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.

...connects NPS with a new generation of conservationists.

Posted by Joseph Thurston | Thursday, March 3, 2016

SCA’s NPS Academy aims to better ensure the future of U.S. public lands by building a National Park Service workforce that truly reflects the diversity of America.

Career Success, Diversity

Help study & conserve the best kept secrets of America's public lands.

Posted by Joseph Thurston | Wednesday, March 2, 2016
The Copper River Delta in Chugach National Forest. Photo source.

Serve somewhere unexpected with one of our “Under the Radar” Conservation Internships…

Adventures, Career Success, Parks, Volunteer Opportunities

Serve somewhere unexpected...

Posted by Joseph Thurston | Tuesday, March 1, 2016
This long exposure shows stars streaking across the night sky at International Dark Sky certified park Natural Bridges National Monument.

These “clandestine” conservation service opportunities are located at some of the best kept secrets of America’s public lands system.

Adventures, Career Success, Parks, Volunteer Opportunities

Posted by Staff | Friday, February 26, 2016
SCA Founder Liz Putnam meeting with some of the Centennial Volunteer Ambassadors in Washington DC

On Wednesday, February 24, 2016, six Washington DC-based SCA NPS Centennial Volunteer Ambassadors—there are 70 serving nationwide—joined SCA Founder Liz Titus Putnam on stage for a presentation at the Garden Club of America’s annual meeting in the nation’s capital.

They spoke—and embodied—the National Park Service’s Centennial year commitment to connecting with...

SCA Alum Lauren Ray has a rap for every NPS site she's worked

Posted by Joseph Thurston | Thursday, February 25, 2016
SCA alum Lauren Ray, aka the Rapping Ranger, has written and performed hip hop odes to each park that she's worked at, starting with Arches National Park where she served as an SCA Intern.

SCA alum Lauren Ray reveals how her SCA internship with the National Park Service helped her discover her public-lands-loving hip hop alter ego, the Rapping Ranger.

Adventures, Career Success, Parks, People

Your perfect nature photo could win you a round-trip flight for two.

Posted by Joseph Thurston | Thursday, February 25, 2016

What does conservation mean to you? What inspires you to visit the parks, forests, and refuges where nature is allowed to thrive? What inspires you to celebrate them? What inspires you to fight to keep them wild and untrammeled always and forever?

Whether it’s the look on a loved one’s face...

Posted by Staff | Thursday, February 25, 2016
SCA Founder Liz Putnam presented the Robert Marshall Award from the Wilderness Society

“When it comes to getting kids outdoors, no one has done more over the past sixty years than Liz Putnam,” said Jamie Williams, president of The Wilderness Society, as he presented Liz with the Society’s Robert Marshall Award at a VIP-studded ceremony in Washington, DC.

In bestowing the award, named for...

SCA Centennial Volunteer Ambassador Sally Goldman Takes an Inside Look at the History of Little Rock Central High School

Posted by Ann Pedtke | Wednesday, February 24, 2016
SCA Centennial Volunteer Ambassador Sally Goldman surveys Little Rock Central High with NPS staff

Sally Goldman is an SCA Centennial Volunteer Ambassador at Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site in Arkansas. Central High became the site of violent protests during the 1957 Desegregation Crisis, when nine African American students began attending the all-white school. As Black History Month comes to a close, Sally shares an inside perspective on the school that is her alma mater, her workplace, and an icon of the Civil Rights movement.

Diversity, Education, History

...and we interviewed the Park Ranger who created them

Posted by Joseph Thurston | Wednesday, February 17, 2016
Katmai National Park LEGO set vignette designed by Park Ranger Gavin Gardner.

When Gavin Gardner submitted a set of three national park vignettes to the LEGO Ideas website last spring, he was hardly prepared for the huge and overwhelmingly positive response he got.

Now Gardner’s idea for a set of LEGOs that celebrates America’s national parks has gotten the 10,000 votes it needed...

Adventures, Career Success, Kids, Parks, People

Climate-Focused Intern Makes her Mark

Posted by Kevin Hamilton | Friday, February 12, 2016

Can a college senior turn back the clock on climate change? No, but Christie Merino did help a national park revamp its entire climate game plan.

Climate, Parks, People, Science, Sustainability

1970s SCA Alumna, 1980s Pro Tennis Star

Posted by Staff | Thursday, February 11, 2016
SCA Alum and former Tennis Pro Leslie Allen at the New York Open

“I liked the fact that, early on, SCA was committed to offering outdoor experiences to a diverse mix of people, and I loved the idea of other girls from all across the country working together toward common goal.”

Career Success, Diversity, History, People

This Presidents Day, get the inside scoop on presidential history from SCA members at the source!

Posted by Ann Pedtke | Tuesday, February 9, 2016

From Abe Lincoln’s birthplace in Kentucky to the White House in DC, SCA members help to interpret the legacies of US Presidents at National Parks and Historic Sites all over the country. Along the way, they’ve picked up some unexpected presidential stories and gained a new view of the nation’s...

History, Parks, People

Posted by Staff | Friday, February 5, 2016
Red Ant Pants founder and SCA Alum Sarah Calhoun

SCA alumna Sarah Calhoun (SCA 2002, ’03, ‘04)  – the founder of Red Ants Pants, a specialty line of women’s workwear – was recently featured in The Huffington Post and on Silicon Valley start-up expert Steve Blank’s popular podcast. In each, Sarah shares her story of...

Career Success

Bond Over a Mutual Love for the Great Outdoors

Posted by Joseph Thurston | Thursday, February 4, 2016
Bond with your Valentine's Day sweetheart over a mutual love for the Great Outdoors with these 10 perfect hiking dates.

Next time you’re planning to spend some quality moments with a loved one, whether it’s a longtime sweetheart, an old friend, or somebody you’re just getting to know, take it outside and make it a hike!

SCA's Claire Ellwanger contributes to the science that will help save this legendary flower

Posted by Claire Ellwanger | Tuesday, February 2, 2016
Left: SCA intern and biology masters student Claire Ellwanger prepares for a field survey. Right: An eastern prairie fringed orchid (Platanthera leucophaea).
This post was written for Open Spaces, the official blog of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. It’s part of a monthly series featuring SCA interns writing about their experiences working to promote, protect and study wildlife on public lands all over the United States. Today, Claire Ellwanger checks...
Education, Endangered Species, People, Science

SCA's new Chicago program has engaged more than 2,000 school children

Posted by Staff | Tuesday, February 2, 2016
Young Students at Chicagoland doing an exercise with SCA's Urban Treehouse program

For a child, few places pack the wonder of a tree house. A tree house spurs recreation, observation and imagination. As the youngster climbs, the mind soars and even the stars seem within reach.

Last fall, SCA brought its Urban Tree House to Chicagoland. A unique environmental education curriculum, the Urban...

Education, Kids, Sustainability

Earthsavers of the Month

Posted by Ann Pedtke | Thursday, January 21, 2016
US veterans from The Mission Continues volunteers at SCA's Find Your park beach cleanup in NYC

“We aim to inspire the next generation to view service as part of their lives. Service has given us purpose and we want to keep that going.”

People, Volunteer Opportunities

Excelsior AmeriCorps Members Look Ahead to a Year of Service Across New York State

Posted by Ann Pedtke | Thursday, January 21, 2016
SCA Excelsior Corps members gather for orientation

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo recently  announced the launch of New York State’s Excelsior Conservation Corps, a new statewide AmeriCorps environmental education and stewardship program managed by SCA. AmeriCorps members enrolled in the program will perform meaningful and lasting environmental projects across New York State while gaining hands-on experience...

Career Success, Parks, People

We catch up with the Secretary at our MLK Find Your Park Day of Service

Posted by Staff | Thursday, January 21, 2016
US Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell with SCA Alum Roland Richardson at SCA's Find Your Park Day of Service at Anacostia Park in Washington, DC, in memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., January 18, 2016

For the second year in a row, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell spent her Martin Luther King Day serving with SCA alongside hundreds of community volunteers in Washington DC’s Anacostia Park. After a busy morning of picking up litter and cutting down invasive plants, she was nice enough to...

600+ Volunteers Join SCA's Find Your Park Day of Service

Posted by Ann Pedtke | Tuesday, January 19, 2016
SCA's Roland Richardson walks with Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell

In honor of the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Day of Service, SCA rallied 604 volunteers in Washington, DC for our largest service event to date. The Find Your Park Day of Service event, sponsored by American Express, is one of many that SCA will organize over the next year in celebration of the National Park Service Centennial.

Coasts & Water, Parks, Volunteer Opportunities



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

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

75000 Members have served with SCA

Throughout the Summer of 2014 we marked our 75,000th member with 75 stories of the women and men have served with SCA - read them here.

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
Dana DeSousa
Sandy Point National Wildlife Refuge
See Posts by Dana DeSousa

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?

On Wednesday, July 27th, SCA joined the National Parks Conservation Association for a joint networking happy hour.
As a Centennial Volunteer Ambassador at Padre Island National Seashore, I’ve gotten to meet some pretty cool people. Recently I...

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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