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.

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Written by Lauren Freedman Whittlesey, SCA ‘10 alum, Alternative Spring Break in the Grand Canyon. Lauren turned her internship into a green job with SCA working in various capacities for the Marketing and Advancement teams.

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Indian Creek Rec. Area near Markleeville, CA

Number 11: Appreciate and choose, when possible, meaningful work rather than just making a living.
-from Arne Naess’ “Lifestyle Trends Within the Deep Ecology Movement”

Five days ago, all of this around me – the land, the people, the flora and fauna – was foreign.

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Monarch week has begun at Prairie Wetlands Learning Center! Four generations of monarchs have hatched this summer from their eggs on Minnesota’s milkweeds. The generation, which will be winging it to Mexico and other wintering sites, have emerged from their chrysalis on the prairie. Dozens can easily be found flitting from flower to flower as they fatten up on nectar before their flight.

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You can visit SCA’s Flickr photostream to see more pix in this set. http://www.flickr.com/photos/the-sca/sets/72157621672534785/

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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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I have been camping my whole life. I remember when I was seven carrying a small (which didn’t seem small to me at the time) daypack with a sleeping bag in it up the trail. My sister had the clothing for us. And my mom and dad- well, they had everything else. At the time, I thought I had the heaviest pack ever! I look back and think how amazing my parents were carrying all that weight so we could learn to camp and hike and be in nature at a young age. Those trips so affected me that becoming an SCA volunteer was a natural step for me. I cannot think what my life would be like without the summers of camping with my family and working for SCA. All those backcountry experiences and times with small groups doing our thing in the best places in the world.I came to this project, this Grand Canyon Alternative Spring Break project with the same ideas: working hard outside, camping, being with people who care and learning more skills and gaining more knowledge. I have been an SCA member before and I just needed to get back into it.

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(Photo above) Conservation intern Maria Gross, re-stringing a fishing pole

My last blog post I gave you a little introduction to the park I work in and my SCA placement. I also (hopefully) gave you some insight into me as a person and conservationist. I hold a firm belief that in order to achieve environmental greatness, one must begin at the source.

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Hello! Hope ya’ll are having a great Spring and getting ready for Summer.

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SCA Founder Receives Medal from President Obama

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Picture, if you will, the site of a forest two years after a wild fire. In my mind’s eye, the scene is dotted with burned out pine hulks and heaps of ash, but is dominated by green undergrowth and leafy seedlings. While this might be consistent with the sites of eastern and northwestern blazes, fires in dry climates leave a different, more permanent, impact on the landscape.

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I guess I forgot to mention in my first post a little bit about myself. I am twenty years old and a senior at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, NY. I am an Environmental Studies major with a double minor in Geoscience and Latin American Studies. I play Division III tennis for William Smith.

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THE NATIONAL PARKS: AMERICA’S BEST IDEA is a six-episode series directed by Ken Burns and written and co-produced by Dayton Duncan (SCA Board Member).
Premieres Sept. 27 on PBS (check local listings)

More on “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea.”Preview Introduction by Ken BurnsSummary of the Screening EventPhotos from the Screening EventThe National Parks: America’s Best Documentary?

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As a Student Conservation Association intern, you never know what new experiences each day will bring. I work for Delaware State Parks on the Children In Nature initiative, which is a statewide coalition working to get more kids outside. Children In Nature is a large coalition with expansive goals, and my job responsibilities are equally broad in scope.

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SCA ASB Staff doing the ‘Leaf and Logo™’ (L to R): Molly, Sam, Emily, RebeccaSCA’s Alternative Spring Break program for 2009 at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon has finished for the 60 lovely members of the program and is wrapping up for the fabulous SCA staff that joined the members on this adventure.

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In 4 weeks, we built a bridge and ten steps, cleaned up three miles of trail, rerouted a section that was crumbling into the bayou, survived a two-week heat wave of 110+ F degree days, formed a great connection with a new SCA agency partner, survived poisonous snakes and spiders, mosquitoes, chiggers, scorpions, wild boars…shepherded 8 teenagers, some of whom had never camped before and most of

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From the Mount Rainier National Park Volunteer Newsletter September 2012.
We would like to highlight a special intern this summer to help show how much the park relies on and appreciates our volunteers. The east side Backcountry Intern through the Student Conservation Association, Kris Youtz, was first on scene to an emergency call in the Glacier Basin area in the past month.

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At first it was simple. As we marched from the road through the desert, there was a small Sahara Mustard here, a small one over there, but really not many. With about one invasive plant per ten SCA volunteers, it wasn’t really much of a job. I was just letting my guard down, only to navigate around a creosote bush and BAM.

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So my first official night was a success, but I’m not going to lie, I was a little scared. A thunderstorm rolled in around 1:30AM and took the power out for a couple of minutes.The entire bunkhouse was pitch black. On the brighter side, I should be able to conquer my fear of the dark this summer!I am in Lake Charles now, looking around and taking in everything Louisianan.

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