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 1, 2017

We are no longer accepting applications for the 2017 SCA National Crew program. 


National Crew 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 did we add a program 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 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:

  • 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
  • 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 is graduating this spring
  • 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

2017 National Crew Program Dates

Candidates must be available for at least one of the date ranges listed below. Being available for more than one track increases your chances of being selected for a position. There are a very limited number of 2-week crews each summer. Candidates who are available to participate for 3 or more weeks will have a higher likelihood of being placed in a position.


Track 1

Track 2A

Track 2B

Track 3A

Track 3B

Track 4A

Track 4B



6/11 to 6/25

6/14 to 6/28

7/2 to 7/16

7/5 to 7/19

7/23 to 8/6

7/26 to 8/9



6/11 to 7/2

6/14 to 7/5

7/2 to 7/23

7/5 to 7/26

7/23 to 8/13

7/26 to 8/16



6/11 to 7/9

6/14 to 712

7/2 to 7/30

7/5 to 8/2

7/23 to 8/20

7/26 to 8/23



6/11 to 7/16

6/14 to 7/19

7/2 to 8/6

7/5 to 8/9

7/23 to 8/27

7/26 to 8/30

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
  4. Submit your application
  5. Visit the How to Apply page for more tips and details

If you’re a returning candidate, you’ll notice that the application has changed. The new version is mobile-friendly and should be all-around easier to use. Visit the How to Apply page for more details about the change. 

2017 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 or before 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 1, 2017

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
  • Offers sent to waitlist candidates as positions open up
  • Selected members receive 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!