What is the Student Conservation Association (SCA)?

SCA is the nation’s largest and oldest provider of national and community service opportunities in conservation, involving student and adult participants in the stewardship of our public lands and natural and cultural resources.

What does SCA do?

Where do SCA volunteers serve?

Participants put their energy and talents to work with natural and cultural resource management agencies such as the National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, as well as state and private groups, including state parks, the Audubon Society, and The Nature Conservancy.

How long do the programs last?

Each is different. As a guideline, service opportunities range from four to five weeks for high school service opportunities and 12 to 52 weeks for Conservation Internships.

What do SCA volunteers do?

Opportunities range from monitoring eagles in Alaska’s Gates of the Arctic National Park to leading hikes in Hawaii’s Haleakala National Park to building trails in New Hampshire’s state park system.

Do SCA volunteers receive financial support?

It varies from program to program. For example, Conservation Internships are expense-paid: housing, travel, living allowance, insurance, education award up to $4,725, and loan deferment. Food and group camping gear are provided for high school volunteers.

Who benefits from SCA’s activities?

Youth and adults who gain work skills, career-enhancing experience, and personal growth; visitors to our parks and other conservation areas who enjoy the results of SCA’s activities; and conservation agencies and resource managers who gain needed help to accomplish work that might otherwise not get done.

How do participants sign up?

Programs have a formal application process. Most applications are available for downloading, with complete instructions, from our website.

When are programs held and what are the deadlines for applying?

Positions are available throughout the year, although most occur during the summer months. Applications for Conservation Internship positions are accepted on a rolling basis. The application deadline for the Conservation Work Crew Program is March 30 or until all positions are filled; applications for the Northeast AmeriCorps programs are due March 1 with programs generally starting in October; other programs accept inquiries throughout the year.

How is SCA funded?

Cooperating conservation agencies reimburse SCA for approximately 75 percent of costs. SCA’s membership base of 23,000 individuals and active alumni, along with public-spirited corporations and foundations, make up the rest.

How can I get more information about SCA?

Contact the Student Conservation Association at PO Box 550, Charlestown, NH 03603 or call 603-543-1700 or on the web at