As an important partner with SCA, you are critical to the success of our conservation-in-action mission. We are grateful that you've chosen to work with SCA and will do everything we can to support you and your intern. This manual offers advice and information which will help you make selections, understand communication between you, SCA and selected interns, and generally promote a successful internship. Whether you are new to SCA and supervising an intern for the first time, or you've been with us for years, we encourage you to familiarize yourself with all forms, schedules and policies. Please refer to this information before and after your intern arrives. As always, we are here to help you with any issues or concerns that may arise while you supervise the intern.
We encourage you to read these pages carefully. It includes almost all of the information you’ll need in order to:
Report to SCA anything affecting the health and well-being of your intern(s).
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Partner Services Coordinators
The Partner Services Coordinator is your primary point of contact at SCA. Partner Services Coordinators are stationed regionally throughout the U.S and are generally available from 8:30 AM to 5PM within their time zone. See the chart below for your Partner Services Coordinator contact information:
|Region||Partner SVC Coordinator||Phone|
|Southeast, VI, PR||Nicole Pierson||703-524-2441 x email@example.com|
|Nationwide||Partner Service Hotline||208-424-6734 x 7499|
SCA has a new online management system called the MySCA Partner Portal. MySCA is a simple, intuitive interface that lets you manage your SCA account when, how, and wherever you want. You'll submit and renew position requests, select candidates, and more with speed and efficiency. MySCA also allows you to manage positions once they are field active and access time logs online for easier review and approval. Contact information for your regional Partner Services Coordinator is posted on the home page as your first point of contact for questions.
To access the MySCA partner website, bookmark this URL: http://mysca.force.com/partner 
For new users, click on the New Partner Registration to generate a User ID and password. You will be asked to fill out a profile with your contact and organization information.
Request a New Position
There are three main categories on the MySCA website: Request a New Position, Manage Positions and Manage Tasks.
To request a new position, click on the Request a New Position button. There are a variety of program types to choose from, select the internship request and complete the form. If you’ve had previous positions with SCA, you can simply copy a position. Click on Manage Positions and select the position you want to copy. The copy function will take the title of the position, position description and partner information to the new position, but you will need to edit the position with current data including new start and end dates, openings available, logistics such as housing, commuting and living allowance details and the job hazard assessment.
A step by step presentation is available to download for detailed instructions on requesting a position.
Once a position has been submitted, a PO number (position number) is assigned and it will reside under Manage Positions. SCA will review and approve the position request and post it on our website to begin recruiting candidates. If you recruit your own candidate or are looking for a local candidate, make sure to let your Partner Services Coordinator know.
Candidates Sent Through MySCA
SCA will begin to send applicants two-three months prior to the start of the position. Applications will go through an application match search based on the skills and education requirements you listed in the position request. The most qualified applicants will be sent to your MySCA account for review.
You will receive an email notification each time new candidates have been added to your queue.
If you find that you don’t have enough candidates to review, or the candidates do not have adequate qualifications, please contact your Partner Services Coordinator. Your Partner Services Coordinator can assist by sending additional candidates and refine the skills/education parameters to target the candidates that best match your needs.
To view the applications, login to http://mysca.force.com/partner  and click on the Manage Positions button at the top of the page. Click on the PO # hyperlink to open the position and scroll down to the Candidates section to view the applications.
Once in the Candidate section, you will see an action column, with an Offer, Delete and Interview button next to each candidate. The candidate’s application is also shown as a hyperlink for you to review.
Sometimes agencies want to recruit local candidates themselves or have a pre-selected candidate they would like to offer the position. SCA can admit a pre-selected candidate into your internship as long as the intern completes the SCA Conservation Internship application and meets certain requirements. Send the name, email and phone number of the candidate to your Partner Services Coordinator so SCA can guide them through the application process.
Interviewing an Applicant
To view a candidate’s contact information, click “Interview” for phone and email information to populate. We strongly recommend that you review applications within a week from the time you receive them. Applications are often sent to more than one partner for review. SCA recommends review, contact, and interview your applicants as soon as you receive them to increase the likelihood that you will get your first candidate choice.
We advise applicants to view this call as an employment interview. During this conversation, be sure to cover the following points:
SCA will obtain written confirmation of acceptance, a Medical Form with emergency numbers, a Release Form and Travel Grant Request from the selected intern. Please do not offer a position to an applicant who has already agreed to serve at a different site.
