For Parents, Guardians, and Mentors
New research shows that the SCA experience not only increases conservation awareness, but also develops social responsibility, strengthens leadership skills and helps fuel continuous growth, providing skills for enhanced success in school, work and life. Learn more…
THANK YOU FOR ALL YOU DO! This is exactly what this boy needed — he came home a different kid. More grown up. More prepared to head into adulthood forward facing. Love it. Wish I could go to work for The SCA as an evangelist / recruiter - because I’ve seen the power of the program first hand. It’s — man — if only every kid could have these opportunities!! Thank you!!
– Sarah Pressler, parent of Joseph Walston, High School Crew Member, 2015 North Cascades Regional Crew
My SCA experience has greatly increased my self-confidence and has encouraged me to follow my goals. Being out in the wilderness and connected with nature allowed me to access my inner self in a way that other ways could not.
– Jesse Crosby, High School Crew Member, 2015 Olympic Marine Science Exploration Leadership Crew
This SCA experience has given me a lot more confidence in myself and my ability to solve problems and persevere through diﬃculties. It has also made me a lot more comfortable living and working with a large group of people - I feel significantly stronger in terms of “people skills” than I did before the program. It has also given me a sense of competence in the skill sets I have acquired, and I want to continue honing these skills which I believe have applications not just in future careers, but in my own personal life, too.
– Joshua Reynolds, Young Adult Corps Member, SCA Massachusetts Corps, 2015
My SCA experience has made me become more social and mature. I am able to communicate with others with no problem and I have no problem trying new things.
– Taylor Newkirk, High School Community Member, 2015 Summer Rock Creek Delta Community Crew
My experience with SCA has become a foundational experience in my life that will be the cornerstone of the direction I take from here. It has directly inﬂuenced my decision to pursue a Master’s degree and the content of that degree. It is a stepping stone towards a career in large landscape conservation.
– Clancy Jandreau, Young Adult Member, Natural Resources Conservation Intern, NRCS Washington State, 2014 and 2015
Safety is our #1 priority for all of our programs. We’re proud of our safety record and advanced risk management protocols, and we evaluate the safety of every SCA program and position before placing members in the field.
With over 55 years of experience, SCA has developed standards and guidelines that promote a strong safety culture. SCA continually considers safety through hazard assessments and incident and “near-miss” analysis, integrating the lessons learned into our protocols, procedures and training. In addition to being time and event-tested, SCA’s risk management protocols and procedures are thoroughly reviewed ( and if necessary revised) each year by our Risk Management Team.
- Training: Every position at SCA involves training to prepare your son or daughter for their experience. Trainings vary depending on the area of focus and specific environmental considerations (terrain, wildlife, remote locations, etc.) for each position.
- Eligibility Requirements: For many positions, candidates must meet specific eligibility requirements to ensure that they will be able to participate successfully and safely in the position.
- Qualified Supervision: Whether your child will be directed by SCA crew leaders or supervised by one of our many site partners, we vet every position to ensure that each SCA member has highly qualified and responsible leaders guiding them through their experience. SCA maintains a 1 to 6 Leader to Member ratio for all team-based programs, and ensures that all leaders have first aid certification appropriate to the needs of their position.
I want to thank you so much for the experience Savannah had. Her father and I are so amazed with what she got to experience and the direction it has given her for her future college/career goals. She absolutely loved the entire experience and her crew leaders (Scott and Gabie) were the best!!
– Erika Franz, parent of Savannah Franz, High School Crew Member, 2015 Voyageurs Leadership Crew
It has really opened my eyes to things about myself that I should be proud of and share with others. It also gave me a sense of team and showed me a different way of life that I fell in love with. I was especially inspired by one of my leaders who proved to be an amazing role model.
– Cristina Villalovas, High School Crew Member, 2015 Lake Clark Leadership Crew
My SCA experience has changed the way I carry myself and the way I view my environment. I have learned to take risks even when they seem daunting, which has drastically altered the way I interact with my peers and elders.
– Madeline Myers, High School Crew Member, Harpers Ferry National Crew, 2015
SCA has been empowering youth through conservation service since 1957. That’s before the Peace Corps started! SCA has nearly 60 years of experience providing safe, meaningful conservation service experiences for young people. Learn more…
The Application Process
SCA positions are highly competitive! You can help your child to put their best foot forward.
For parents, guardians and mentors of high school students applying for high school specific programs.
Many of SCA’s applicants are making their first foray into the world of applications, references, and professional communications. While we expect youth to take the lead in each of these steps, we value the impact that support from a caring parent, guardian or mentor can provide.
Your child should fill out their own application. We want to get a sense of who your child is and what they are passionate about. Candidates should write their essays in their own words and take the lead in filling out the application. Encourage your child to do their best work and to check for errors before they submit their application. School advisors and guidance counselors may also be able to support your child in completing their application.
Candidates should check their email regularly. Many of our most critical communications to your child will arrive via email. Encourage your child to check their messages regularly (2 to 3 times per week minimum) to avoid missing important notifications.
Act on Feedback. At SCA, it’s our mission to develop the next generation of conservation leaders. If your child acts on feedback that they receive from us, it can dramatically increase their likelihood of securing a position.
Use the resources available:
Webpages on www.thesca.org
- Choosing a Program Page
- Youth Programs Page
- Benefits of Serving Page
- Youth How to Apply Page
- National and Regional Crew FAQs
- Community Crew FAQs
Contact SCA’s Admissions Team:
For parents, guardians, and mentors of candidates 18 and older applying for internship and corps positions.
