Philadelphia, PA

SCA's Philadelphia Community Crew has helped hundreds of young people connect with our outdoor spaces and make a difference

SCA fielded its first community conservation program in Philadelphia in 2009. In 2012 we launched our programming in Camden, New Jersey. We run both summer and school year programs from our main office located inside the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum, visitors center. Since that first year, hundreds of youth in the Philadelphia region have participated in SCA programs. Thanks to the City of Philadelphia and the City of Camden, environmental organizations, schools, youth development organizations, and numerous community groups, SCA continues to provide conservation opportunities to Philadelphia young people each year.

Program Overview:

The SCA Greater Philadelphia Community Program provides year-round conservation opportunities divided into two seasons: school-year programs (running January through May) and summer programs (running July through August). The Philadelphia Community Program offers both volunteer and paid service opportunities. Volunteer programs occur on weekends, while paid service programs run Monday-Friday in the summertime, with some evening and weekend participation during the school year. Members serve at sites in and around the Philadelphia area. Participants build trails and restore habitat while exploring green career opportunities, building leadership skills, and learning about the local environment through field trips, outdoor recreation, and service projects.  

Trainings Offered: 

  • CPR Certification       
  • Resume Building
  • Leave No Trace (LNT) Outdoor Ethics
  • Financial Literacy
  • Habitat Restoration
  • Trail Skills

Eligibility Requirements: 

Now Hiring:

2016-2017 School Year Programs:

Fall Community Restoration part 1:

  • Our Community Restoration Program provides opportunities for local high school students to engage in revitalization projects in local neighborhoods. Youth will explore and learn how to protect our local public lands and waterways through hands-on service and education.
  • Who: High School Students, ages 15 to 18
  • When: November 2016 thru December 2016
  • Schedule: Mandatory trainings on November 5th & 6th, six mandatory consecutive Saturdays (optional Sunday projects available), from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Projects: A variation of hands on projects such as gardening, invasive plant removal, construction, trail restoration, water restoration & vacant lot clearing

Community Leadership Club, a Volunteer Program:

  • Begins January 2017
  • CLC is a service learning program for high school students. The CLC program brings together diverse students for participation in meaningful and fun outdoor community beautification work during the school year on weekends (Saturday and Sunday) January 2017-May 2017. Completion of this winter/spring program also offers the possibility to earn community service hours and opens the doorway to getting involved in other SCA opportunities.
  • Who: High School Students, ages 15 to 19
  • When: January thru May 2017
  • Schedule: Mandatory Overnight Retreat Trainings: January 28th and 29th, 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Each weekend, Saturday and Sunday (once per month)
  • Projects: A variation of hands on projects such as gardening, invasive plant removal, construction, trail restoration, water restoration & vacant lot clearing.


  • Obtain valuable work-skills and green job trainings
  • Work in beautiful outdoor settings
  • Become eligible to earn guaranteed placement in our summer employment program
  • Become eligible to participate in an all-expense-paid National Crew trip that will allow you to travel to public lands throughout the country.

Please select the “Apply Here” link below to be considered for January 2017 placement.

PROGRAM DATES: The program dates are below (subject to change depending on weather):

  • January 28, 2017-January 29, 2017 (OVERNIGHT CABIN CAMPING)
  • February 25, 2017-February 26, 2017 (COMMUTING WORK WEEKEND; 9AM-3PM each day)
  • March 25, 2017-March 26, 2017 (COMMUTING WORK WEEKEND; 9AM-3PM each day)
  • April 15, 2017-April 16, 2017 (COMMUTING WORK WEEKEND; 9AM-3PM each day)
  • May 20, 2017-May 21, 2017 (OVERNIGHT TENT CAMPING)

Apply here

Spring Community Restoration part 2:

  • Begins March 2017
  • Details will be announced soon

Young people in Philadelphia are engaged in improving our treasured outdoor spaces through SCA's community crews

Summer Community Programs (begin July 2017):

You can make a difference this summer while getting paid!

Here’s your chance to be part of a program that promotes youth leadership, conservation ethics and fun! The Student Conservation Association is a dynamic, national nonprofit organization which encourages and supports youth in hand-on service to the environment.

SCA’s Summer Conservation Community Crew Program will serve the Greater Philadelphia and Camden areas.

As a member of the Summer Conservation Crew Program you will:

  • Develop collaboration and leadership skills while working with 6 to 12 other high school students
  • Complete trail maintenance and Community park restoration projects
  • Learn about your local environment through field trips led by your Crew Leader
  • Explore green jobs and career opportunities that exist in your area
  • Plan and go on a recreational trip where you will learn outdoor skills and participate in activities such as hiking, canoeing, biking, and camping
  • Earn money
  • Work outdoors, Monday-Friday (up to 35hrs per week)
  • Transportation for youth will be provided daily to worksites
  • Work gear will also be provided to all students in the program

To Qualify:

  • Must be at least 15 before July 1st, 2017 and enrolled in high school
  • Eager to learn
  • Willing to try new outdoor activities
  • Live in the Philadelphia, PA and/or Camden NJ area
  • Have a positive attitude 

Questions contact the office: 215-756-2279 or [email protected]

Live applications will be posted March 2017

Find us on Instagram: @sca_philly_camden  and Facebook: sca philadelphia/camden


Related Posts & Program Information

Two Philadelphia crew members were chosen to be given the opportunity to join a SCA National Crew this summer after completing the Greater Philadelphia CLC program. These members joined other high school students on crews working in National Parks and federal lands across the country. The students were provided with travel scholarship, camping gear and predominately worked on trial building or maintenance projects for periods lasting 15 to 35 days.

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The 2012 SCA Greater Philadelphia Summer Program successfully completed its fourth year, with Philadelphia and Camden area youth completing meaningful summer service projects while gaining leadership and Job Readiness skills.
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(PHILADELPHIA, PA) Nov. 14, 2012 – More than 60 underserved Philadelphia teens have secured green jobs and leadership opportunities – gaining conservation skills, environmental education and career training – through a grant to the Student Conservation Association (SCA) from the Exelon Foundation.

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By KYW’s Karin PhillipsThe official launch was held Tuesday morning for a program that introduces urban youth to “green” jobs. High school kids in light blue t-shirts worked to clean up the area in front of the Valley Green Inn, in Wissahickon Valley Park.

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