To remove a candidate from consideration, click “Delete”. Deleting a candidate does not delete them from our system; it simply pulls them from your candidate queue and indicates that you no longer wish to consider the candidate. They do not receive an email notification of your decision.
Selecting a Candidate
Once you have received verbal confirmation that a candidate accepts the position, click “Offer” to initiate the official offer. On the offer page, you have the opportunity to modify the start and end dates of the position and leave notes regarding any other logistical details (such as a non-standard living allowance, housing allowance or commuting allowance) that may vary from the initial position request. Once you submit an offer, your Partner Service Coordinator reviews the offer, assigns an AmeriCorps Education Award if applicable, and sends the electronic offer to the applicant. The offer is sent to the candidate via their MySCA member portal, and they receive an email notification that an offer is pending their review. The candidate will need to login through the MySCA Member Portal to accept or decline the position within five business days.
Occasionally, an applicant accepts a position and later declines the offer. If a selected intern declines after accepting your position, please call your Partner Services Coordinator immediately to assist you in finding a replacement. Do not assume that the applicant has notified SCA.
Once the applicant accepts SCA emails the SCA intern with directions on how to complete their selection paperwork. This paperwork may include:
Information regarding AmeriCorps education awards from the Corporation for National Service
The intern will also be directed to our Intern Manual, containing information about our Travel Grant policy and procedures, accident insurance, general information about SCA, advisories on workplace discrimination and sexual harassment, safety and how to get the most from their internship. Please review the travel grant policy in case you need to advise your intern about the best way to get to your area. Before we can authorize an individual to travel to your site or send any funds, the intern is required to complete and return all of the selection paperwork.
Criminal and Federal Background Checks
All selected interns are subject to a criminal background check. The background check is part of the selection process and must be completed before the intern begins their service. The background check process may take up to 2 or more weeks, please plan accordingly as it can impact when your intern starts their position. The process and forms used for the background checks are in accordance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act. All information pertaining to the process will be kept confidential. It is often best during the interview process to make the applicant aware of this requirement. Past history of crimes against youth or other vulnerable populations, violent crimes, or crimes of moral turpitude may disqualify the applicant for an internship. All information will be kept confidential and shared with SCA program supervisory staff in the event of an unfavorable record. An email will be sent to the intern directly from customer service at Easy Background once SCA is notified of their selection. Please note: This background check is separate from, and may not qualify for, background checks or security clearance as required by your Agency.
Federal Background Checks (HSPD-12)
Federal agencies have been directed by the Department of Homeland Security to conduct background investigations for employees. Any employee, VIP or SCA intern serving more than 180 days, or serving less than 180 days but having access to a government computer must have a favorable background investigation completed prior to their Entry on Duty. This background investigation includes taking a fingerprint for the FBI. The background investigation process is a federally-initiated process and SCA cannot perform a background check in lieu of the federal investigation.
If your intern meets the criteria above, please be sure to allow time for the background investigation process to be completed; otherwise, the intern may not be able to start their position as scheduled.
Selections Less Than Two Weeks from Start Date
Enrollment paperwork for the intern normally takes a couple of weeks to process. In cases where positions are filled less than two weeks from the start date, your Partner Service Coordinator will need to work with you and internal SCA staff to ensure that the background check, I9 form, emergency contact information and any other required document is in place before your intern begins. SCA will send communications to the intern on what to do next to get ready for the field, and their assigned SCA advisor will work with them on travel arrangements and enrollment forms. In some cases, the start date may need to be adjusted to a later date. The intern should also be prepared to cover their living expenses while their Chase pay card is processed.
Thank you for working with SCA to fulfill your resource needs. In order to comply with the Federal Agreements governing our partnership, you must ensure that the requisite funds have been obligated and the funding document received before an intern may start at your site. Please include the position ID # (PO#) assigned by the SCA database for your program on all Agreement processing paperwork. The position ID # will allow us to clearly identify what position(s) the Agreement is funding. Without the PO #, it will be very difficult for us to match the intern(s) with the appropriate agreement(s).
If you are using a previous year agreement to fund a current year position, please contact the Agreements team to be sure the intern is being billed to the correct agreement. Without this information, we will not know to use the previous year agreement.
