Student Conservation Corps & Congress (Sc3) is a week long leadership training program held annually at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife’s National Conservation Training Center (NCTC) – the nation's top environmental training facility. Participants, also known as Sc3 Fellows, spend a week learning from world-renown experts as well as studying and discussing environmental, social, and economic interconnections to address natural resource conservation challenges affecting their generation in an ever changing world. Take a look at the 2017 featured speakers.

While at Sc3, students design Action Plans to implement their knowledge in their schools, homes and communities. Sc3 Fellows learn a range of practical skills such as public speaking, teamwork, problem solving, critical thinking, inclusivity and conflict resolution.

A week-long journey that lasts a lifetime

WHO: Current 8th - 11th Grade Students

WHEN: June 25 - July 1, 2017

WHERE: National Conservation Training Center, Shepherdstown, WV 

Share Sc3 information at your school!  Download the FLYER  •  POSTER  •  BROCHURE

Applications are closed for 2017

For New Students Room and Board
Includes all on-site food and lodging
Program Fee
Includes all speakers, river trip, training activities
Total Cost
Early Bird:
Apply by March 15
$700 $250 $950*
March 16 - April 15
$700 $400 $1,100*
April 16 - May 15
$700 $550 $1,250*

    * Free shuttle transportation between Washington, D.C.'s Union Station or Dulles Airport and the NCTC campus.

Returning Students MUST apply by March 1!
Returning students may get reduced rates based on leadership position acceptance.

Financial Aid is available!
We do not want financial challenges to prevent any qualified student from being able to participate in Sc3. Applications are reviewed on a needs-blind basis. If you require financial aid to cover part or all of the cost of the program, please contact us at



Students come face-to-face with, have conversations with and are mentored by inspiring speakers and experts who are leaders of change in the conservation field. Check out the 2017 speakers.


Fellows set the discussion topics for the conference in a process called Open Space Technology (OST).Through this, they are able to form discussion groups on issues ranging from clean energy to wildlife conservation, and create actionable solutions to some of the most pressing environmental issues. In addition to OST groups, students be able to attend workshops hosted by environmental professionals on topics such as pollinators, environmental justice and pond ecology.


Sc3 is not only a week of  discussions and studying--it is also a place to explore the outdoors and engage with the environment! Fellows experience kayaking down the Potomac River, take part in outdoor service projects, bug walks, star gazing, and plenty of physical activities from yoga to Zumba to our end of the week dance party.

After Sc3:

By the end of the week, Sc3 Fellows have designed Action Plans that give them a chance to implement their knowledge to better serve their schools, homes and communities. Sc3 Fellows also learn a range of practical skills such as public speaking, communication skills, teamwork  collaboration,adaptability, problem solving, critical observation, and conflict resolution.

Sc3 is time for self reflection and enjoyment of the outdoors. Sc3 is an inspiring and rejuvenating opportunity for like-minded students to come together from across the world to empower one another to become the next generation of conservation leaders and together, change the world.



The NCTC Campus

Set on a forested property on the Potomac River northwest of Washington, D.C., the National Conservation Training Center (NCTC) is the U.S. Department of Interior’s premier training facility. Home to rugged hiking trails through Eastern hardwood forests, meadows, wild birds and other native wildlife, the facility hosts national researchers, field experts, teachers, and leadership trainers, and welcomes 15,000 individuals annually for a variety of science, conservation and leadership trainings.

Visitors stay in beautifully appointed lodges where conservationist history, in the form of photos and letters of notable figures, adorns the walls of the community living spaces. As the "home" of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, NCTC collects and values our historical legacy in the midst of this vibrant new center of learning and research. Fellows leave the NCTC with a greater appreciation for America’s conservation heritage.



Dopper’s mission is to achieve a world in which people are conscious of the environment we live in, where the amount of single-use plastic is reduced and where everyone, near and far, has access to safe drinking water.

Voltaic Systems is a portable power company that conserves resources by using environmentally preferable materials, making products modular for easy repair, choosing solar panels that have a long lifetime, and eliminating unnecessary packaging.

Three Twins Ice Cream produces inconceivably delicious organic ice cream that is affordable and accessible while giving back. Everything they produce is organic and served our scoops in compostable dishes with compostable spoons.

Bogobrush makes recyclable and biodegradable toothbrushes. Their plant-based bioplastic is mixed with leftover plant material from american farms to create a beautifully biodegradable toothbrush handle.  Withe each toothbrush you buy, one is given to somone in need.

