Youth Programs and Scholarships

Through the generous support of donors like you, we are able to provide transformative educational experiences in nature. Thank you for inspiring and empowering environmental stewardship today!

Want to apply for Scholarships? Find out more under the program area you're interested in: Adult and Family Programs; Youth Leadership Adventures

Mountain School

© Buff Black
Mountain School is our 33 year-old residential education program at the Environmental Learning Center in the heart of North Cascades National Park. Over 3 days, students spend 60 hours learning about ecological communities with their classmates, teachers, and parent chaperones. Hands-on, interdisciplinary experiences connect students to the natural and cultural history of our watershed. For most, this is the first time they visit a national park, spend a night away from home, and discover the connections between their lives, communities, and the environment. To reduce barriers, we prioritize participation of full school districts and subsidize fees on a sliding-scale, based on Free & Reduced Lunch percentages. We also provide clothing and nutritious locally-sourced meals. Over 2,500 students participate each year with 96% of schools receiving financial aid.

Deep in the forested embrace of the upper Skagit River Valley, you can find the next two generations of Americans getting to know a national park. I heard hooting like owls and howling like wolves, coming from a circle of fifth graders and their wilderness instructors.”

— Timothy Egan, National Geographic

Give to support Mountain School 

Youth Leadership Adventures

Youth Leadership Adventures offers local high school students 9-day backcountry and canoe-camping trips in the North Cascades National Park and Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. Through immersion in an alpine environment shaped by glaciers, these trips inspire our participants to discover their leadership strengths, build an inclusive community with their peers, and identify pathways to a hopeful and sustainable vision of the future. YLA encourages young people to be stewards of protected lands and gives them the skills and confidence to continue to recreate outdoors for years to come. Thanks to the support of individual donors, the National Park Service, and grants, YLA provides full and partial scholarships to all participants. 

Before this trip I was a shy girl from a small town. Now I know that I shouldn't be afraid to use my voice. I should act on issues that matter to me, like climate change."

— Youth Leadership Adventures Student

These students come from diverse backgrounds. Some are first generation immigrants; some have grown up in rural gateway communities; many could not participate in this program without a scholarship. A gift of $1,500 can provide a named scholarship for a Youth Leadership Adventures Student.

Give a Youth Leadership Adventures Scholarship. 

Endowed Scholarship Funds

Ensure that your scholarship gift lives in perpetuity. An endowment fund creates a legacy that speaks to an individual’s life, values, and commitments while making a difference in the lives of these students. A minimum gift of $25,000 (which may be pledged over 2-3 years) will establish an endowed scholarship. An endowed fund can be created through a bequest, charitable remainder trust, existing life insurance policy, or by endowing a fund today. We will work closely with you to formalize an endowment agreement that reflects your giving intentions, and honors your intent in perpetuity. Each year scholarships will be awarded from the earnings on the fund based on board approved spending policies (typically a 4% distribution is calculated).