National Crews

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 Conservation Internships and team-based Corps positions.

2019 National Crews Update

SCA National Crews for high school students have a long and renowned heritage. Little has changed about these landmark volunteer experiences since SCA introduced them more than 60 years ago – until now.
The challenges facing our public lands and shared environment are vastly different today than they were six decades ago. After seeking and reviewing feedback from past SCA crew members, leaders, and host sites, SCA is now working with leading figures from the conservation and service fields to reimagine SCA crews and to ensure their continued positive impact – on lands and lives – well into the future.
Please note that as we conduct this analysis, SCA will field fewer national crews this summer than in years past. However, the quality and caliber of these SCA experiences will remain unsurpassed.
We look forward to reviewing your application but wanted you to know in advance of the temporary reduction in SCA crew opportunities. Thank you.

Application deadline is March 4, 2019.  


National Crew Participation Costs:

  • Non-refundable $500 program fee for selected participants*
  • Transportation to and from the site
  • Any required personal gear (i.e. work boots, backpack, sleeping bag)

National Crews:

  • Include 6 to 8 high school aged members 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:

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

The Ideal Candidate:

  • Is 15 to 19 years old on the start date of the crew
  • Is a current high school student, including graduating seniors
  • Demonstrates leadership skills and/or responsibility
  • Participates with extracurricular groups or volunteer organizations
  • Likes working with people
  • Enjoys spending time outdoors
  • Wants to learn more about ecology or environmental topics

2019 National Crew Program Dates

To be eligible to participate in a National Crew, you must be available for at least one of the time frames listed below.


Track 1

Track 2

Track 3

Track 4



June 10 - 22

July 5 - 19 

July 8 - 20

July 26 - Aug 9

July 29 - Aug 10



June 10 - 29

July 5 - 26 

July 8 - 27

July 26 - Aug 16

July 29 - Aug 17



June 10 - July 6

July 5 - Aug 2

July 8 - Aug 3

July 26 - Aug 23

July 29 - Aug 24



June 10 - July 13

July 5 - Aug 9

July 8 - Aug 10

No 5-Week

Track 4 Crews

How to apply:

SCA crew positions are highly competitive!  Last year, fewer 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 or Sign Up
  2. Complete the online SCA application, including the National/Regional Youth Crew Program Application
  3. Pay the one-time $25 application fee (returning candidates don’t need to pay again)
  4. Submit your application
  5. Visit the How to Apply page for more tips and details

2019 National Crew Admissions Process

SCA has a two-step admissions process. If you are selected to the program, you will receive on offer email on April 1st. If you accept this offer, SCA will reserve a spot for you in the program, but you won’t yet know the details of your crew assignment. You will receive a crew assignment as soon as you are matched to a specific crew. Selected candidates should receive their crew assignment between April 2nd and May 30th.


  • Application deadline: March 4, 2019

April through May

  • April 1: All selected candidates receive an offer email
  • April 1: All candidates who are not selected receive a waitlist or decline email
  • April through May: Offers sent to waitlist candidates as positions open up
  • April through May: Crew assignments sent to selected members

June through August

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

Questions about National Crews?

* National Crew members are eligible to apply for fee forgiveness and travel support. Fee forgiveness and travel support are need-based and are calculated using financial information provided by the parent/guardian of the member. Members will receive travel support and fee forgiveness applications when they are assigned to a crew.

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


Log in or sign up to start your application today!