtke
Joseph Thurston
Washington, DC
See posts by Joseph Thurston

Alumni Stories

Where will SCA take you?

“Something different” is what Jessica Aronson Cook was looking for when she first joined the Student Conservation Association (SCA) as...
Mary Nghe and Stacey Kinney -- two CDIP Interns with the Student Conservation Association
Growing up in Houston, Stacey Kinney says she only saw ducks on office park ponds. Now, here she was at...

New findings on SCA's youth impact - read about the Search Institute's study

A new multi-year study on SCA’s youth impact shows significant gains across a wide range of indicators.
Read about the Study here »

Michelle Bobowick, Interning with SCA in Yellowstone National Park, 1985
It was 1958, when our family affair with the Student Conservation Association began. Since, then our family has continued its commitment to improving the world around us through SCA.
During the summer of ’69, twenty students arrived at Great Smokey Mountains National Park ready to clear windfall damage in...
When Student Conservation Association (SCA) supporter and 1983 alumnus, Bob Kachinski, was fresh out of college, he went on what...

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