Send Your Teens To Grand Teton National Park This Summer

Put your kids to work in Grand Teton National Park this summer. NPT file photo.

Help your kids gain an appreciation for the out-of-doors, and let them give Grand Teton National Park a helping hand, this summer by having them apply for the park's 2010 Youth Conservation Program.

This summer, thanks to donations through the Grand Teton National Park Foundation, will mark the fifth year that the park has been able to offer this program for 15-20 young adults.

The Youth Conservation Program is a summer employment program for high school students, age 16 to 19. YCP enrollees develop an understanding of National Park Service conservation ethics while working on 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 answer basic visitor questions and serve 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 various recreational opportunities are also offered.

The 2010 YCP program will run for ten weeks, from June 14 through August 19. Participants must be at least 16 years of age by June 14, 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 that could involve lifting 30-40 pounds. The program includes three work crews with five to six YCP trail members, and wages are set at $10.88 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, call Leslie Mattson at 307.732.0629, or email .

To obtain an application or get further information about the 2010 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 http://www.nps.gov/grte/supportyourpark/ycp.htm. The application deadline is March 12.