Impact on Youth

Impact on Youth

The SCA Experience Impacts the Environment and Youth

How Participants Are Transformed

Since 2012, SCA has partnered with the Search Institute to study young people’s experiences in SCA programs and measure SCA’s impact on participants. Statistically significant gains were found across a wide range of indicators (you can read the full the study here.)

The research revealed that after a summer working with SCA, students emerged with increased conservation awareness, social responsibility, and leadership skills. All of these factors help fuel continuous growth and provide skills that make youth more successful in school, work, and life:

Conservation Awareness and Action:

  • Awareness of nature and the environment
  • Comfort with nature
  • Connectedness to nature
  • Sense of responsibility for the environment
  • Taking actions to conserve resources
  • Thinking critically about environmental issues
  • Helping others care about conservation
  • Exploration of conservation careers

Social Responsibility and Leadership:

  • Use of emotions for good
  • Ability to express ideas to others
  • Ability to see different perspectives
  • Engaging others in reaching a goal
  • Openness to the ideas of others
  • Ability to make decisions by weighing consequences
  • Interest in making their community better
  • Feeling a responsibility to help others
  • Thinking beyond the ‘here and now’ of daily life

Fuel for continuous growth and learning:

  • Having a sense of purpose in life
  • Seeing the positive in situations
  • Identifying a personal passion
  • Awareness of strengths and weaknesses
  • Openness to challenges
  • Thinking and planning about the future
  • Perseverance even when it’s hard


“I have become proud of the work I and my team have done. I feel like I’m a part of something bigger than… hearing commercials on how we need to make a difference, wanting to, but never acting on it.”

– Member, Community Program

“I have learned a lot about myself and had a lot of crucial thinking time that has allowed me to set short term and long term goals for myself for the future.”

– Member, National Crew

“I’m more open to trying new things with less fear and taking on new roles and responsibilities.”

– Member, Community Program


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Demographics of Survey Participants

A total of 693 National and Community Crew members participated in the study, which included programs for summer high school students.

The Search Institute Study interviewed 693 Participants in SCA programs.

Research conducted by the Search Institute. For more than 50 years, Search lnstitute®­ a research-to-practice organization has worked with partners in 60 countries, discovering what children and youth need to succeed.

What the Search Institute findings mean