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.

Posted by Staff | Thursday, March 22, 2012

In keeping with the application of much of our free time around camp, I’ll lead off today’s post with a trivia question: what weighs five pounds, looks like a pair of pie plates, and likes to hide next to Yuccas, under bushes, and in holes? Answer: the desert tortoise.

Posted by Staff | Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Written by SCA alumni and recruiting reps Beth McCarthy, and Deanna Wyatt.
The second extension of SCA’s NPS Academy, a program designed to promote diversity within the National Park Service took place at Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Posted by Staff | Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Our Joshua TreeHuggers were hard at work last week as they battled invasive Sahara Mustard and tracked desert tortoises.

Photographer Michelle Zafico caught up with our Joshua Tree crew last week. Check out the full set on SCA’s Flickr page and enjoy the highlights in this slideshow:

Posted by Staff | Monday, March 19, 2012

We are halfway through March, and two awesome crews have enjoyed the Alternative Spring Break projects in Everglades National Park and Joshua Tree National Park.

Posted by Staff | Friday, March 16, 2012

Have you ever pulled weeds in a flower or vegetable garden? If so, I’m sure you’re familiar with the aching feeling that develops in the small of your back and hands after a few hours labor. Now, picture a garden two miles square with weeds as big as a St. Bernard. Just such a land lies on Joshua Tree National Park’s eastern border.

Posted by Staff | Thursday, March 15, 2012

Since all work and no play makes Alternative Spring Break the dull boy, today our crew spent the day enjoying all that Joshua Tree National Park offers its 1.7 million annual guests. After splitting into two groups, half of our team went rock climbing, and half went on a tour of Key’s Ranch.

Posted by Staff | Thursday, March 15, 2012

It occurred to me after I finished yesterday’s post that you might wonder just how we went about planting trees across that burned out ridge. Since we spent today “plowing” the same ground, I decided to provide a step by step explanation of just what goes in to planting a Joshua Tree.

Step One
Dig a Hole.
It sounds simple, but, here in the desert, the ground fights back.

Posted by Staff | Thursday, March 15, 2012

Picture, if you will, the site of a forest two years after a wild fire. In my mind’s eye, the scene is dotted with burned out pine hulks and heaps of ash, but is dominated by green undergrowth and leafy seedlings. While this might be consistent with the sites of eastern and northwestern blazes, fires in dry climates leave a different, more permanent, impact on the landscape.

Posted by Staff | Thursday, March 15, 2012

Joshua Tree Photo © Jarek Tuszynski / Wikimedia Commons

After walking into the baggage claim area of Palm Springs Airport, I knew from the heap of camping equipment that greeted me that my spring break had begun. I introduced myself to Tyler, our group coordinator, and was shortly on the road to Joshua Tree with seven other students.

Posted by Staff | Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Alternative Spring Break to the Everglades changed my life in so many ways. Not only did I meet an amazing group of people who I made real, lasting connections with, I learned about an ecosystem so unique and different than what I had ever experienced before.

The Everglades is a beautiful place and the national park really shows the diversity of the area.

Posted by Staff | Monday, March 12, 2012

Written by Evan Escamilla, SCA alum ‘10 and ‘11 and current SCA recruiter.What an amazing couple of days it has been here in the Tetons!

Posted by Staff | Monday, March 12, 2012

Photos by Erika Barker

We worked at Lake Chekika yesterday, clearing brush and invasive plant species like the Brazilian Pepper Tree. We worked so hard the rangers had to kick us out—we were tiring them out! It was a good thing though because the pepper tree has overtaken the park and the native plant species.

Posted by Staff | Friday, March 9, 2012

Photos by Erika Barker

Two days have passed so far and I find myself more in love with this beautiful diverse ecosystem than ever before. I have never seen skies so blue or a sun so bright in my life.

