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 | Monday, June 8, 2015

Our hitch was a good one. It was filled with long work filled days, with miles of walking on trails not meant for a walking person. On average we managed about 10 miles a day on trails made for dirt bikes. Well trails not even made for dirt bikes, as...

NPS Visual Information Specialist, Outreach "Spokesranger" for the LGBT Community, SCA Alum

Posted by Joseph Thurston | Thursday, June 4, 2015

NPS ranger and SCA alum Michael Liang received some much deserved praise from Out Magazine recently for the work he does to make sure that America’s national parks and historical sites feel welcoming, relevant, and representative to people of all backgrounds, gender identities, and sexual orientations.

Liang, who is...

Posted by Leigh Whaley | Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Sometimes your fondest memories are the big accomplishments, like closing off an illegal trail head with an excessively large tree; or finally getting down that darn tree that was hung up all afternoon with the help of the Freetown Fire Department. And yes, these two moments were...

Posted by Leigh Whaley | Tuesday, June 2, 2015

The forearm.  An often forgotten muscle group, forever in the shadow of the impressive bicep.  When working on trails in forests and public lands, you begin to flex and tear muscles you never knew you had, including your forearm. What develops in this area is called the Trail Forearm, specifically...

Posted by Leigh Whaley | Tuesday, June 2, 2015

           On our hitch there was one fateful day. Right in the middle of our 10 day hitch of building rock steps on Mt Watatic there was a catastrophe. A dreadful, terrible, tragedy had bestowed the crew. Our camping stove had started to spit fire and...

80 Employee Volunteers Join SCA for Service in Manhattan's East Village

Posted by Ann Pedtke | Friday, May 29, 2015

On the morning of May 28th, over 80 employee volunteers from SCA’s national partner American Eagle Outfitters gathered in Manhattan’s East Village to restore Tompkins Square Park as part of the #AEOBetterWorld initiative.

Celebrating 100 Years of the National Park Service

Posted by Staff | Wednesday, May 27, 2015
SCA Centennial Volunteer Ambassadors prepare to net invasive crayfish during their late May training session at Valley Forge National Historic Park.

ABOVE: SCA Centennial Volunteer Ambassadors prepare to net invasive crayfish during their late May training session at Valley Forge National Historic Park.

In advance of the National Park Service’s centennial in 2016, SCA and the Park Service are innovating again to field 70 “Centennial Volunteer Ambassadors” assigned to leading national parks...

Through Community Outreach, SCA Member Sarika Khanwilkar shares her love for Hobe Sound National Wildlife Refuge

Posted by Sarika Khanwilkar | Tuesday, May 26, 2015

“People Protect What They Love” - Jacques Cousteau

This is my favorite quote from one of the most iconic and recognizable names in conservation. These five words describe my own journey towards becoming a Student Conservation Association intern. I have fallen in love with discovering the diversity that inhabits this planet,...

CDIP: A Proud Collaboration with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Posted by Joseph Thurston | Wednesday, May 20, 2015

ABOVE: 2015 Career Discovery Internship Program participants preparing to kayak at John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge.

Each year, through the Career Discovery Internship Program (CDIP), we work with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to connect young conservationists of diverse background to hands-on service experiences at wildlife refuges across the country.


SCA ConSERVE NYC Volunteers Restore Bike Paths on Jamaica Bay

Posted by Ann Pedtke | Tuesday, May 19, 2015

SCA volunteers in New York City took time off from final exams this weekend to help build safer bike trails in Brooklyn. Fifty volunteers gathered at Floyd Bennett Field in Gateway National Recreation Area to clear invasive vines and open up bike paths along Flatbush Avenue.

Invasives, Kids, Trails and Hiking, Volunteer Opportunities

1500 SCA Volunteers in 14 Cities Get to Work for the Planet

Posted by Ann Pedtke | Monday, May 18, 2015

SCA ramped up Earth Day celebrations to new heights this year, marking Earth Day with hands-on conservation service in 14 cities coast to coast and engaging 1,500 volunteers nationwide.

