National Crews

The SCA’s National Conservation Crews for high schoolers offer you a chance to visit places you’ve never seen before and enjoy nature at its best.

Crew members will work on building trails and other restoration projects in national, state or local parks. While working on the crew, participants live on site in tents, cook their own meals and get to explore local outdoor recreation opportunities on non-work days.

After working with the SCA, program participants emerge with increased environmental awareness, social responsibility and leadership skills. Joining our National Conservation Crews also sets you on the path to experience other SCA opportunities, including individual internships and team-based conservation corps positions.

2023 National Crews Update

Applications are now closed for the 2023 season. All selected candidates have been notified as of March 31.

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

2023 National Crew Program Dates

  • July 10 – August 16, 2023

How to apply:

  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

Additional High School summer and school year programs can be found here.

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!

Student Conservation Association