The Pennsylvania Outdoor Corps (PAOC) is a training program administered by the SCA in direct cooperation with the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resource (DCNR). The Outdoor Corps offers paid work experience, skills training, professional development, and environmental education opportunities to youth and young adults across Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania’s expansive state park system is one of the largest in the country, consisting of 124 Parks and Forests with over 300,000 acres of land. Outdoor Corps crews work in these public spaces to complete projects related to the conservation of natural resources as well as the conservation of infrastructure. Since its inception in 2016, the Corps has completed hundreds of projects and has worked in over 100 of the parks and forests of Pa.

Participants can expect to spend time working alongside DCNR staff to complete this valuable work. Positions with the PAOC are all Crew and members can expect to work alongside a team of peers throughout the season. After working with the PAOC, program participants emerge with increased environmental awareness, technical skills, social responsibility and leadership skills.

Seven ridgeway members in group photo

Current Opportunities

The Pennsylvania Outdoor Corps is currently hiring for the following program types.

  • 9-Month Young Adult Training Program

    Find your place in the green industry by joining the Pennsylvania Outdoor Corps. Over the course of 9 months, participants will work in State Parks, Forests, and other outdoor spaces to complete hands-on conservation and recreation projects. In a season with the Pennsylvania Outdoor Corps, you will gain a strong understanding of how State Parks and Forests operate and acquire the skills it takes to be industry-ready.

    From those looking for an alternative to traditional schooling to recent grads looking to gain field experience. Our members come from a wide range of backgrounds and situations. We are looking for those who are eager to learn and work on a team in the outdoors, regardless of previous experience.

    Each crew is a maximum of five members under the supervision of a Project Leader. Crews meet each morning at a central location in their program city and then travel out to State Parks within their region to complete conservation and infrastructure projects. Projects vary from crew to crew and from park to park. Crews can expect to be exposed to a variety of work projects and parks throughout the season. You can expect some traditional conservation work such as trail maintenance, plantings, and invasive species control. Our parks also are home to many buildings and structures. Just like the natural surroundings, these structures also need our care and attention. Infrastructure improvements are a large part of the PAOC workload. This may include work on pavilions, cabins, offices, garages, restrooms, docks, piers, benches, picnic tables, signage, and any other visitor-use structure the park may have.

    Along with the service projects, PAOC has a strong emphasis on personal and professional growth. Throughout the season, members will engage in various professional development opportunities. Professional development activities may include trainings and certifications, networking, job shadowing, resume review, interviewing skills, and environmental education.

    2024 Program Information
    Crew Locations:

    • Altoona
    • Dubois
    • Meadville
    • Harrisburg
    • Pittsburgh
    • Wilkes-Barre
    • Williamsport
    • Norristown
    • Somerset

    Dates: March 18, 2024 – Nov. 27, 2024
    Schedule: Monday-Wednesday, 7:00 a.m. – 5 p.m. Thursday, 7:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
    Compensation: $15/hr, PTO, Paid Holidays, Optional employee-sponsored benefits, professional training opportunities

    MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS

    • Ages 18-25 at the start of the program.
    • Able to conduct manual work in all outdoor conditions, including the ability to hike up to four miles per day.
    • Able to work collaboratively on a small team of peers.
    • Must be able to model safe and professional behavior at all times.
    • Must be a resident of Pennsylvania.
    • Must have housing in or near the program city and reliable transportation to the daily meeting location.
    • Willing to spend up to a week away from home for trainings and or overnight hitches
    • Driving an SCA vehicle is required for any individuals over the age of 21 with a clean driving history

    Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Initial intake begins in November and lasts until positions are filled. Additional positions may become available at any time during the field season. We do our best to backfill any positions that become available. Open positions are generally filled until the end of August.

    The SCA recognizes that, as an industry, there is much to do to increase representation in the field to reflect the communities we aim to serve. We also know that diversity of identities, experiences and ways of thinking result in better solutions for the communities we serve. For this reason. The SCA especially encourages applicants from communities who experience systemic barriers, including people of color, women, LGBTQUI+ and people with disabilities, to apply for these positions.

    2024 Crew Member positions are currently filled, however, we are always accepting applications for backfill/waitlist candidates. Positions may become available at any point during the field season. We do our best to backfill positions until Sept 1st.

    Apply Now!

    CONTACT
    Questions related to the Young Adult Program can be directed to Program Manager Stephen Luteran sluteran@thesca.org

    General Inquiries can be directed to: paoutdoorcorps@thesca.org

  • Summer Youth Crews

    Summer Youth Program
    If you love being outdoors and want to spend the summer learning, growing, and working in nature, the PA Outdoor Corps Summer Program is for you! For 6-weeks each summer, we employ high school students across Pennsylvania to work on a small team of peers and take on conservation projects in our State Parks and Forests. This paid experience offers an opportunity to gain hands-on job experience, participate in environmental education sessions, and be exposed to a variety of professionals and potential career paths. Each crew consists of an adult leader/s and 6 youth members who work together to complete projects, learn new things, and have fun in the outdoors.

