Looking for a way to make next summer unforgettable? How does gaining valuable knowledge, making friends, and giving back to the earth sound? Joining a summer conservation corp is the perfect way to gain amazing experience that you’ll never forget! Here is a quick overview of some top conservation corps around the country.
The Student Conservation Association is a fantastic place to start, and has opportunities for all ages to get involved. They offer Community Crews, Regional Crews, National Crews and Internships. I have personally participated in a National Crew and can honestly say that the friends I made and the knowledge I gained will stay with me forever. My experience began by submitting an application online and I can remember the day the email arrived that I had been selected. I was so excited and could not wait to learn where I would be spending a part of my summer. It felt like forever to find out that the beautiful hills of Blue Ridge National Park, Virginia would be my home for one month. Fast forward 2 months I remember feeling excited but anxious because I was just about to meet the people I would be with for the next month. I quickly found that I had nothing to be anxious about. The leaders and crew all met at the airport with excited anticipation of our adventure. We set up camp in the backcountry along an incredible creek and met with the local park employees that would teach us how to build split rail fences. We also spent a bit of time doing trail maintenance. I picked up building skills, but also learned a lot about cooking and co existing with my team. Our weekends consisted of hiking, relaxing at the lake, shopping in town, or just taking it easy in the creek back at camp. The experience taught me about myself and created bonds with people that will last a lifetime. Make sure to visit their website to figure out the best program for you. It’s an unforgettable experience for sure!
Ever dream about working in Yellowstone National Park and getting paid for it? The Yellowstone Youth Conservation Corp could make that dream a reality. In this program you spend a month learning, working and recreating in Yellowstone National Park. I don’t know about you, but that sounds like an adventure to me. The park offers two sessions and the selection process begins with submitting an application in early 2018. Here’s the link so you can learn more about Yellowstone and if it is a good fit for you.
The Minnesota & Iowa Conservation Corp offers two programs. One is for individuals age 15 -18 and the second is for individuals between 18 to 25 years old. Depending on the program you qualify for, a session can last anywhere from 1 month to 10 months. Work projects vary but you could be managing natural resources in parks and public lands in either Minnesota or Iowa. The nice part is that in your free time you can either relax or explore all the resources available, such as canoeing, fishing, or visiting historic places. If that sounds interesting to you, check them out!
Another great opportunity is with the Northwest Youth Corps. Their goal is to help youth and young adults from diverse backgrounds develop the skills they need to lead full and productive and experience success. They have four different corps so you can find one that works for you. Also, did I mention depending on the program, you could get paid? That sounds just fine to me!
I hope these ideas have triggered a drive in you to get out there and find your next adventure. Conservation corps are a great way to make your summer unforgettable by gaining knowledge and making friends while giving back to the earth. It doesn’t get much better than that! If it seems that none of these corps fit your needs, don’t worry! Do a little research and you’ll find there are great corps all across the country!
Trevor Currie is an international award winning photographer and Missouri native with passion for travel. His dream is to travel the world and share his journey. Follow him @Trevor__Currie or check out his website to be part of the adventure!