SCA’s application process is a great opportunity for candidates to build and practice their professional skills. Many SCA programs require participants to work independently and as part of a team, sometimes in remote locations. Through the application, candidates demonstrate that they are suﬃciently responsible, motivated, and prepared to take on a conservation internship.
Candidates for young adult positions should take the lead in all communication with SCA. When a parent or guardian speaks on behalf of a candidate during the application process, it can indicate to SCA that the candidate may not have the motivation, confidence or skills to succeed in an SCA position. We recommend helping candidates prepare for professional communications through practice or role playing, but discourage you from speaking on their behalf.
Candidates should fill out their own application. We carefully consider personal voice and enthusiasm when matching candidates with the right internship. Candidates should write their essays in their own words and take responsibility for filling out their application. Encourage candidates to review punctuation, spelling, and grammar and to be thorough in completing all sections of the application.
Resume Building. While we don’t require a resume, we highly recommend it. There are many ways to find help for crafting a resume that best represents your knowledge, skills, and abilities. Encourage candidates to seek out career services professionals, explore websites specializing in resume writing, or schedule an appointment with a career counselor if they are in school.
Selecting Opportunities. We ask every candidate to select only positions that they would be prepared to accept if offered, so it’s critical that candidates choose positions they feel comfortable with. Offer to act as a sounding board if the candidate needs to talk about opportunities, but let them make the ultimate decisions.
Be Flexible. SCA is highly competitive. We recommend that candidates be open to a variety of positions in order to increase their chances of selection. Well known sites like Yosemite, Yellowstone, and the Grand Canyon are generally the most competitive, yet sites with less name recognition can provide equally amazing experiences. Encourage candidates to focus on the overall experience rather than on a particular location.
Interview Coaching. Candidates seeking their first professional experience through SCA are often inexperienced in matters of professionalism. The majority of SCA interviews are conducted over the phone, and it is not uncommon for candidates to resort to conversation fillers (“Um,” “Ah,” “Like,” “You Know”) when trying to answer important questions. Offer to role play, act as the interviewer, and give candidates some standard questions and suggestions for improvement.
Candidates should be checking their email regularly. Many of our most critical communications to candidates will arrive via email. Encourage candidates to check their messages regularly (2 to 3 times per week minimum) to avoid missing important notifications.
Act on Feedback. At SCA, it’s our mission to develop the next generation of conservation leaders. If candidates act on the feedback that they receive from us, it will dramatically increase their likelihood of securing a position.
Use the Resources Available:
Webpages on www.thesca.org
- Choosing a Program Page
- Benefits of Serving Page
- Young Adult Program Page
- Young Adult How to Apply Page
- Young Adult FAQ
Contact SCA’s Admissions Team:
The Enrollment Process
The links below provide an overview of the key steps your child will need to take to secure their spot if they are offered a position with SCA. Your child will receive more specific enrollment information if they are accepted into an SCA position.
For parents, guardians and mentors of high school students who have been selected for a high school SCA position.
Once your child accepts their SCA position offer, they will receive information about the specific enrollment steps required to secure their position with SCA. The information below provides a general overview of some key elements in the process.
Accept Their Offer Online: Candidates must accept their SCA position offer through their online MySCA portal. Once they complete this electronic acceptance, they will begin receiving information about the next steps for their enrollment.
Minor Participants: Parents/guardians of minor participants (under 18), will be cc’d on all enrollment communications. All enrollment forms for minor participants must be signed by a parent or guardian.
Background Check: Youth participants aged 18 and older are required to complete and pass a background check. This can take up to several weeks to process, so your child should complete the form as soon as they receive it.
Medical Forms: Most youth programs require members to complete medical history forms. We encourage parents/guardians to complete the medical form with the participant to ensure that the information is complete and accurate.
Gear: Participants will receive information from SCA about the gear required for their position. For most youth positions, members are expected to provide personal gear (sturdy boots, backpack, long work pants, etc) while SCA provides all group gear (tents, cooking equipment, water filtration, etc.). Personal gear may be rented, borrowed, or purchased through SCA if desired.
Travel: Participants will receive specific travel information when they accept a position. This will include the daily meet-up location for commuting crews or the start and end meet-up locations for overnight crews.
For parents, guardians, and mentors of candidates 18 and older selected into internship and corps positions.
Once candidates accept their offer, they will receive information about the specific enrollment steps required to secure their position with SCA. The information below provides a general overview of some key elements in the enrollment process.
Background Check: Participants aged 18 and older are required to complete and pass a background check. This can take up to several weeks to process, so participants should complete the form as soon as they receive it.
Proof of Identity: Participants are often required to submit proof of identify for various forms. We know that often times parents hold on to important documents to ensure their safety. Having those ready and available for participants can help to expedite their enrollment process.
Medical Forms: Participants taking part in SCA Corps programs are required to complete medical history forms (internship participants are not). We encourage parents/guardians to help participants complete the medical form to ensure that the information is complete and accurate.
Gear Lists: Participants will receive information from SCA or the partner agency about the gear required for their position. All participants receive an SCA uniform package.
Travel: Participants will receive specific travel information when they are accepted to a position. We recommend they arrange their travel as soon as possible once selected. For assistance, participants should contact their Advisor or Project Leader directly.