Youth Conservation Corps

YCC youth work on a project

NPS photo

What Is YCC?
Youth Conservation Corps, better known as YCC, is a summer employment program for young men and women ages 15 though 18. YCC offers opportunities around the country to work, and learn about conservation and preservation of public lands. The Youth Conservation Corps was established by Congress on August 13, 1971 through Public Law 91-378.

Why join the YCC?
  • Play, learn and work outside
  • Be a team member with other young people working together towards a goal
  • Train how to use a variety of tools and learn safe work habits
  • Learn about the natural, cultural and historical significance of your national park
  • Gain valuable experience, building your future working at a National Park Service site
  • Discover the benefits of conservation projects
  • Camp in the backcountry
  • Have fun: kayaking, photography, horseback riding, climbing, hiking, swimming, boating
YCC youth use ropes and harnesses to explore a tree

Youth Conservation Corps members "branch out" during a workshop at Boston National Historic Site.

NPS photo

What types of projects might I apply to work on at my national park?

  • build fences, bridges, and benches
  • assist with wildlife research
  • construct or repair trails and campsites
  • remove exotic or invasive plants
  • teach environmental programs
  • help botanists grow and replant native species
  • restore habitats along streams and other critical areas

What else should I Know About YCC?
The YCC summer programs are generally 8 to 10 weeks long. You will be paid the established federal minimum wage. In states with a minimum wage higher than the federal wage the higher rate will be paid. Most of the programs do not offer housing but Yellowstone and Yosemite have residential programs. You are eligible if by the start of the project you are both:

1. 15 to 18 years of age, and
2. A United States Citizen

Here's how to apply.