Send Your Teen To Work This Summer: In Grand Teton National Park

A lucky handful of teens will have this for a work environment this summer courtesy of Grand Teton National Park's Youth Conservation Program. NPS photo.

Summer jobs might be tough for your teens to find this year thanks to the economic doldrums. But if they jump on the following opportunity, they might be able to land a great job in Grand Teton National Park.

From now through the end of March park officials are recruiting participants for the 2009 Youth Conservation Program. Thanks to generous donations made through the Grand Teton National Park Foundation, this marks the fourth year that the park has offered this youth employment opportunity.

Grand Teton plans to recruit 15-20 short-term positions. Applications must be postmarked by March 27, 2009.

The YCP is a summer employment program for high school students, ages 16 to 19. YCP enrollees develop an understanding of National Park Service conservation ethics as they assist with critically-needed maintenance and rehabilitation on park trails and pathways. Participants work alongside NPS crew leaders and become familiar with NPS stewardship goals, while learning essential trail maintenance skills.

YCP participants might also find themselves answering basic visitor questions and serving as park ambassadors as they complete project work on some of the most visible, and most impacted, park trails (i.e. Taggart, Bradley, Jenny and String lakes, and trails in the vicinity of Jackson Lake Lodge and Colter Bay).

YCP crews focus their efforts on projects dealing with rehabilitation of trails and backcountry areas through activities such as brushing, hazard tree removal, and construction of water bars and drainage swales. In addition to the project work, environmental education programs and extensive recreational opportunities are also offered.

The 2009 YCP program will run for ten weeks from June 22 through August 27. Participants must be at least 16 years of age by June 22, and live locally as housing is not provided. Applicants must also be United States citizens and students in good standing. Other qualifications include good team skills, a willingness to learn about Grand Teton National Park and its trail system, and the ability to work at a physically demanding job which may involve lifting 30-40 pounds. The program includes three work crews with five to six YCP trail members, and wages are set at $10.20 per hour.

As an extension of their mission to support new and innovative projects that add value to the park, the Grand Teton National Park Foundation provides funding for salaries, work boots, work pants, tee-shirts, and free transportation to and from Jackson for YCP participants. For more information about YCP and how to contribute to future YCP activities, or other Foundation programs, please call Leslie Mattson at 307.732.0629, or email .

To obtain an application or get further information about the 2009 YCP, please call Brian Bergsma in Grand Teton National Park at 307.739.3364, or write to YCP Program, GTNP, Drawer 170, Moose, WY 83012. Applications are also available online at [url= http://www.nps.gov/grte/misc/ycp.htm]this site[/url].