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.

How park lovers formed a giant arrowhead to celebrate NPS' 100th

Posted by Staff | Friday, August 26, 2016

by Kyle Yarusso, SCA NPS Centennial Volunteer Ambassador

As  part of our celebration of the National Park Service (NPS), over 1000 people came together to create a giant version of the agency emblem, the Arrowhead, on the Washington Monument grounds. The event was symbolic in more ways than one. We each...

Parks, People

Changing Lives at Canyon de Chelly

Posted by Kevin Hamilton | Thursday, August 25, 2016

Thanks to sponsorship from ATN International and partnership with Canyon de Chelly National Monumentin Arizona, dozens of youth have experienced conservation on SCA crews comprised entirely of Navajo, or Diné, students. The teenaged crews repair trails and restore habitats, though much time is also devoted to...

Posted by Kevin Hamilton | Thursday, August 25, 2016
by Song Gao, Centennial Volunteer Ambassador
A year ago, I had never heard of America’s national parks. Today, as the National Park Service celebrates its 100th anniversary, I’m a Centennial Volunteer Ambassador at Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA). 
What a short, strange trip it’s been.  

Posted by Kevin Hamilton | Tuesday, August 23, 2016
Just days before the August 25th centennial of the National Park Service (NPS), the Student Conservation Association convened a high-level NPS delegation to explore new strategies for engaging young conservation leaders for the next 100 years of national parks. 
NPS Director Jonathan Jarvis, Associate Director for Workforce, Relevancy and...
Career Success, Parks

...That Every Teen Should Learn

Posted by Joseph Thurston | Wednesday, August 17, 2016
6 Outdoor Life Lessons That Every Teen Should Learn

Time spent enjoying the great outdoors is more than just fun. It’s an essential part of life, and an especially essential part of growing up. Time spent in nature, or even just time spent gazing at greenery through a well-placed window, has lately been shown to have a variety of...

Adventures, Backcountry & Wilderness, Forests, Kids, Parks, People, Trails and Hiking, Volunteer Opportunities

Entering college with purpose after a year spent serving the planet

Posted by Staff | Tuesday, August 16, 2016
Sarah Newsham

SCA offers a variety of activities to help you gain life experience and perspective during your gap year, all while serving the planet. Don’t take our word for it though. Hear what life lessons Sarah Newsham acquired during her gap year experience:

A couple of weeks ago I was...

Education, People

Alums Reunite & Reconnect at Sagamore Hill National Historic Site

Posted by Ann Pedtke | Friday, August 12, 2016
SCA alumni from 1960s to 2016 gather on Long Island

On August 6th, a record number of SCA alumni gathered in the New York City region to reunite and reconnect with SCA.

Parks, People

SCA's Dana DeSousa on Working with Leatherback Sea Turtles

Posted by Dana DeSousa | Monday, August 8, 2016

Ever wonder what it’s like to work with dinosaurs? Well I can’t tell you what it’s like to work with a Tyrannosaurus rex, but I can tell you about working with a reptile whose ancestors were around during the Cretaceous period.

Adventures, Animals & Wildlife, Coasts & Water, Endangered Species

SCA Biology Intern at John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge

Posted by Staff | Thursday, August 4, 2016

After working outside helped Emmett Pegan deal with the stress of coming out as transgender, he decided to try and make a career of it. Now as an SCA Biology Intern at John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge in Philadelphia, he’s learning what such a career might look like before he heads to college in the fall.

Diversity, People

Posted by Staff | Thursday, August 4, 2016

by Jaime Matyas, President & CEO, SCA

I recently returned from Alaska where I went for several reasons: to understand better the unique challenges to accessing and serving public lands in our nation’s largest state; to appreciate more fully the similarities and differences in the SCA experience for Alaska Native...

by Kiki Serantes, SCA Intern, Cultural Resources

Posted by Kiki Serantes | Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Swiss-native Helena Looser has only lived in the United State for two years. While being away from her family is difficult, she says that Zion’s wilderness opportunities have helped her become more mindful of her own dreams and goals.

Parks, People

by Kiki Serantes, SCA Intern, Cultural Resources

Posted by Kiki Serantes | Wednesday, August 3, 2016

In an era where people hardly stay at a specific job for more than 5 years, Lead Park Ranger Mike Large can be said to be, in a way, serving a Zion National Park marathon. After 32 years here, he’s far from worn out by the park’s landscape and culture. After seven years as a tour guide for Zion Lodge in the ‘80s, Large decided to keep the Zion dice rolling and took a position with the fee department.

Diversity, Parks, People

by Kiki Serantes, SCA Intern, Cultural Resources

Posted by Kiki Serantes | Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Hema Lochan hopes to use her position as an intern in the Zion Museum to cultivate and revitalize a human connection with wilderness.

Diversity, Parks, People

When Dozens of Bears Gather, Drama Unfolds...

Posted by David Kopshever | Wednesday, August 3, 2016

From the Brooks Falls viewing platform, I count thirteen individual brown bears. Since the beginning of July, it has been nearly guaranteed to see bears at the falls, but thirteen is the most to date. My routine remains the same—I make note of which bears are present, and begin a count of how many fish each catches. I also start a running list of interactions between the bears—skirmishes, fish stealing, displays of aggression, etc.

Adventures, Animals & Wildlife, Parks

An object biography of a conservation icon

Posted by Dana Foster | Wednesday, August 3, 2016

These four artifacts, all currently on display at Yosemite National Park, each have a story to tell about the man who used them: John Muir.

History, Parks, People

Posted by Kevin Hamilton | Tuesday, August 2, 2016
by Steve Smith, Vice President of Program Quality, SCA
Since 1998, SCA has served as a co-sponsor of the Wilderness Risk Management Conference (WRMC) along with Outward Bound and the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS).  An international gathering specifically focused on outdoor safety and risk management, the WRMC next...

Posted by Kevin Hamilton | Friday, July 29, 2016
Jamie, Liz and Sarah rockin' it on the rocks at Grand Canyon
Royalty. That’s what they called her, and that’s how they treated her. Like royalty.
SCA Founding President Liz Putnam was invited to Grand Canyon National Park this week to keynote the Alternative Break Citizenship School (ABCs). The week-long course sponsored by Break Away, a nonprofit that trains college students...

Organizations from Across DC Come Together to Talk Conservation

Posted by Roland Richardson | Wednesday, July 27, 2016

On Wednesday, July 27th, SCA joined the National Parks Conservation Association for a joint networking happy hour.

Career Success, Parks, People

Posted by Megan McVey | Wednesday, July 27, 2016
Rosie Lu

Girl Scounts USA and SCA recently announced a two-year effort to expose more girls to the benefits of spending time in nature. As a first step, SCA led an all-Girl Scouts volunteer trail crew at Shenandoah National Park and among the ten-girl team was Rosie Lu.

There are a few things...

Posted by Kevin Hamilton | Friday, July 22, 2016
Since 2009, Alyssa Ballestero (far left in photo) of Greenville, ME has led 14 SCA conservation crews, from Denali in Alaska to Kennesaw Mountain in Georgia. But if her name sounds familiar, it may be because you’ve seen, well, a lot of her on a certain reality TV show. We...