By Agency, the following are the required funding instruments:
Agency and Master Agreement #
Funding Document Required
National Park Service-
H2495090023 – (Cooperative Agreement for all other regions)
|Task Agreements / Modifications|
|U.S. Forest Service|
|Supplemental Project Agreement (SPA)|
|Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)||Scope of Work Agreement|
|U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service|
501818J237- CIP Region 5 only
|Purchase Order / Modification|
|U.S. Geological Survey|
Army, Army Corps, Marines Or Air Force
Task Order prefaced by MIPR
|Letter Agreements (Modifications)|
|State, Local, Private or Non-Profit||Cooperative Agreement|
Arizona Game & Fish
Bureau of Land Management
Assistance Award / Amendment
State of Washington DNR
Many partners are obligating "no year funds" at the end of the fiscal year for use in the upcoming fiscal years. A quick call to the Billing and Agreements team will confirm that the funding is in place. Please call or email us to let us know when a position has been requested against a previous year's obligating document so we can be sure the position(s) is billed to the correct agreement.
For any Agreement related questions please contact one of the Agreements Coordinators below:
Susan Laware for National Park Service (NPS) at 603-543-1700 ext. 1134, firstname.lastname@example.org 
Sarah Miller for other agencies at 603-543-1700 ext. 1403, email@example.com 
Fax: 603-543-1828 or 603-504-3349.
For Department of Defense (Air Force, Army, Army Corps of Engineers, Marine Corps) contact:
Ray Auger, DoD Liaison at 603-543-1700, ext. 1144, rauger@theSCA.org 
Billing or invoicing questions can be directed to the following people:
Billing Manager, Cami Bailey at 603-543-1700 ext. 1157, firstname.lastname@example.org 
Billing Coordinator, Lorraine Chapman at 603-543-1700 ext. 1131, email@example.com .
Senior Account Receivables Rep., Laurie Lunderville at 603-543-1700 ext. 1412, firstname.lastname@example.org .
SCA receives a grant from the Corporation for National and Community Service to administer an AmeriCorps Education Award program for our members. Under this grant our host site partners can choose to set up their positions as AmeriCorps-eligible. SCA interns selected into these AmeriCorps-eligible positions have the opportunity to choose to apply to become AmeriCorps members and receive an AmeriCorps Education Award after their completed term. Please note that the SCA AmeriCorps Education Award Program is a grant program contingent upon federal funding. SCA receives a set number of spots in the AmeriCorps program each year, and sometimes our numbers exceed the program spots made available to us.
Host site partner submits a position request that meets AmeriCorps eligibility requirements and criteria.
Overseen by the Corporation for National and Community Service, AmeriCorps is a network of organizations that offer opportunities for people to dedicate themselves to a period of long-term service by tutoring and mentoring youth, building affordable housing, cleaning parks and streams, and recruiting, training, and managing community volunteers. In return, AmeriCorps members receive funds they can use for education.
The AmeriCorps education award is a sum of money SCA AmeriCorps members receive after successfully completing their service. Members are able to use this award to pay education costs at qualified institutions of higher education, for educational training, or to repay qualified student loans.
Upon selection for a position, members are offered an education award relative to their length of service. Members who choose to enroll in AmeriCorps sign an AmeriCorps Agreement confirming that they will complete both their term of service and their minimum hours. SCA AmeriCorps terms are as follows:
While members are responsible for most requirements for AmeriCorps, there are a few additional expectations for host site partners who choose to participate in AmeriCorps. Our relationship with AmeriCorps and the Corporation for National and Community Service is an important aspect of our Conservation Internship and Corps Program design and we appreciate your support in reaching our compliance and evaluation requirements.
As a host site partner for an SCA AmeriCorps member, please make sure you are willing to:
SCA has an informal and formal grievance procedure for SCA AmeriCorps members and external individuals who bring grievances to the SCA AmeriCorps program. The full grievance procedure is available here .
SCA is committed to ensuring that all partners and members are knowledgeable of the acitvities prohibited by AmeriCorps. AmeriCorps prohibited activities include: Partisan political activities, political advocacy, protests, petitions, strikes, union activity, religious proselytization, for-profit business, abortion services, and general fundraising. The complete list of AmeriCorps prohibited activities is available here .
Please contact your Partner Services Coordinator for questions about the SCA AmeriCorps program. The following contacts are also available for additional support you might need related to AmeriCorps:
Kate or Sofia can also be reached at AmeriCorps@theSCA.org.
Once you have spoken with the intern and confirmed their selection to the position, please send him or her written confirmation on what you've discussed. Including the following information will help the intern be prepared for working and living at your site.
A specific and complete description of job duties; be sure to note any changes from the original position description.
A description of the housing facilities, including location (proximity to your site), and whether cooking utensils and household items are included. Please see Intern Housing Policy section.
Personal equipment and clothing needed both on- and off-duty.
