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Saguaro National Park's Summer Youth Conservation Corps applications are open

Youth Conservation Corps at Saguaro National Park
Posted at 6:23 AM, Apr 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-18 11:10:57-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — The annual National Park summer camp for teens returns this summer. It's called the Youth Conservation Corps and teenagers, from 16 to 18 years old, will get the chance to camp in the park.

While they also are earning a paycheck, the team of ten teens are learning about the ecology of Southern Arizona, trail maintenance and environmental restoration work. They'll work 40 hours per week for eight weeks starting on June 6th through July 29th.

Steena Cultrara, the YCC Coordinator, said the team will also travel to surrounding southwest icons like Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument and even over in New Mexico. She said they are not only bonding with the Great Outdoors but also with their fellow teammates.

"We live together, cook meals together and we also have a variety of different work projects from trail maintenance to working with resources,” she said. "There's a transformation that everyone involved goes through, just a lot of growth and a lot of comradery."

Facility manager at Saguaro National Park Rich Goepfrich said it helps pique many young people's interest in conservation and the National Park Service.

"It's about getting them interested in being future stewards and getting the next generation of youth involved in this career path,” he said.

The applications close on April 30th and selections will be made on May 13th. To apply, interested applicants can go to the Saguaro National Park visitor center or click on the application here.