Backcountry & Wilderness, Diversity, Forests, History, Parks, Sustainability, Volunteer Opportunities

Posted by Staff | Monday, May 18, 2015

During the summer of ’69, twenty students arrived at Great Smokey Mountains National Park ready to clear windfall damage in Cades Cove and build over 40 check dams to stop erosion with the Student Conservation Association. Steve Strachan was one of those students.

Looking back on his experience, Steve says that...

Backcountry & Wilderness, Career Success, Parks, Sustainability

60 Domtar Employee Volunteers Join SCA to Restore River Park North

Posted by Ann Pedtke | Monday, May 18, 2015

On May 16th, SCA teamed up with national supporter Domtar to beautify and restore River Park North in Greenville, North Carolina. Over 60 Domtar employees and their families spent the morning removing invasive honeysuckle vines, spreading new mulch, and planting milkweed in the butterfly gardens.

Invasives, Kids, Parks

An amazing chapter in the history of cycling for your Bike Month reading pleasure

Posted by Joseph Thurston | Wednesday, May 13, 2015

ABOVE: The 25th Infantry Bicycle Corps at Minerva Terrace in Yellowstone National Park.

An amazing chapter in the history of cycling for your Bike Month reading pleasure.

If you were a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Army stationed at Ft. Missoula, Montana, and you were looking to test the military viability...

Adventures, History, Parks, Trails and Hiking

SCA & American Express Join Forces to Bring 400 Earth Day Volunteers to Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx

Posted by Staff | Wednesday, May 13, 2015

The Student Conservation Association teamed up with American Express to bring over 400 volunteers to Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx for Earth Day service. Across the park, volunteers nixed invasive vines and planted new seedlings to restore the wetlands and forest. Here is a little peek into how it...

Posted by Leigh Whaley | Monday, May 11, 2015

With the first hitch of the season under my belt I feel confident and amped up for the coming months, both the service to be done and the time around my new home. For the first hitch my crew and I focused our efforts on clearing corridors and removing...

Posted by Leigh Whaley | Monday, May 11, 2015

At out project site on the Quinobequin Road trail we had the pleasure of making acquaintances with multiple trail users.  Many were eager to ask us what we were doing and where we were from.  Most of the users lived in the surrounding neighborhood and were very happy to have...

Was it an easy way to spend a summer? No. Would he do it again? Absolutely.

Posted by Joseph Thurston | Wednesday, May 6, 2015

ABOVE: “When there are more days of rain than sunshine during a trail-building hitch, sometimes, to stay cheerful, you just have to embrace the mud.” Eagle River, AK

Last summer, University of Michigan student Sammy Pressman spent 3 months roaming the wilds of Alaska, sleeping in a tent and working on...

Adventures, Backcountry & Wilderness, Invasives, Parks, Trails and Hiking

Earthsaver of the Month

Posted by Ann Pedtke | Tuesday, May 5, 2015

“Urban parks and farms are some of the most beautiful natural lands to me, because they create hope in neighborhoods that are mostly concrete.”


Sustainability Interns Deliver!

Posted by Staff | Friday, May 1, 2015
Pittsburgh PA, where SCA's Green Cities initiative has been helping businesses with sustainability, and saving money in the process.

Sustainability Goes Mainstream on Main Street

A mob is gathering in suburban Pittsburgh and Sahar Arbab couldn’t be happier.  In fact, she incited it.

For the past several weeks, Sahar – an SCA Green Cities sustainability intern – has been surveying small business owners door-to-door.  Have you switched to LED lighting?  Have...

Career Success, Climate, Education, Sustainability



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Meet some of the amazing women who blazed a trail with SCA

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

75000 Members have served with SCA

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

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?

Todd Nelson is the volunteer coordinator at Grand Canyon National Park. We asked him about his career, the National Park...
SCA alum Lauren Ray, aka the Rapping Ranger, has written and performed hip hop odes to each park that she's worked at, starting with Arches National Park where she served as an SCA Intern.
SCA alum Lauren Ray reveals how her SCA internship with the National Park Service helped her discover her public-lands-loving hip hop alter ego, the Rapping Ranger.

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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