Information on the proximity of stores and laundry facilities is helpful. Should the intern bring a small supply of food to get started until he or she can get to a store? What items are best brought from home due to high prices in the area? What is the distance to stores and how often will the intern be able to shop?
Suggest recommended means of transportation to the area (closest airport, bus station or train station). What is the most convenient airport? Is a personal vehicle required? Is there public transportation in the area?
Include the name of the person who will meet the intern upon arrival. If no one will be meeting him or her, where and to whom should the intern report? Exchange contact information in case the intern needs to contact you with any changes in plans.
Finalize the exact date the intern is expected at your site and the anticipated departure date. If the dates have changed since the initial offer was made, please contact your Partner Service Coordinator and inform them of the date change.
Include general information about your area, especially the location where the intern will be working. Be sure to include items pertaining to climate and terrain if this will affect clothing or equipment needs. Indicate details of any dress or appearance standards.
Will the participant be able to cash personal checks at your site? If traveler's checks or cash are necessary, let the intern know. SCA gives each intern a Chase JP Morgan e-funds card and "loads" the card biweekly with the intern's living allowance. The cards may be used at ATMs and most stores.
Please maintain regular communication with the intern, and respond to intern inquiries regarding academic needs or interests. Be aware of the intern's concerns and expectations as well as your own.
Chase Debit Cards & Finance
Although this is a volunteer program, SCA does reimburse members for basic expenses through a travel grant and a living allowance. For most areas outside Alaska and Hawaii, the standard living allowance for positions up to 16 weeks is $75 per week and 17 weeks or more, is $160 per week. The living allowance can be up to $280/week at the request of the agency site. Payments are paid on a biweekly basis and if the intern participates in the AmeriCorps Education Award, the living allowance is taxed. If you are providing your SCA intern with a commuting allowance, that amount will also be added to their Chase card. If you are paying a housing allowance to the intern, a check will be mailed monthly.
SCA uses Chase JP Morgan e-funds cards to disburse intern living allowances. The card will be mailed by Chase Bank to your site. The card typically arrives 2 – 3 weeks after the intern starts their position, but traditionally before their first payroll. Please alert your mail department to its impending arrival, and watch for it. Save this mail for the intern upon his or her arrival. The intern will already have been sent detailed instructions about activating and using the card, security, replacing a lost card, etc. On the first payroll, the card will be "loaded" with their travel reimbursement to your site and their first living allowance payments. It will be "re-loaded" with subsequent living allowances bi-weekly. SCA interns receive their final living allowance and their return travel reimbursement prior to their departure from your site.
To activate a new card, an intern should call 1-866-222-5704 or visit the JP Morgan Chase website at www.myaccount.chase.com  and follow the directions. Interns can use the card to pay for purchases and to get cash back at most stores. It can be used either as a credit or debit card. Interns can check their card balance any time by phone or on-line.
In unusual cases where required paperwork hasn't been submitted by the SCA intern or other unexpected delays, our payments to participants may be late. We recommend to interns that they bring extra cash in the event that living allowance payments are delayed. If the post office has any problem delivering the e-funds card to your site, it will be returned to SCA and we will contact you about correcting the address or means of delivery. On-the-job travel expenses or use of an intern's car for job-related travel must be reimbursed by the agency/site. If you have duty travel or training funds budgeted and need to reimburse an intern for expenses, contact your Partner Services Coordinator to process.
Living Allowance Schedule
The intern's living allowance is automatically loaded onto their Chase e-Funds Debit Card on a bi-weekly schedule.
Please note if enrollment forms aren't received on time from the intern, payment will be automatically moved to the next pay date, there are no exceptions. As the partner supervisor, if you have any pay changes that need to be reflected on the intern's Chase Debit Card, contact your Partner Services Coordinator to process.
Intern Service Clothing
All interns receive a service package that includes clothing to identify them as members of SCA. The items in the package are:
We are asking our Interns to order their Service Clothing through a SCA online venue. Interns are asked to provide their shipping address and clothing size. If the intern indicates that the package is to be sent directly to the service site, please alert your mailroom to expect this package from SCA.
For FedEx shipments, a street address is required and for USPS shipments, street or PO Box will suffice. Please advise your intern of any other necessary clothing or gear.
