I had an unconventional childhood. After my dad took a job that kept him on the road for months at a time, my parents decided we should join him so we could all be together. We bought a motorhome, began to homeschool, and hit the road – stopping at national parks along the way. We saw ancient forests, historic buildings, fascinating museums, national monuments, and dramatic landforms – all national parks. While I didn’t have much space of my own, traveling to these magical places allowed me to explore my greater backyard and make it my own. I learned that national parks belong to us all and their purpose is to conserve OUR history, OUR culture, and OUR landscapes.
Every year, SCA provides training, tools and projects that place motivated teens and young adults in the field to effect changes great and small. How do we measure the effects? Sometimes its through decreased CO2 levels or by the tons of trash collected or in the number of trees planted. Our success is also measured by the lessons learned, the perspective gained and the lives we transform—today and into the future. Often when the SCA project is over, the success story is just beginning. Take a look at some of our most recent accomplishments.
SCA Centennial Volunteer Ambassador Jimi Hightower Considers the Value of Parks at the Brink of a Shutdown
Posted by Ann Pedtke | Thursday, December 10, 2015
Education, Parks, People
Recommendations from SCA's Gear Guru
Posted by Joseph Thurston | Wednesday, December 9, 2015
Shopping for a true lover of the great outdoors can be tough. More than anything, they’ll appreciate gifts that make getting out and connecting with nature easier, lighter, and more seamless, but they likely have high standards when it comes to such things. How do you make sure your gift...
SCA Alums Gather for Fall Events in NYC, DC, San Francisco & Chicago
Posted by Ann Pedtke | Tuesday, December 8, 2015
Over the past month, SCA brought together more than 100 SCA alums in a series of fall alumni engagement events across the country. From New York City to San Francisco, from Chicago to Washington DC, SCA alums gathered to reconnect and spend time together enjoying the spectacular public lands in...
A Brief History of the Patch & Its Designer
Posted by Joseph Thurston | Thursday, December 3, 2015
SCA Intern Alex Kirk's Summer Removing Non-native Brook Trout from the White River National Forest
Posted by Staff | Wednesday, December 2, 2015
This past summer I had the opportunity to work with fisheries biologist Matt Grove along with my two crew leads Mark and Graham in the heart of the Rocky Mountains within the White River National Forest. At the beginning of my internship, I heard foreshadowing stories from the guys about...
SCA Crews Support the NYC Parks 2015 Urban Street Tree Census
Posted by Ann Pedtke | Tuesday, December 1, 2015
As fall foliage peaked in New York City this season, SCA members hit the streets to support TreesCount! 2015 — a NYC Parks initiative to map and catalogue every street tree on every block in NYC.
Forests, Parks, People, Sustainability
A Message of Thanks from Jaime Matyas, CEO and President, SCA
Posted by Staff | Monday, November 23, 2015
A message of thanks from Jaime Matyas, CEO and President
A Parent's perspective on the SCA experience
Posted by Staff | Friday, November 20, 2015
Parker Davis is a four-time alumnus of SCA’s Seattle community crew program. When an SCA staff member saw the announcement of Parker’s college graduation in June 2015, he sent a note Kit Lewis, Parker’s mother. Kit’s response was powerful and poignant, and as you’ll see she’s...
Career Success, People
Getting DC National Parks Ready for Winter
Posted by Ann Pedtke | Tuesday, November 17, 2015
SCA joined forces with Friends of Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens to celebrate Veterans Day this past weekend in Washington, DC. Over 130 volunteers of all ages came together to honor veterans who have risked their lives to protect America’s freedoms, continuing their legacy of service with hands-on volunteer work in their local community.
Volunteers Work in San Francisco's Oldest Park
Posted by Staff | Monday, November 16, 2015
On November 14th, 20 employee volunteers from SCA’s partner Union Bank gathered at Buena Vista Park in San Francisco to help prevent erosion control as part of their Global Volunteer Month.
Buena Vista Park, located in the center San Francisco, is named for the spectacular views from its upper slopes. The...
An Intense & Beautiful Wildlife Survey for SCA Forest Service Intern Mia Callahan
Posted by Staff | Sunday, November 15, 2015
It’s a Wednesday morning, and we five members of the Smokey Bear Ranger District wildlife crew (well, two members, two interns, and me, a Student Conservation Association recreation intern tagging along for the adventure) are in our oﬃce for the week: the Sacramento Mountain Wilderness. In 2004, the Peppin Fire...
