Summer Youth Corps

Summer Youth Corps connects teenagers to the natural environment through hands-on conservation, and empowers young people to become active, engaged citizens. 

The 2017 program runs June 18-July 16 and July 22-August 19. Youth are hired for one (or both) 4-week sessions. After several days of training, youth travel as a crew to projects throughout Minnesota and other states, working 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Activities include managing natural resources in parks and public lands and participating in daily training and education. As the Summer Youth Corps in a month-long residential program, youth will be away from home for the entirety of the program. Weekends and evenings are filled with recreational activities such as canoeing, fishing, games, relaxing and visiting historic places.

Youth receive an average weekly allowance of $250 that includes all food, transportation and lodging.

Enrollment is open to youth from all cultures, backgrounds and experiences, who are 15 to 18 years old when the program starts. Deaf and hard-of-hearing youth represent about 15% of our participants. For over 20 years, our crews and all education/recreation activities have been inclusive, with ASL interpreters.


Youth gain job and career planning skills. They learn about ecology, sustainability, water and land management, food production, American Sign Language and Minnesota natural history. They also have fun and make a difference! 

To join the Corps, you must be willing to work hard on teams with youth from diverse backgrounds and live outdoors. We foster strong work habits, environmental ethics, team unity and leadership.

2016 program schedule:
Session One: June 18-July 16
Session Two: July 22-August 19                                                                                                                       Both Sessions: June 18-August 19 (with a vacation from July 16 to July 22)                                              

Applications for 2017 positions ARE NOW OPEN!
Apply here

Check out our 2013 Youth Crew Member Handbook for additional information about SYC. Information in this handbook is geared towards 15- to 18-year-old youth who apply for the program.

If you are a Summer Youth Corps alumni and are interested in the SYC Wilderness Crew, please contact Jonathan Goldenberg at for a link to the Wilderness Crew application.


For more information, contact the program coordinator:

Jonathan Goldenberg
651.209.9900 x27
Conservation Corps Minnesota
60 Plato Blvd. E. Ste 210, Saint Paul, MN 55107

The Summer Youth Corps is made possible by:

  • ServeMinnesota*AmeriCorps
  • Fred C. and Katherine B. Andersen Foundation
  • Andersen Corporate Foundation
  • Lloyd K. Johnson Foundation
  • Laura Jane Musser Fund
  • SmartWool Advocacy Fund
  • Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community