Under your cooperative agreement, provision of housing for the intern is the responsibility of the hosting partner. If housing for the intern is at a distance greater than 10 miles one way from the work site, and the intern is required to drive their own vehicle to work, the intern must be provided a commuting mileage allowance of at least .19 per mile. Mileage rates can be higher at the request of the agency site. This expense will be reflected in your invoice. The commuting allowance can also be entered in the initial position request through MySCA to ensure SCA includes this information in the budget estimate sent to you
This policy establishes roles and responsibilities for SCA agency partners and SCA interns related to securing and paying for intern housing. It attempts to address common logistical, financial and procedural concerns.
The safety and well-being of its members is of utmost importance to SCA. When housing is not available on site, it is the sole responsibility of the hosting agency to secure nearby housing off-site, prior to the member arrival. It is advised that the site coordinator inspect housing for cleanliness and safety before approving its rental. SCA will bill the hosting agency for actual housing costs (including utilities, parking, etc.) plus any applicable fees articulated in the cooperative agreement.
All housing should be minimally furnished with a bed, table and chair(s); the member should be told in advance about any other items they are required to bring, such as cooking and eating utensils, etc. Tents and bunk houses are acceptable. Members must have access to showers, toilets and a telephone or two-way radio for emergencies. Housing must be clean, in good repair, heated in cold weather, and members must be able to prepare their own food. Hosting agencies are advised to tell members what type of housing is available during initial discussions.
Housing should be located as close to the work site as feasible. SCA expects that members using a personal vehicle or public transportation to commute more than 10 miles (one way) from their housing to the work site will be reimbursed for that expense. See Commuting Allowance below.
Members should not be expected to share sleeping quarters with other members or staff of the opposite gender.
In instances where a lease is required, SCA will be named the lease holder. SCA will issue rental payments directly to the landlord. SCA Housing Coordinator will set up and terminate any/all utilities associated with any lease agreement. In the absence of a lease, rental payments will be made directly to the member in the form of a housing allowance. Directing payments to the member does not diminish the responsibility of the hosting agency to locate and secure housing. If payments are made directly to the member, they must include utilities and other costs associated with the housing. The member will be responsible for shutting off utilities at the end of their term of service.
In circumstances where a claim of damage is made by a landlord, the site coordinator may be asked to inspect any damage and confirm the claim. If damage is confirmed to be caused by the member, it will be the responsibility of the member to make full reparation.
Exceptions to this policy will only be made where mitigating circumstances exist as determined by the program's Assistant Director and/or National Director.
We expect SCA interns to perform their duties to the same standard as regular seasonal personnel. You may require SCA interns to work on weekends and holidays, but you should arrange compensatory time off. Interns are expected to work the equivalent of a 40-hour week. The hours recorded on a time sheet should be either hours spent in active training/education or actual direct service hours. As the site you are welcome to coordinate time off for members, when appropriate, but hours on time sheets should reflect actual hours served.
Sick time or Vacation time
Sick time should be handled the same as regular or seasonal personnel. If an intern has a long term illness that is affecting his/her ability to work, contact your Partner Services Coordinator to discuss options. Vacation time should be arranged and agreed upon between you and the intern. For example, a position that is 52 weeks, 10 days off is recognized as the standard time off for a year of service.
Learning and Education
We encourage you to offer the same variety of tasks, responsibilities and learning opportunities available to other personnel. Similarly, interns should receive periodic supervision, guidance and evaluation from their supervisors. We expect the SCA experience to be an educational one that leads to a better understanding of how your agency manages land/resources and serves the public, as well as one that provides the intern with new skills.
Interns may engage in any activity that an employee may carry out except:
Should you decide to temporarily hire an intern for the purpose of firefighting or other duties, you must inform SCA of the dates of employment so that the position is updated accordingly. For insurance and other purposes such as risk management, it is imperative that our office knows the status and location of each intern. Please contact your Partner Services Coordinator with any changes affecting the internship.
SCA interns may assist in other types of activities such as search and rescue, operating four-wheel drive vehicles, use of machinery and tools, etc. provided they have received the training normally given to regular seasonal personnel. Interns should also be issued protective clothing and gear for any activity that requires the use of such items for paid employees.
SCA interns who will interact with the public should be given information about your site and the surrounding area. If it is not possible to include them in your regular seasonal training, please schedule them for tours, field days or other means of acquiring this information.
Once an intern has been placed in a position, an SCA Advisor is assigned to assist with enrollment paperwork, travel requests and questions in general. The intern can login to MySCA and view his/her advisor contact information or call the Advisor Hotline at 603-543-1700 x 1498.
