Posted by: Kirsten | Saturday, 29 December 2007

Youth Programs in the National Parks

As promised, some more ideas for New Years resolutions.  For your older homeschoolers, plan now to make a difference in 2008.  I did three volunteerships after college and although I lived in a trailer and got paid practically nothing, I still think of them as the best jobs I ever had.  Rewarding, challenging, fun, even tiring at times, and the chance to build lifelong friendships.  Some of my experiences included presenting ranger talks at Grand Canyon, hiking into the backcountry multiple times, exploring caves, whitewater rafting, and climbing Arizona’s highest mountain.  And at the Everglades — creating an educational video for the park, snorkeling, canoeing, conducting alligator and deer counts from airplanes and helicopters, and at both locations, seeing plants and animals I had never seen up close before.

From the NPS website…

The National Park Service works to ensure that young Americans age 5 to 24 from different economic, ethnic, social, and cultural backgrounds gain access to the national parks. Through programs such as the Student Conservation Association (SCA), the Youth Conservation Corps (YCC), Job Corps, the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, the National Association of Service and Conservation Corps (NASCC), and Public Land Corps (PLC), young people are provided with the opportunity to develop a life-long commitment to support our national parks and protect our natural environment and cultural heritage.

In addition, our partnerships, active for many decades, are becoming increasingly important. Through partnerships with other Federal, State, and local agencies and nonprofit organizations, a nationwide system of parks provides educational, recreational, and conservation benefits. Partnerships can also provide technical assistance at the initial stages of project conceptualization and planning. Participating youth learn valuable natural and cultural resource management skills and develop a greater appreciation of American history and our nation’s most renowned ecosystems.

These partnerships are key to producing high quality youth programs. Parks frequently develop partnerships locally with schools, social service agencies, scout groups, or other youth-focused organizations based on informal, volunteer, or cooperative agreements. With longstanding traditions of preserving and protecting national treasures, the Service has superbly served wide ranges of visitors who represent all segments of the American society. Through efforts of non-profit partners, SCA and NASCC, diversity is maintained by reaching underrepresented populations and preparing them for possible jobs and careers in the NPS. In addition, this promotes a greater diversity of park visitors, in terms of social, ethnic and cultural backgrounds.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: