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.

2021 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.


National Crew Participation Costs:

  • 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

2021 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.

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

2021 National Crew Admissions Process

Updates on this process will be available in late April. Please check back soon.

April 2021

  • Applications will be reviewed the first week of April

May 2021

  • Please note selections for this summer’s (2021) SCA national conservation crews are now complete and we are no longer accepting applications for this season.

    Regrettably, on the heels of a most unusual year, summer crew opportunities have yet to rebound to previous levels and we had far more applications than available positions. SCA is grateful to all who applied, encourage them to pursue interim service opportunities, and invite them to keep SCA in mind for next year.

2021 National Crew Program Dates

  • Programs will run June – August 2021

Questions about National Crews?

* National Crew members are eligible for travel support. Travel support is needs-based and is calculated using financial information provided my the member’s parent/guardian. Members will receive a travel support application 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!