Partner supervisors are asked to complete an end-of-term evaluation for all interns. Supervisors of interns enrolled in positions 24 weeks or longer will also be asked to complete a mid-term evaluation of the intern. The evaluations are in electronic format via an online survey. They will be emailed to you at the appropriate times. You can also access the mid-term and end-of-term evaluation for members at any time at this link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/2D7BKQ2 .
In the event a participant does not arrive at the agreed time, declines a position after initially accepting it or leaves his/her position early, notify your Partner Services Coordinator immediately.
If you wish, we will attempt to replace the original intern if he or she leaves for any reason before the position is completed. However, please note that it can be difficult to locate candidates and arrange a selection mid-season.
An intern who leaves voluntarily, is terminated or is hired for employment at your site may forfeit any AmeriCorps Education Award that they earned. They may also be required to refund any return trip travel monies they received, along with living funds received for weeks not worked.
Interns leaving due to illness, emergency or dismissal by the agency are still entitled to their return travel reimbursement. Coordinators and interns are asked to contact SCA prior to any early departure to determine eligibility for a pro-rated AmeriCorps education award and other benefits.
If you select a second intern to replace an individual who left during the first two weeks of a position, your site will not be billed for costs associated with the placement of the first intern. (This does not apply when you hire an intern for employment at your site.) If you do not replace the original intern, your site will be billed for its share of the actual funds given to the intern (travel, etc.) that were not returned to SCA.
As a supervisor, there may be situations where an intern is not meeting your expectations or is violating agency rules of conduct. SCA encourages you to engage your Partner Services Coordinator as early as possible to express concerns and discuss possible resolutions. As an experienced manager of interns and temporary staff, you may be able to positively impact the situation with feedback to the intern for improvement. The intern should also contact their SCA advisor to assist in moving the issue to resolution. In the event that a termination is the only option, SCA expects to be engaged prior to the dismissal of the intern. Interns that are terminated will be provided with return travel home to ensure a prompt exit from the agency site and the cost will be invoiced to the agency. SCA does a review of all terminations to determine whether or not an individual will be eligible to apply to SCA programming in the future. If you have feedback for SCA, it will be considered in this review.
If your intern leaves early for any reason, or has his or her internship extended, or if you change the dates of the internship for any reason, contact your Partner Service Coordinator immediately. It's important for SCA to have this information as soon as possible so that we can adjust the intern's living allowance and paperwork, adjust billing, and ensure the position is within the terms of the agreement. Date changes can also affect the AmeriCorps Education Award for interns enrolled in AmeriCorps. Please advise your intern to also stay in touch with their SCA Advisor as well.
When an agency partner wishes to provide funds to an intern for duty-related travel costs, the partner must:
Ascertain whether coverage of these costs is articulated in the agreement for services between SCA and the hosting agency. If not, the agency partner must initiate a modification to the agreement.
When interns are asked to travel as part of their volunteer service, SCA expects the agency partner to absorb associated costs. If the intern is traveling by car, the agency should plan to reimburse at the agency rate; if the agency hasn’t established a reimbursement rate for mileage, the intern will be compensated at 19 cents per mile. Travel funds processed by SCA are subject to a 27.16% program support fee. Exceptions to this policy will only be made where mitigating circumstances exist, as determined by the program’s Assistant Director and/or National Director.
The member will submit both activity logs, which cover their hours completed each week, as well as regular output logs, which details the kinds of work they are accomplishing. All SCA members are expected to complete their activity logs on a weekly basis, unless backcountry service limits computer access. Output logs are completed as interns finish specific hitches or projects or on a regular basis to sum up accomplishments in one work category over a period of time.
How Time Logs are Approved
If you are not able to view the time logs, have questions or need to change a contact in MySCA to a supervisor, contact your Partner Service Coordinator.
SCA encourages interns to tell us about the work they are doing by sending photos or writing a press release. A template  is provided online to help interns write about their experience and provide to newspapers in their hometown and the town closest to where they are working.
Photographs of interns at work help us to raise awareness of SCA programs and recruit top-quality interns. We appreciate any assistance you can provide in this regard. Color photographs are ideal for displays, brochures, reports and newsletters. Photos should capture interns on the job; ideally their SCA patch will be visible. Please include a brief description of the activity or job being done and a note permitting SCA to use your photos in its publications or displays. Be sure to mark your name or other appropriate credit on each photograph or slide and specify whether or not it should be returned after copying. E-mailing photos to SCA is the simplest approach, if you have the capability.
The safety of our interns is of utmost importance to the SCA. While SCA maintains a remarkable safety record, we do not assume it can remain so without exceptional diligence and a high level of commitment from you as the intern’s supervisor.
