Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) Program

On This Page Navigation

Teenagers in yellow and orange uniforms pose closely together
Yellowstone YCC Crews get to spend time backpacking and hiking in the park.

NPS / Yellowstone Youth Conservation Corps

A group of young adults with hard hats stand on a trail in the wilderness
YCC Crew installing water bars on a trail.


Yellowstone is offering its Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) program for the 33rd consecutive summer in 2021—a month-long residential program for young people between the ages of 15 and 18 years of age. Participants must be a US citizen or permanent resident of the United States, its territories, or its possessions. They also must provide a valid US Social Security number.

The YCC experience allows teen enrollees and staff the opportunity to learn, work, and recreate in Yellowstone National Park. The program is challenging, educational, fun, and offers participants opportunities to expand their horizons while building skills that will benefit them for a lifetime. No previous wilderness experience is required, but a willingness and ability to work in a physically active outdoor program, get along well with others, and maintain a positive attitude are essential for success.

We had a fully successful 2021 residential YCC summer working with 12 students from all over the United States. We are looking forward to working with students in 2022. Crews will camp in various frontcountry locations in the park 5 nights per week near their work site. Two nights per week, the crew will return to the YCC facility to shower, do laundry, and resupply. The crew will be a “family” pod with no overlap with the other crew. Due to COVID-19, crew members will have access to testing each week.

Teen enrollees will be selected from across the country to participate in this summer program. Enrollees will work 40 hours a week and receive the federal minimum wage ($7.25/hour) with daily deductions for room, board, and laundry facilities (~$10/day). Healthy food options will be prepared by staff and youth while camping or provided by the YCC Cook. While this diet might be different than what you are used to, the goal is to provide highly nutritious, healthy meals to sustain youth during a work program. YCC participants will work in a variety of weather and terrain conditions while completing projects which may include: fence and bench building; trail construction and/or maintenance; installing "bear boxes" and trailhead signs; general maintenance work; painting/staining; exotic plant control; and collecting data for citizen science projects and for visitor use management.

A group of young adults with hard hats stand next to a large sign on a trail.
Installation of new trailhead sign during 2020 with masks on for COVID-19 precautions.


Enrollees will also spend time participating in resource education, recreation, and NPS and other agency career orientation activities. Many of these activities are scheduled in the evenings and on weekends. Activities may include: hiking, rafting, fishing, ranger-led programs, guest speakers, enrollee and staff presentations, and trips throughout the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.

Yellowstone's YCC Program is supported by generous donations to Yellowstone Forever and through park entrance fees.


2022 Applications

The 2022 Yellowstone YCC applications will be found here in mid-February 2022 and will be due March 1st. Please check back here in February for more information.


Yellowstone YCC Curriculum

The Yellowstone YCC Curriculum can be viewed online. In 2013, a University of Wyoming graduate student assisted the YCC program by developing a full YCC Curriculum. Five themes are examined including Ecological Relationships, Cultural Heritage, Stewardship, Sustainability, and Leadership.

Watch the Yellowstone YCC video and the new Learn Your Park video featuring images of Yellowstone's Youth Conservation Corps and Expedition Yellowstone students.

Last updated: October 13, 2021

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

PO Box 168
Yellowstone National Park , WY 82190-0168



Contact Us

Stay Connected