Posted by Staff | Friday, March 9, 2012

If you’re in New York this month, make sure to check out this awesome Alternative Spring Break billboard at the American Eagle Outfitters store in Times Square. The 15,000 square foot LED display will run images from Alternative Spring Break four times per hour for the entire month of March. Thanks to American Eagle Outfitters for giving us some bright lights in the big city!

Posted by Staff | Thursday, March 8, 2012

Reposted from the Sierra Club Blog
What’s in your future? Whether you decide to spend the summer traveling, learning green job skills, or cultivating sustainable habits, the choices you make today could change the course of your life.

Posted by Staff | Wednesday, March 7, 2012

From Theresa Conn on our I Heart Snow Photo Contest. She is an SCA Alumna from 2011.
“My time as an SCA intern last summer at Cape Cod National Seashore has opened up many doors for me- most recently, landing me an internship this winter at New Hampshire State Parks and Recreation as their Parks Blogger.

Posted by Staff | Friday, March 2, 2012

SCA and American Eagle Outfitter’s Alternative Spring Break kicked off yesterday with the arrival of 30 excited crew members at Everglades National Park! Over the next four weeks, 120 college students will be working in the Everglades and at Joshua Tree National Park to conserve some of the country’s most beautiful and endangered wild areas.

Posted by Staff | Thursday, March 1, 2012

Washington, DC (PRWEB) February 29, 2012
The Teton Mountains. The Mojave Desert. The Everglades. These are not your typical Spring Break destinations. Then again, these are not your typical students.
Volunteers from colleges and universities across the U.S.

Posted by Staff | Tuesday, February 21, 2012

An SCA and Southwest Airlines Tour40 video was just submitted to the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship International Film Festival…and we’d love your vote! The Center for Corporate Citizenship’s annual Film Festival provides companies with an opportunity to demonstrate how they have utilized video as a communication tool.

Posted by Staff | Thursday, February 16, 2012

Written by Lauren Freedman Whittlesey, SCA ‘10 alum, Alternative Spring Break in the Grand Canyon. Lauren turned her internship into a green job with SCA working in various capacities for the Marketing and Advancement teams.


Our 2015 Summer Roadtrip takes you to amazing places and member stories around the country.

75000 Members have served with SCA

Over 75,000 women and men have served with SCA - read some of their stories 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

Member Bloggers

Rachelle Hedges
San Mateo County Parks
See Posts by Rachelle Hedges
Sarika Khanwilkar
Hobe Sound National Wildlife Refuge
See Posts by Sarika Khanwilkar
Elizabeth Braatz
St. Croix Wetland Management District
See Posts by Elizabeth Braatz
Noah M Schlager
National Trails Intermountain Region
See Posts by Noah M Schlager
Dakota McCoy
Yosemite National Park
See Posts by Dakota McCoy
Ariel Lepito
Necedah National Wildlife Refuge
See Posts by Ariel Lepito
Jessica Zamudio
Yosemite National Park
See Posts by Jessica Zamudio

Staff Bloggers

Ann Pedtke
New York City
See posts by Ann Pedtke
Joseph Thurston
Washington, DC
See posts by Joseph Thurston

Alumni Stories

Where will SCA take you?

“Something different” is what Jessica Aronson Cook was looking for when she first joined the Student Conservation Association (SCA) as...
Mary Nghe and Stacey Kinney -- two CDIP Interns with the Student Conservation Association
Growing up in Houston, Stacey Kinney says she only saw ducks on office park ponds. Now, here she was at...

New findings on SCA's youth impact - read about the Search Institute's study

A new multi-year study on SCA’s youth impact shows significant gains across a wide range of indicators.
Read about the Study here »

Michelle Bobowick, Interning with SCA in Yellowstone National Park, 1985
It was 1958, when our family affair with the Student Conservation Association began. Since, then our family has continued its commitment to improving the world around us through SCA.
During the summer of ’69, twenty students arrived at Great Smokey Mountains National Park ready to clear windfall damage in...
When Student Conservation Association (SCA) supporter and 1983 alumnus, Bob Kachinski, was fresh out of college, he went on what...

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