SCA is proud of our safety record and risk management program. Utilizing 55 years of experience, SCA has developed standards and guidelines that promote a strong safety culture. SCA continually evaluates safety through hazard assessments, incident and “near-miss” analysis and integrates 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 revised, if necessary) annually by SCA’s Risk Management Team.
We rely on you to communicate with us in the event of an emergency or disciplinary action or any other situation that impacts the physical or emotional safety of the intern. SCA has a wealth of experience and resources available to you in managing challenging situations. We expect to work with you in managing any major accidents, illnesses, injuries or major events involving law enforcement, interaction with the media, etc. If you are considering disciplining or dismissing someone, we need to be informed early in the process.
In the event of a medical emergency (injury, accident, severe illness) or other serious incident, 24 hour assistance is available at SCA’s Emergency Hotline: 800-967-6449 or 800- YO-SOGGY. This line has been set up to support our members, staff, and agency partners. During business hours, this line rings directly in to SCA Headquarters at Charlestown, NH. Outside of regular business hours, including weekends and holidays, this number will connect you with an on-call staff member. This line should be used for urgent communications only.
Non-Emergency Communication with SCA
For general notification to SCA for minor incidents, call the Partner Services Coordinator for your region, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. If you are unable to reach your Partner Services Coordinator, the Partner Services Hotline is available at 208-424-6734 x 7499. A few examples of minor incidents include: an embedded tick, an early departure of an intern, unprofessional conduct or non-injury vehicle incident. Any information provided on the health and well-being of our interns is appreciated.
Travel Grant Policy
The following criteria will be used to determine the funding awarded to SCA Conservation Interns for travel to and from the sites where they work. Please note that internships don't begin until an intern arrives at the site and end as soon as an intern leaves the site to return home. Interns are expected to pay for their own travel to their work site. SCA reimburses them for their travel expenses, provided their paperwork is complete. Reimbursement is deposited onto a Chase card and is immediately available for their use.
Interns who leave their positions before completing their scheduled term of service are liable to forfeit their return travel grant and may be required to return travel funds already received
Wild land Fire Duty
Wild land firefighting provides interns a unique opportunity to gain valuable experience in the field of conservation and preservation. Occasionally, agency partners have an urgent need for fire fighters and request that interns be allowed to assist.
It is the policy of SCA to allow members to suspend their internship for a maximum of 14 days, inclusive of travel, for the purpose of fighting wild land fires. Per SCA Field Operations Standards, SCA interns may not be involved in wild land firefighting activities as a member of SCA; they may however, engage in wild land firefighting activities as a member or employee of another agency. In order to fight wild land fires the SCA intern must be approved to take leave from their term of service. This approval must come from their agency supervisor; the SCA Partner Services Coordinator must be notified prior to suspension of the internship. Once on leave from their term of service, the member will no longer be covered by SCA’s liability or Worker’s Compensation insurance policies. However, the hosting agency must continue to cover the cost of intern benefits, including housing and health insurance and administrative fees.
For interns enrolled in AmeriCorps, since the member’s internship is suspended the member is not serving in AmeriCorps during this time. Members cannot accrue service hours for time spent in paid wild land firefighting activities.
In order to avoid potential health risks and damage to property, it is the policy of SCA that animals are not to be kept in SCA-leased housing. When housing is provided by the hosting agency, or if housing is not leased by SCA, the intern must obtain written permission from their agency supervisor and/or landlord. SCA will not be responsible for any animal-related damages.
SCA understands that adults of legal drinking age may choose to consume alcohol after work hours and off program time during their term of service with SCA. Instead of prohibiting this activity, SCA strives to foster a culture of personal and professional responsibility where the consumption of alcohol by legal adults may be done in a responsible manner. With this in mind, alcohol consumption while an SCA member is a privilege and not a right. If the consumption of alcohol becomes a management or safety issue, SCA may revoke this privilege.
As part of SCA’s ongoing commitment to a safe and healthy workplace as well as to comply with many of our partnership agreements, we maintain a drug-free workplace policy. Any staff member who reports to work while under the influence of drugs or alcohol runs the risk of endangering his or her safety and the safety of others, destruction of or damage to personal or organization property, and a loss of productivity and workplace morale.
