The Student Conservation Association, or SCA, is a nonprofit group that builds and trains young people for a career in conservation. SCA provides hands-on service to the land, community and environment by engaging young people in service opportunities, leadership training and outdoor skills.
SCA provides internships and crew experience in 30 disciplines of conservation. The conservation crews are composed of 600 teenagers who are placed in crews of six or eight at national monuments, national parks and national wilderness areas every summer. The crews construct trails and help control erosion in the parks. Internships provided in partnership with the National Park Service for teenagers over 17 can last from three to 12 months. The jobs involve back country patrol, conducting ecological surveys, soil monitoring, water monitoring, naturalist work, interpretation and visitor assistance. The internships pay stipends and cover housing costs.