Adventures, Animals & Wildlife, Backcountry & Wilderness, Forests, Wildfires
Volunteers Protect New York City Wetlands
Posted by Ann Pedtke | Monday, November 9, 2015
On November 7th, over 40 employee volunteers from SCA’s partner MUFG Union Bank gathered on Randall’s Island to restore New York City’s freshwater wetlands as part of MUFG’s National Employee Volunteer Month.
Coasts & Water, Invasives
Liz Putnam Attends a Hudson Valley Homecoming
Posted by Ann Pedtke | Monday, November 9, 2015
For Liz Putnam, the weekend was something of a homecoming. The SCA founder keynoted the annual conference of the New York State Outdoor Education Association (NYSOEA) in Fishkill, NY, just a few miles from Vassar College, where 60 years ago Liz used her senior thesis to construct an “SCA.”
SCA intern Jennifer Bright on Conservation and Education at NAS JAX
Posted by Staff | Monday, November 9, 2015
I never expected to be responsible for live and static exhibit care of an interpretive center when I first saw the advertisement for the SCA intern position at Naval Air Station Jacksonville (NAS JAX). Interpretive Centers are run by the state or non-profits; they are not the responsibility of a...
Education, Kids, Sustainability
SCA Member Wesley Adams reflects on Veterans opportunities
Posted by Staff | Monday, November 9, 2015
Above: SCA Veterans Fire Corps members Wesley Adams, Benjamin Pattyson, Andrew McFarland, Laren Nowell, Demetric Wade, and Ramon Delgado at a prescribed burn in St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge near Tallahassee, Florida.
Transitioning from the military is quite the culture shock. Some Veterans struggle as they figure out what they want...
From Textiles to Edison at Lowell National Historical Park
Posted by Staff | Friday, November 6, 2015
The Lowell National Historical Park in Massachusetts offers a vivid regional perspective on the Industrial Revolution. But inside these former textile mills you can also find the fabric of America.
Lowell NHS is headquarters to the National Park Service’s Historic Architecture, Conservation, and Engineering Center. This is...
SCA Crew puts California trails on the map.
Posted by Rachelle Hedges | Tuesday, November 3, 2015
VIDEO: GIS Mapping in San Mateo County. SCA’s first full-time GIS Summer Crew puts California trails on the map.
Parks, People, Science, Trails and Hiking
SCA members teamed with NOAA to remove an insane amount of marine debris
Posted by Joseph Thurston | Thursday, October 29, 2015
by Dana Wu, SCA Marine Debris Project Coordinator
This summer, a NOAA Marine Debris Program’s Community-Based Removal grant enabled the Student Conservation Association (SCA) to assemble four debris removal crews at Olympic National Park. This Park works with partner agencies such as the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary (OCNMS) to protect...
Adventures, Backcountry & Wilderness, Coasts & Water, Parks
A Life-Changing Summer Living & Working in a Desert Wilderness
Posted by Staff | Wednesday, October 28, 2015
ABOVE: Jay Fennell checks out the view on an off-day hike during his summer living and working in the Mojave with SCA’s Desert Restoration Corps.
by Desert Restoration Corps Member Jay Fennell
I spent the summer of 2015 living and working in the heart of the Mojave, tackling critical conservation projects with...
Adventures, Backcountry & Wilderness, Diversity, People, Trails and Hiking
That time I got to interview 94-year-old Park Ranger Betty Reid Soskin
Posted by Allison Joyce | Monday, October 26, 2015
by Allison Joyce, SCA NPS Centennial Volunteer Ambassador
ABOVE: Ranger Betty Reid Soskin at the Rosie the Riveter/WWII Home Front National Historical Park Visitor Education Center.
A few weeks ago I was lucky to be able to sit down with Betty Reid Soskin, a Park Ranger at Rosie the...
Career Success, Diversity, Education, History, Parks, People
Our 2015 Summer Roadtrip takes you to amazing places and member stories around the country.
Throughout the Summer of 2014 we marked our 75,000th member with 75 stories of the women and men have served with SCA - read them here.
Read about the women and men who helped build America’s oldest and largest youth conservation service organization here
Meet some of the amazing women who blazed a trail with SCA
Where will SCA take you?
A new multi-year study on SCA’s youth impact shows significant gains across a wide range of indicators.
Read about the Study here »