How to Apply

Applying for Young Adult Programs

  • SCA is a competitive program and every year we have more applicants than positions. We make our selections based on outstanding applications that are filled out completely and thoroughly, and on applications that best match the necessary skills for each position.
  • Our application is designed to give you the opportunity to highlight all of your skills and experience – whether you gained those skills through college classes, volunteer service, or family camping trips.
  • Taking the time to fill out your application thoroughly gives you the best chance of landing a position that is a perfect fit for you.

WHO IS ELIGIBLE

To apply to SCA’s Young Adult programs:

  • You must be 18 or older and have a high school diploma or GED
  • You do not need to be currently in college or affiliated with a school in any way; many participants are college graduates
  • We do not have an age cap (sometimes a specific position will have an age requirement and this is indicated in the position description)
  • All skill sets and backgrounds are welcome
  • International applicants must read this

NEW CANDIDATES

  1. Sign up to join a program by completing a New Registration.
  2. Sign into the email that you listed on the new registration page to get the password for your MySCA account.
  3. Go to the MySCA Login page to sign in with your email address and your password. You will be asked to create a new password. Write down your username (your email address) and password so that you remember it for future use.
  4. Complete the basic member profile and the program specific application. You’ll need to complete a “Conservation Internship and Corps” application.

There is a one-time lifetime application fee of $25 dollars for US citizens ($40 for non-US citizens).

APPLICATION STATUS

Your application must be in “complete” status in order to be considered. When you log into your application, make sure all the tabs are green and that you have submitted a “conservation internship and corps” application.

  • Draft – This means you have not yet submitted your application.
  • In Progress – This means that you have submitted your application, but no reference forms have been returned.
  • Update basic application – This means that you need to complete a program specific application.
  • Complete – This means that your application is ready to be reviewed; you have paid the fee and have at least one reference.
  • Inactive – This means that the dates of availability listed on your application have passed. Please update them if you are available in the future.

Placement occurs year-round, so there is no single deadline. We recommend applying about three months before positions start. We start to review applications for the summer February 15 and continue to review applications until all positions are filled.

FINDING INTERNSHIPS

What positions can I apply for?

  • Read carefully and select positions that match your dates of availability.
  • Look for alignment with skills, education, experience, and any required certifications.
  • Check if the position requires a car or a valid driver’s license.
  • Consider the living situation, daily routine, and location.
  • When you add a position to your application, you are telling SCA “I am interested in being considered for this position, I feel I am a qualified candidate, and I would strongly consider accepting it if it were offered to me”.

How many positions should I apply for?

  • You can apply for up to 20 positions.
  • You’ll be more competitive if you choose several geographic areas and more than one type of position.
  • Well-known sites and locations that are popular travel destinations tend to have higher applicant pools; some of our most competitive positions can have over 400 applicants for one opening.
  • Increase your chances of selection by applying to positions on our “Hot Internships” page, which need to be filled ASAP.

How does the placement process work?

“Turning your app into an internship” (link coming soon)

  • You submit your complete application to SCA, including specific positions you are interested in applying for.
  • Application review begins approximately three months prior to position start dates.
  • SCA reviews applications for a specific position and determines the most qualified candidates from that applicant pool. We then send these top applications to sites for consideration.
  • Once the application is sent, you receive contact information for the site to request an interview. Your status will change from “interested” to “sent”.
  • A hiring official from the site interviews top candidates and makes final selections.
  • We do not have a set date when everyone is selected for positions. Application review and selections are made on a rolling basis; some sites are able to make selections months before, and other times it can be weeks before.

You should be excited about the positions you are applying for and should not choose any that you aren’t prepared to accept. Enthusiasm is often a deciding factor for a site when making a selection.

SCA is a competitive program, so we cannot guarantee that your application will be sent to all sites you have expressed interest in. Having a thorough, complete application and including a variety of positions in your “interested” list will help increase your chances of having your application sent to a variety of sites and ultimately get selected.

TIPS FOR SUBMITTING A SUCCESSFUL APPLICATION

  1. Read and Follow Directions. Use the resources on the webpage and in the application to learn more about our admissions process and ensure that your application is the best it can be.  
  2. Put your best grammatical foot forward. Proofread, spell check, and use complete sentences, proper punctuation, and good grammar. Ask a trusted friend or mentor to read through your application.
  3. Have your transcript and resume handy to help you remember all your skills and experiences.
  4. Be Specific & Detailed when describing your skills and education.  Include experiences from school, work, hobbies and volunteering. Tangibles and numbers can help us have a better idea of what you can do (12 class hours; 300 miles, etc).
  5. Ask for References from Professional Contacts who know your character and work ethic—former employers, mentors, coaches, leaders make great references - family members and friends do not.
  6. Attach a Resume and other supplemental materials (transcripts, certificates, etc) in the documents section.
  7. Keep All Information Up To Date—Whether it’s a new phone number, license, or car - make sure your application reflects you today, including current dates of availability.
  8. Be Thorough–Make sure your application demonstrates how you meet a position’s requirements. Thoroughly read through a position description before adding it to your application.
  9. Be Flexible–Look at a variety of positions in order to increase your chances of selection; positions with name recognition (Yosemite, Yellowstone, Great Smoky, Alaska and Hawaii, etc.) tend to have the largest applicant pools.
  10. Follow Up respectfully and professionally.  Respond to all messages quickly and be sure to let us know if your plans change.

Pro Tips:

  • Your application should take at least two hours to complete in order to fill in all the steps properly.
  • You can go back into your application at any time to update (including after you have submitted it), and SCA will see your most recent changes right away.
  • Your application is how SCA and site partners know  the skills you have, so be sure you are painting an accurate and professional picture of who you are and why you are a solid match for the positions you have expressed interest in.