Five programs are creating the next generation of park supporters and conservationists by providing youth with a variety of wilderness experiences.

Our Youth Engagement Initiative introduces Grand Teton to a younger, more diverse audience and offers escalating educational and employment opportunities that keep participants actively involved in outdoor recreation as they begin to make lifestyle and career decisions.

Grand Teton National Park


The Youth Conservation Program (YCP) is more than a summer job; it’s an action-packed educational opportunity that accomplishes much needed work in one of America’s most popular landscapes while helping participants develop a personal conservation ethic.

Young adults work, earn, and learn in this highly successful ten week program each June to August in Grand Teton National Park. These 16 to 19-year-olds work on trails to improve access and protect fragile habitat, preserve historic sites, and learn about park history, fire, rescues, and more — hiking miles of park trails in the process.
YCP began in 2006 and is a teen education, stewardship, and employment opportunity that provides much-needed repairs and improvements on heavily used park trails and historic sites.


Historically, local Latino youth and their families have visited Grand Teton at much lower rates than other populations.

Pura Vida dissolves barriers between Jackson’s Latino community and Grand Teton National Park by offering extensive outdoor learning experiences, leadership training, and wilderness recreation. Service projects provide hands-on opportunities to improve the park and spark discussions about the importance of stewardship. Thanks to our partners at Teton Science Schools for helping make this program possible each year.


NPS Academy introduces diverse college students to a range of career paths within the National Park Service through seminars, workshops, field trips, and recreational activities.

A spring break orientation in Grand Teton and 12-week summer internships in national parks across the country give these career-minded participants valuable on-the-job training. Program mentors help students explore potential NPS jobs and provide guidance as they pursue or transition into careers in conservation. When students return to their universities, they serve as NPS ambassadors, educating classmates about national parks and recruiting peers for next year’s program. Thanks to our partners at American Conservation ExperienceTeton Science Schools, and Grand Teton Association who help ensure the continued success of this program year after year.

Youth Engagement in Grand Teton National Park


Tribal Youth Corps provides hands-on opportunities for native youth 14 to 18-years-old to connect to nature and cultural history through a four-week paid internship in Grand Teton.

Students work on historic structure preservation as well as frontcountry trails and trail structures. Working in partnership with the Montana Conservation Corps, participants learn about career opportunities in the park service, experience outdoor recreation, and build a personal connection to place.

Youth Engagement in Grand Teton National Park


Grand Teton’s next tier of workforce and diversity programming provides ongoing career development to young professionals.

These individuals are interested in launching park-focused programming in their home cities. The program consists of a week-long career development summit in Grand Teton, mentoring, and steady support to help students work through their start-up challenges. In partnership with Groundwork USATeton Science Schools, and Grand Teton Association, Mountains to Main Street Urban Ambassador Program continues the ladder of professional development for diverse college students and helps bring national parks to cities across the country.


Foundation Youth Programs Work Together at Grand View Point

Tribal Youth Corps and Youth Conservation Program worked together last week to continue building a new section of trail near Grand View Point. The new route will connect the existing one to a new parking lot at Bug Canyon, just ...

Pura Vida Celebrates Ten Years Impacting Local Latino Youth

Pura Vida students head into the park on a snowshoe hike. Pura Vida's 2019 spring break session recently concluded in Grand Teton National Park and we could not be happier with the week's successes. Participants spent their time hiking in ...

2019 NPS Academy Spring Break A Success

The ninth consecutive NPS Academy Spring Break Session kicked off this month in Grand Teton National Park with an inspiring group of motivated young individuals. This year's participants come in with a little more national park experience than in previous ...
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