National Crews

From Rocky Mountain National Park to the Cumberland Island National Seashore, from Amistad National Recreation Area to the Blue Ridge Parkway public lands across the United States are in need of a little TLC. SCA’s National Crews offer you a chance to visit places you’ve never seen before, camping with your crew members in the field to enjoy nature at its best. You’ll be building trails, conserving vital habitats, and protecting natural resources for future generations. National Crews will also set you on the path to other SCA opportunities, like Trail Corps and Conservation Internships.

Application Deadline: March 2, 2016

2016 National Crew Deadline Has Passed


Important Notice for National Crew Candidates

Beginning on February 17th, SCA will be instituting a program fee for participants in the National Crew program. This fee will be applicable to all candidates selected to participate in the program. Candidates who are not selected will not be subject to this fee.

Program Fee Facts:

  • Program Fee: $500 per participant for selected participants
  • No program fee for candidates who are not selected
  • SCA will continue to provide financial assistance to those in need

Why are we adding a fee?

While interest in SCA’s Youth Crew positions continues to grow, decreasing budgets on federal lands has led to decreased opportunities for youth to serve on these federal lands. The program fee will allow SCA to continue to serve more youth across the country by helping to offset the rising costs of fielding programs.

National Crews:

  • Include 6 to 8 teenagers per crew
  • Serve 2 to 5 weeks in the summer
  • Are supervised by two experienced adult leaders
  • Are usually volunteer positions
  • Have highly competitive admissions

National Crew Members:

  • ŸComplete trail maintenance and restoration projects in national, regional, state, or local parks
  • ŸLive in tents** on site and cook their own meals
  • ŸDevelop collaboration and leadership skills
  • Work with other high school students from across the country
  • ŸLearn about local wildlife and help to preserve vital habitats
  • ŸLearn practical outdoor skills and practice Leave No Trace camping
  • ŸExplore local outdoor recreational opportunities with their crew on non-work days

The ideal candidate:

  • ŸIs 15 to 19 years old on the start date of the crew
  • ŸIs a current high school student, or graduated from high school the semester directly before the summer crew
  • ŸDemonstrates leadership skills and/or responsibility
  • ŸParticipates with extracurricular groups or volunteer organizations
  • ŸLikes working with people
  • ŸEnjoys spending time outdoors
  • ŸWants to learn more about ecology or environmental topics

2016 National Crew Program Dates

Candidates must be available for at least one of the date ranges listed below. Wider dates of availability increase your chances of being selected for a position.


Track 1

Track 2

Track 3

Track 4

2 Week Crews

6/6 to 6/19

6/13 to 6/26

7/11 to 7/24

7/25 to 8/7

3 Week Crews

6/6 to 6/26

6/13 to 7/3

7/11 to 7/31

7/25 to 8/14

4 Week Crews

6/6 to 7/3

6/13 to 7/10

7/11 to 8/7

7/25 to 8/21

5 Week Crews

6/6 to 7/10

6/13 to 7/17

7/11 to 8/14

7/25 to 8/28

How to apply:

SCA crew positions are highly competitive!  Last year, less than half of the candidates who applied received a position. Putting together an outstanding application is the best way to make yourself stand out from the crowd.  

  1. Login to MySCA (at the bottom of this page)
  2. Complete the online SCA application, including the Youth:Crews section
  3. Pay the one-time $25 application fee
  4. Submit your application

Application Tips

  • Already have an SCA Crew application? Just update your dates, essays, preferences and references
  • Alum? Be sure to tell us how your SCA experience impacted you and why you want to do it again!
  • Apply early! SCA begins reviewing applications in late fall
  • Application Deadline: March 2, 2016.  Your application must be complete and submitted by March 2nd to be considered.

2016 National Crew Admissions Process

SCA uses a rolling admissions process for the National Crew program. 

This means that SCA reviews candidates and makes offers as applications come in. Candidates may receive offers as early as January, but many will not hear until late March. All candidates who are not selected will receive a waitlist or decline email by April 1st. 

If you accept an offer, SCA will reserve a spot for you in the program and will send you a specific crew assignment as soon as a suitable crew is confirmed. You should receive your crew assignment between March 2nd and May 30th. You’ll have a final chance to accept or decline once you know the details of your assignment. 

January through March:

  • Offers sent to selected candidates
  • Selected members begin to receive specific crew assignments

April through May

  • April 1: All candidates who are not selected receive a waitlist or decline email 
  • Offers sent to waitlist candidates as positions open up
  • Selected members continue to receive specific crew assignments

June through August

  • Offers sent to waitlist candidates if last minute spots open up

Questions about National Crews?

* National Crew members are eligible for financial aid to assist with program fees and the cost of travel. Members will receive information about applying for financial aid when they receive their crew offer.

**Occasionally crews will live in dormitory-style housing.


Log in or sign up to start your application today!