All staff and volunteers of SCA are required to understand and comply with the organization’s drug-free workplace policy. Any failure to comply with the guidelines of this policy can result in immediate termination of employment. Staff members and volunteers either in our offices or conducting business on behalf of our organization regardless of location are prohibited from all the following:
Staff members who violate the drug-free workplace policy may, at the discretion of management, be required to attend a rehabilitation or drug abuse assistance program as an alternative to disciplinary action, including discharge. Staff members given this opportunity must satisfactorily participate in the program as a condition of continued employment.
Alcoholic beverages served in moderation, in conjunction with an SCA authorized event are an exception to this prohibition.
Use of Personal Vehicle for Official Duty
SCA will not award travel reimbursement to a participant for the use of a personal vehicle in the performance of official duties assigned by the cooperating agency at the duty station. SCA expects the cooperating agency to provide transportation for the performance of official duties or full reimbursement for the use of personal vehicles for such purposes.
Discrimination & Sexual Harassment Advisory
The following has been given to Conservation Interns:
We are confident that in your upcoming term of service, you will meet resource management and conservation professionals of the highest personal and professional integrity. Some of these people will inspire you, serve as mentors, and have a lasting effect on the rest of your life. You will come to value and treasure your opportunity to work side by side with these experienced professionals.
Even in a workplace as professional as those of our cooperating agencies, discrimination can occur. It is the policy of all of our partner agencies to maintain a workplace environment free from any type of discriminatory conduct, including making statements or jokes, or committing acts regarding a person's race, color, national origin, religion, gender, physical condition, age, marital status or sexual orientation that are offensive, derogatory, or harassing. Nonetheless, over the years, a small number of our volunteers have reported that they were victims of violations of this policy. Therefore, we feel that it is our responsibility to advise you that there is a possibility, however remote, that you could be confronted with discriminatory behavior.
Most of us immediately recognize the more overt forms of discrimination. There is one kind of discrimination that sometimes takes subtle and insidious forms, namely, sexual harassment. Sexual harassment is not merely defined as sexual advances and/or requests for sexual favors that are unwelcome. It is also verbal comments, gestures and/or physical contact which is deliberate, repeated, unwanted and unsolicited.
Sexual harassment can sometimes be so subtle that it is not readily recognized at first. It may take the form of unwelcome verbal comments, jokes, suggestions or derogatory remarks based on sex; unwelcome physical touching, pats, squeezes, repeated brushing against or the impeding or blocking of one's movement; unwelcome visual harassment, sexually suggestive or derogatory pictures, drawings or cartoons; unwelcome communications, notes, phone calls or e-mail. This may include words or actions that the initiator intends to be "harmless", benign or playful, but which may not be so perceived by the recipient or an onlooker.
From your perspective, you should take seriously and not tolerate any conduct that makes you feel uncomfortable, degraded or intimidated. Also, do not ignore offensive behavior because it occurs outside of work hours. Inform the initiator that his/her words and/or actions are unwelcome and state that they should not be repeated and will not be tolerated. If the behavior continues, or if you do not feel safe or comfortable confronting the individual directly, please report the situation immediately to your supervisor or, if this is not appropriate, to any other management representative of your choice.
Many of our hosting sites have Personnel Directors or Equal Employment Opportunity Representatives who are trained to deal constructively and professionally with incidences of harassment. We urge you to consider contacting these officials. They will make sure that your concerns are dealt with in confidence to the extent consistent with a full and fair investigation. Oftentimes, they are experienced enough to resolve the difficulties you may be experiencing through informal discussions. However, they will also know when more formal measures are called for which they will advise you of, but will not take without permission (with the rare exception of serious assault).
These measures could involve conducting a thorough investigation of your allegations, interviewing others who may have witnessed the behavior which has caused you discomfort, identifying any areas of factual dispute, and eventually reaching a conclusion as to whether the alleged conduct constituted a violation of agency policy or federal or state law. If this is indeed the case, they will know the next steps to take to invoke remedial action or sanction. They also will ensure that there will be no retaliation of any kind as a result of your utilization of their complaint procedures. No action will be taken against any individual who makes a good faith complaint or against any individual participating in the investigation or enforcement of this policy. However, any individual who knowingly makes a false claim of sexual harassment will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action.
We all have a responsibility for maintaining high standards of conduct in the workplace. Sexual harassment has no place in it and should never be condoned. Most importantly, for your own well-being, we urge you to not tolerate it and to take the steps outlined above, if necessary. Please remember that our agency partners will not be able to take remedial action to correct problems or individuals if they do not know that inappropriate behavior is occurring. Think of the next person who will be in the position you are in and allow our agencies to send out the message that sexual harassment is simply unacceptable.