570-245-8518 7 East Water St. Lock Haven, PA 17745

to become a Conservation Ambassador!

At the Wildlife Leadership Academy we will empower you to become a Conservation Ambassador in order to create a sustained wildlife, fisheries and natural resource legacy for future generations.

You will complete this program with extensive knowledge about wildlife and conservation, with leadership and communication skills and become a certified Conservation Ambassador.

As a graduate of the Wildlife Leadership Academy program you will receive:

  • An official document that acknowledges your time spent on community outreach.
  • A certificate that designates you as a Conservation Ambassador.
  • The opportunity to obtain three college credits through Cedar Crest College.

PLUS, you will be eligible to:

  • Apply to return to the program the following year as a youth mentor tuition free.
  • Attend a professional wildlife or fisheries conference.
  • Compete for college scholarships.
  • Attend college visit days to schools that have wildlife/fisheries and conservation programs.
  • Request letters of recommendation for college applications and job opportunities.
  • Join an Academy Alumni Network of over 100+ wildlife, fisheries, and conservation professionals.

Your journey to become a Conservation Ambassador begins by attending one of our 5-day residential summer field schools. Each of our field schools focus on a different wildlife or fish species.  Click here to see our 2023 field school dates and curriculum line up.

At each field school you will:

  • Learn hands-on about wildlife, habitat management and conservation in an enriching environment from over 20+ wildlife professionals from the PA Game Commission, the PA Fish and Boat Commission, and more,
  • Hone your leadership and communications skills and
  • Leave prepared to use these skills to become an ambassador for conservation in your community.

After field school, our dedicated Youth and Alumni Outreach Manager will help you be successful with your community outreach by:

  • Giving you clear guidelines for how to complete your outreach.
  • Sending you monthly outreach opportunities only available to Ambassadors.
  • Being available to answers questions or help you by phone and/or email five days a week.

A testimonial from Eli, WLA youth Participant:

“When I showed up, I found 25 like-minded teenagers who knew just as much if not more than I did. From the minute I walked in the door to the minute I left, everyone was extremely friendly and helpful. I enjoyed every minute of it. Every one of the instructors was very knowledgeable and willing to work with you one-on-one. The schedule was packed full with educational lectures and a fair share of fun. Everything you do at the academy, even the fun stuff has a purpose. Whether it is stacking cans blindfolded and only using words to communicate or marching, all the activities had a purpose. At the end of the week, I felt as if I had spent a week in a school filled to the brim with knowledge of conservation and biology. I won’t lie. It was a tiring experience with wake up at 6:00 a.m and working until 11:00p.m., but in the end, you felt as if you accomplished something.

I don’t think anyone can spend a week at the Academy and not have a deeper sense of gratitude, and wish to protect the natural treasures we have here in America. Attending the Academy has given me a whole new outlook on the history and future of conservation, and what I can do to make sure that the forests and streams I enjoy today will be protected for many years to come. I like the fact that the Wildlife Leadership Academy goes beyond the field school and that you are expected to preform conservation related outreach after you leave the Academy. I think that the outreach is what make WLA standout among all other conservation related camps for teenagers now days.”

A note from a Wildlife Leadership Academy mom:

Dear Michele,

The Wildlife Leadership Academy has been an exceptional program for Luke. The hands-on learning, presentations and demonstration of leadership has helped him polish these skills.

Seriously, we cannot Thank You enough.

Luke recently presented his graduation project and displayed his Academy published blog paper and received a 100%.  The two English teachers and one other teacher told him that his presentation was one of the best over all the years.

Also, thank you so very much for the awesome recommendation letter.  Luke will be attending PSU- DuBois in the fall.  We are very excited for him.

With much appreciation, Kris B.


We are looking for highly motivated 14-17 year-old students with an interest in wildlife and/or fisheries conservation and the outdoors. Applicants will be selected based on academic achievements and activities, non-academic achievements and activities, and a personal essay.

The application process begins with filling out an online preliminary application (find link below).

Once you complete the preliminary application, if eligible, you will be invited to submit an essay upon which final acceptance will be decided.

Tuition + Scholarship Support

Tuition Cost is $600 which includes housing and meals.  Scholarship support is available at 50% ($300) and 80% ($480) levels.    ** If you are requesting scholarship support you will receive a scholarship application during the application process. If you need additional support beyond 80% because of financial need – you may request that as well!

The Wildlife Leadership Academy program goes beyond one week, beyond one year – it is an experience that will last you a lifetime.

We are invested in supporting and nurturing your passion for the environment.

We want you to be part of the solution. We want you to become a CONSERVATION AMBASSADOR to ensure a sustained wildlife, fisheries and natural resource legacy for future generations.

We want YOU – an inspired, dedicated leader for conservation – to take your passion to the next level and join our team.

**2023 Applications will be posted the first week of January**


Frequently Asked Questions by Applicants

Are there tuition scholarships available?

Tuition Cost is $600 which includes housing and meals. Scholarship support is available at 50% ($500) and 80% ($480) levels; you will receive a scholarship application during the application process.  If accepted, you are also encouraged to connect with your community to find tuition support.

If I am 13 or 18 can I apply?

Our preference is for ages 14-17.  However, for 13 year old applicants, if you are competitive and mature, you may be selected to attend field school. We rarely select 18 year old applicants as program expectations are that youth complete community outreach after the field school and most 18 year olds (high school seniors) are likely off to college.

Is this an overnight camp?

Yes, the field school is 5 days/4 nights. However, the Wildlife Leadership Academy is not just a one week program, if accepted, you are mentored and expected to engage in conservation focused community outreach after the field school. In addition, we aim to support the success of our Academy Alumni from high school to college to career.

What are the dates for 2023 field schools

Note: when applying you will be able to denote your field school of interest by rank. Click here to view 2023 Wildlife Leadership Academy Dates and Locations.

More Questions?

Contact Youth and Alumni Outreach Manager, Katie Cassidy, at 570-939-5109 or kcassidy@wildlifeleadershipacademy.org