How to Apply

Applying for Youth Programs

If you are totally psyched to join an SCA crew, then you are the person we need. Don’t think you’re going to be disqualified for not remembering which state Yosemite is in. This may sound simplistic, but it’s true: the only thing you need to show us is that you will be a great crew member. The catch is that we will only see you through your application materials, so you need to be sure they are showing you at your best.  

New Candidates

  1. Create a username and password for your MySCA portal.
    • Create your username by clicking on the “Apply Now” button in the upper right corner of this page or the green “Start Your Application Button” below.
    • Once you have created your username, you will receive an email prompting you to create a new password.
  2. Use your new username (your email address) and password to login to your new MySCA portal.
    • In your portal, click on the “Manage Applications” tab.
    • Complete the Basic Application at the top of the page.  You’ll know that this section is complete when all of the tabs are blue or yellow.
  3. Complete the Youth Crews or Youth Community program application.
    • For National, Regional and Leadership Crew positions, complete the Youth Crews application.
    • For Community Crew positions, complete the Youth Community application.
    • If this is your first time applying with SCA, you will need to click the “Submit” button to complete your application.  

There is a one-time application fee of $25 ($40 for non-US citizens) for most youth programs.  If you have questions or concerns about the fee, please contact or your local SCA contact.

    Start Your Application Today    


Returning Candidates

Login to your MySCA portal and click on the Manage Applications Tab. Review all of the information to ensure that it is correct. Pay special attention to the following sections:

  • Update your Availability Dates at the top of the application page.
  • Review and update any red tabs in the Basic Application (when the tabs are blue they are complete)
  • Answer any new questions in the appropriate Youth program application

Application Status

After you submit (new candidates) or save (returning candidates) your application, return to the Home tab of your MySCA portal and verify that your Application Status is listed as “Complete.” If not, click the “Update” link next to the application and review the process to see what information is missing.

Tips for Submitting a Successful Application

Every year we end up with more applicants than positions. We make our selections based on outstanding applications that tell us who you are and why you would be a great crew member. Selecting the right applicants is very important for our programs. We find that there are five areas that are particularly useful to us when we are evaluating applicants:

  • Demonstrated leadership skills and/or responsibility
  • Participation with extracurricular groups or volunteer organizations
  • Good social and group skills
  • Time spent outdoors and high comfort level with outdoor situations
  • Interest in ecology or environmental topics

If you keep these criteria in mind when you’re filling out your application, it will help you give us the kind of information we really need. Having trouble thinking of what to say about yourself? Here is a short brainstorming list to get the ball rolling:

  • Do you have a passion for the outdoors or the environment?
  • What’s the closest thing to SCA you’ve ever done?
  • Have you ever held a job?
  • Do you help neighbors with chores and projects?
  • Do you do some kind of strenuous work? Farm chores? Sports?

Make sure your application is complete. Have all your materials in during the winter months, including references. In order for your application to be guaranteed review, your application should be completed by March 1st.

Help us get to know you through your essay answers. Do not underestimate the importance of this section. By reading your answers and references (and we read every single one) we are able to learn if you are likely to be comfortable working in the field or if you seem like someone who can handle a more challenging work project. We only place people on crews we feel will suit them – because that’s how we make happy crews. So make sure you paint a clear picture of yourself.

Pick a good range of availability dates. Selecting accurate availability dates is absolutely vital. In order to be considered for a crew you must be available for every day the program is in the field. Including the widest window of availability will ensure that you are considered for all programs.

Be flexible. Although Alaska and Hawaii may sound like spectacular places to spend your summer, there is something special to be found in every part of the country. You might be surprised at how much you enjoy a camping crew along the Natchez Trace Parkway in Tennessee, or a community crew working in your own neighborhood.  You can dramatically increase your chances of selection if you are willing to try new things and visit new places.

Pick a good reference. The best references are those who have seen you work in groups outside of school. It’s never bad to have a teacher or staff person give you a reference, but SCA really isn’t an academic program. A more valuable perspective comes from someone who can comment on your performance in a program that shares something in common with SCA. Examples of great references are coaches, supervisors, youth mentors, or ministers.

Keep us in the loop. If any of your information changes after you submit your application, be sure to let us know. Here are common updates that we would love to hear about:

  • Your availability dates have changed
  • You earned the rank of Eagle Scout
  • You completed a first aid course
  • You hiked 30 miles of the Appalachian Trail
  • You volunteered over Spring Break

You can always log back into your application and update any section. The changes you make take effect immediately.