Transformative. Challenging. Inspirational. Wilderness. Friendships. These are some of the words that Youth Conservation Program (YCP) alums have used to describe their experience in the Foundation’s flagship youth program, which is executed in partnership with Grand Teton National Park.
YCP was launched in 2006 to steward the next generation of conservation leaders—aligning with the core mission of the National Park Service to foster a land ethic and an appreciation for the outdoors in young people. This powerful and immersive program employs sixteen to nineteen-year-olds on the park’s trail crew, accomplishing critical stewardship projects while also cultivating job skills and supporting aspiring leaders as they make career and lifestyle decisions. Over the years, YCP has grown in both size and impact, regularly employing twenty to twenty-four young people a season during a typical year. 274 youth have participated in the program since its inception.
As we celebrate a decade and a half of impact—a significant milestone—it’s an appropriate time to reflect on the program’s influence. Whether they participated in 2005 or 2019, YCP alums we recently spoke with have a lot to say about how their experience in Grand Teton continues to affect their lives.
Stories like these demonstrate the lasting impact on the education, employment, and lifestyle choices of young people after spending an immersive summer in Grand Teton. Today and tomorrow, this program is creating the conservation leaders of the future.
Thank you to our generous supporters and partners who have made this program possible over the last decade and a half!
*Due to ongoing safety considerations associated with Covid-19, YCP did not take place last year but is in 2021 with a smaller crew (10-12 participants).