Jamcare's mission is to provide the best medical care available, specializing in crisis intervention, drug education, community support and wellness to attendees at music festivals, other mass gatherings and to the community at large.
Rivanna logo
Rivanna Natural Designs creates and builds unique recognition products that honor our planet and celebrate the beauty of nature. Their elegant, planet-friendly awards will breathe new life, energy, and meaning into your award programs.
Friends of the National Conservation Training Center actively supports the mission of the National Conservation Training Center by supporting their community outreach programs and extending the reach of this world-class facility.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Retirees Association recognizes and preserves the rich history of the U.S. FWS and the many contributions of its present and past employees, to foster the preservation and use of the historical treasures, documents, objects and information of the Service’s unique history and values. 
Potomac Valley Audubon Society
Potomac Valley Audubon Society is a chapter of the National Audubon Society and draws its members from Jefferson, Berkeley, and Morgan counties in West Virginia and Washington County, Maryland. PVAS's programs and activities are focused on promoting greater understanding and appreciation of the natural world.
Conserve School
Conserve School is aimed at students who feel a strong attachment to the natural world and who are motivated to conserve it. This semester-long immersion in environmental studies and outdoor activities deepens students’ love of nature, reinforces their commitment to conservation.
Chewonki Semester School
Chewonki Semester School provides a challenging academic program for a small number of highly motivated and academically capable students. Students live on a 400-acre peninsula, and connect to the natural world while linking practical experiences to the intellectual work of academic pursuits.

For Accepted Students

If you have been ACCEPTED to Sc3 2017, follow this link for payment information and the Sc3 Accepted Student Handbook.

Sc3 Fellow Awards

Each year special awards are given to Sc3 Fellows who have demonstrated extraordinary leadership and commitment required to make a lasting difference in their community and in the world.

Photo Gallery

Want to be an Intern?

Each year, Alliance staff and student leaders review applicants from that year's Sc3 and select students who have demonstrated outstanding leadership skills and commitment levels to sustainability practices.


"Sc3 was a place where I found a community who was as committed to sustainability as I was, and that was a really rewarding experience. I went home with new friendships and a notebook full of new ideas to change my community. Plus, being surrounded by fireflies and people who love nature led to my newfound appreciation of bugs; it’s a whole world of creatures to love that I was introduced to at Sc3! " - Soumya

"Sc3 opened me up to a world where anyone can make a difference. I discovered that all over the country, and all over the world, there are people who value nature and who really believe we can save the world. It gave me a new perspective; it showed me people are small, but the differences they can make are big! "- Sarah

"Sc3 was an incredible opportunity to meet people who are as passionate about sustainability as I am. It exposed me to an amazing network of extremely qualified and dedicated individuals who have inspired me to never give up in my environmental pursuits. They have taught me priceless things about the world I live in and just exactly what needs to be done to change it for the better." - Jax

"Sc3 was an absolutely amazing opportunity. Not only was it super fun doing activities and meeting interesting people, it also taught me a lot about the wonderful and complex world around me. Sc3 stresses the fact that everyone can be a part of changing the world. Sc3 made me love and care about the environment, and I would definitely recommend this incredible experience!!!" - Madeline

"Sc3 provided me with a unique opportunity to spend an entire week with students all around the country who share my same interests and passions. I got to listen to fantastic speakers and spend time with amazing people who truly care about what they are doing. Sc3 helped to further provide me with the necessary skill set necessary to make tangible differences. It is a week I will never forget and I highly recommend applying." - Connor

"Sc3 was an absolutely amazing and eye-opening experience. I was able to connect on a deep level not only with students from all over America (and even some from other countries!), but also with faculty members, and even keynote speakers, because of the shared core values of conservation and sustainability. I've never been in such an inspiring environment before; everyone was so passionate about the same thing, and yet I was able to learn something new from everyone. I felt like I was capable of making a change, and Sc3 not only instilled in me the motivation and the skills I needed to do so, but also reminded me of the importance of collaboration." - Jessie

"Instead of Student Conservation Corps and Congress, Sc3 could also stand for Students Committed to Creating Change! At Sc3 I was able to meet fabulous individuals who taught me that together, as a community, we can be the change this world needs. Come to Sc3 to make your pledge and find a support system of friends to back you up every step of the way. The future of this planet may look bleak at times, but after attending Sc3 you will develop the motivation, drive, and willingness to be part of the movement for change!" - Jessica

"Attending the Sc3 was one of the highlights of my year; as I explored my environmental passions, had discussions with other like-minded students and faculty, and heard from some amazing speakers, I became inspired to spark change in my own community. One very unique thing about Sc3 is that everyone who's there wants to be there, learn about conservation and the environment, give each other ideas, and encourage each other. Everyone was so inspiring with the things they had already accomplished, and the things they aspired to do. Sc3 was a supportive atmosphere for everyone, and I'm so thankful to have been a part of such a community." - Megan