    What To Expect as a Youth Crew Member
    Crews meet each morning at a central location in their program city and then travel out to State Parks within their region to complete service projects. Projects will vary from crew to crew and from park to park. Crews can expect to be exposed to a variety of work projects and parks during the summer. Past projects have included traditional conservation work such as trail maintenance, plantings, and invasive species control. Our parks also are home to many buildings and structures. Just like the natural surroundings, these structures also need our care and attention. Infrastructure improvements are a large part of the PAOC workload. This may include work on pavilions, cabins, offices, garages, restrooms, docks, piers, benches, picnic tables, signage, and any other visitor-use structure the park may have. Along with the service projects, PAOC has a strong emphasis on personal and professional growth. Throughout the summer, members will also engage in various Environmental Education and recreational opportunities.

    2024 Program Information

    Program Dates: July 1 – Aug. 9, 2024
    Hours: Monday – Friday 7:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
    Compensation: $15.00/hr
    Open Application Period: Jan. 15 – April 1, 2024

    Locations: Altoona, Allentown, Bradford, Chambersburg, Erie, Greensburg, Pittsburgh, Norristown, Hazleton, Harrisburg, Reading, Renovo, Ridgway, Wilkes-Barre, Williamsport, Wellsboro, York

    Open Application Period: Jan. 15 – April 15, 2024

    *Crew selections will be made after the close of open enrollment

    Interested in applying? Email us at paoutdoorcorps@thesca.org for more information and next steps!

    Summer Youth Crew Leader Positions

    Now accepting applications!

    Interested in Leading a summer youth crew? We’d love to hear from you! PA Outdoor Corps Summer Leaders are instrumental in supervising, guiding, and mentoring young people while completing conservation projects in the outdoors. Each season our participants gain valuable leadership and management experience, are exposed to professional networking opportunities, and get the chance to positively impact youth in Pennsylvania while caring for our public lands.

    Leader Season Dates: June 10, 2024 – Aug. 13, 2024
    *Paid training included; travel required
    Hours: Monday – Friday, 7:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
    Compensation: $750/week Age: 21+

    Contact PAOC Summer Program Manager at vlauro@thesca.org

  • Cultural Resource Crew

    The CRC is a specialty crew within the Pennsylvania Outdoor Corps. The CRC is intended to provide aspiring archaeologists and preservationists with the professional skills to build successful careers in land and resource management. During a season with the Outdoor Corps, members will gain the skills needed to become well-rounded Field Technicians. Over the course of 9 months, participants will work in State Parks and Forests on Cultural Resource initiatives.

    What to Expect as a CRC Member
    The CRC consists of three members under the supervision of a Project Leader. The CRC will complete preservation-oriented projects throughout Pennsylvania’s extensive park and forest system. Projects may include Phase I archaeological and above-ground historic resource surveys, resource inventory, resource/site assessment and research-oriented investigations. Crew members will be provided multiple opportunities to attend and participate in training and educational activities related to cultural resource management. Most work and activities take place outdoors or in a lab setting in all seasons and weather and involve physically demanding labor.

    The Schedule for the crew is Monday – Friday and the season is a combination of field-based work, lab work, and reporting/research assignments. During the field weeks, the CRC will stay on-site at the parks/forests they are working in. Accommodations during the field weeks will vary depending on park availability. In most cases, cabins or other housing may be available. When park housing is not an option, the crew may be required to camp out. Due to the remote areas that we work in and limited housing options, crew members will be expected to share living spaces while on hitch. Individual rooms will be assigned when available but are not always guaranteed. Members will need to have their own reliable transportation to/from each project site.

    MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS

    • Applicants should hold a degree (BA or BS) in Anthropology, Archaeology, History, Architectural History, Historic Preservation or a related field.
    • Preference will be given to those with a strong background in cultural resources management and/or Section 106 of the NHPA; experience in field and laboratory settings; Phase I, II, or III survey methods and data analysis; writing for technical publication and public outreach; curation of archaeological or archival materials; and experience working with state and/or federal agencies.
    • Candidates should have an interest in pursuing careers in cultural resource management, archaeology, or architectural history with state and/or federal agencies, non-profit organizations engaged in conservation or preservation of natural or historic resources, or private cultural resource management firms.
    • Must have a valid Drivers License and access to a personal vehicle – *Travel Required
    • Willing to spend the fieldwork weeks away from home, occasionally camping when indoor accommodations are not available

    FULL 2024 PROGRAM INFORMATION WILL BE POSTED SOON

    CONTACT
    Questions about the Cultural Resource Crew can be directed to:Program Manager Stephen Luteran sluteran@thesca.org