Wisconsin students interested in the outdoors are invited to join the Youth Conservation Congress (YCC), a statewide youth program designed to grow and develop future conservation leaders across Wisconsin. 

The YCC is a student extension of the Wisconsin Conservation Congress. 

The purpose of the YCC is to give young people a voice and instill a sense of ownership, civic pride and advocacy for Wisconsin’s natural resources. 

The YCC program offers opportunities for students from all backgrounds, including seasoned outdoor enthusiasts and novices alike. Although the program is best suited for high school students, younger individuals are welcome to apply.

“I am especially excited about this program because it allows youths an incredible opportunity to work directly with a variety of natural resources managers and experienced outdoor mentors,” said YCC Coordinator Kyle Zenz, who is working to connect more students with the YCC.

YCC student delegates are exposed to various aspects of natural resources management and have access to professionals in those fields. Students also receive real-world experience through a variety of service-learning opportunities.

By joining, members gain an understanding of the process for how Wisconsin’s natural resources policy is determined, including the role and history of the Wisconsin Conservation Congress, the state’s statutorily-recognized citizen advisory body.

The YCC program mirrors the Wisconsin Conservation Congress’ focus on county-level initiatives. County Congress members serve as mentors and as a point of local contact for the YCC delegates. 

Youths who are interested in the program should contact Zenz at kyle.zenz@wisconsin.gov or (715) 299-0925 with questions  and how to apply for the program.