Summer Youth Practicum

The Summer Youth Practicum (SYP) is designed to provide Native American students (incoming 10th – 12th grade) an opportunity to gain hands-on and in-lecture experience in the interdisciplinary components of natural resource management and Indigenous knowledge. One of the goals of the NAFWS is to educate Native American youth to understand the importance of professional natural resource management and the interconnectedness to culture, as well encourage them to continue their education and pursue careers in the natural resource fields.


Is planned and implemented by our national office and the education coordinator. This week long program is in the beautiful and mountainous Estes Park, Colorado. Students from the continental U.S. are encouraged to apply.


Download 2024 National SYP Application Packet

Application due date is Friday, April 26, 2024 at 10 pm Mountain Time


Download Letter of Recommendation 1 Cover Sheet


Download General National SYP Flier - PNG VersionDownload General National SYP Flier - PDF Version


are planned and implemented by the NAFWS regions with the aid of the national office. The week long programs are located in various locations and depend on the region. Regional SYP’s are opened to students that are residents of the specific region.

Learn more about the Alaska SYP.

National Summer Youth Practicum Video

Frequently Asked Questions & Answers: National SYP

If the student is graduating from 12th grade in May/Spring 2024, are they eligible to apply? 

  • If the graduating senior is still under the age of 18 by July 28, 2024, yes they can apply.
  • If the graduating senior (May/Spring 2024) is 18 years old or older before July 28, 2024, they are not eligible.

Tribally enrolled students are eligible to apply, how about descendants? 

  • Yes, student’s that are descendants may apply. In addition, we recommend/suggest that if students are descendants and want to ever claim “Indian Preference” on future college scholarships, jobs, completing the BIA Form 4432 is necessary and would be helpful. The BIA Form 4432 requires certain signatures, so ensure that allocate adequate time to complete.

How are students selected to attend the National SYP? 

  • Student applications are reviewed by the National SYP review committee. Reviewing applications take time due to carefully assessing student’s creative submissions and to ensure that all prompts are addressed.

What travel is covered for the student attending the National SYP?  

  • We cover the student’s airfare from their home to Denver, CO. We provide food and lodging for the duration of the program from lunch on July 21  to breakfast on July 28, 2024. We send a check prior to their travel to cover student’s mileage (GSA-based) from residence to the nearest airport (2 round trips, mileage from residence to airport then airport to residence).

Do you fund a chaperone’s travel to travel and attend with the student?

  • Currently, we do not. The past years of the National SYP program, we did not have chaperones attend and travel with the student. Students have been traveling on their own to the National SYP – we do provide a Flight Guide to aid in student’s travel, hold a parent/student meeting prior to travel to go over logistics/questions, we pick up the students at the airport, and we provide all of our contact information so we stay in contact through the student travel process.
  • For student’s flying for the first time, we encourage parents/guardians to walk them through the airport process, review the Flight Guide together, and if possible, take the student to the airport prior to travel to walk them through how the airport process works/flows.
    • If a parent/guardian is interested and concerned about their students safety through the airport, at the time of 2024 National SYP acceptance and travel arrangements, we will purchase the gateway pass through the airline so that parent/guardian can walk with their student to their airline gate.

Do you have applications to be a chaperone for the National SYP?

  • No, we do not have applications for chaperones or mentors, we utilize NAFWS staff, interns, members and partners to serve as chaperones for the National SYP.

Do you pay for the student’s luggage? 

At the time of travel, we do not pay or provide funding for the student’s checked luggage for their airfare. However, after the National SYP, we allow the student/parent or guardian to submit a Luggage Reimbursement Form (attached with luggage receipts), then we send a check for luggage reimbursement for 1 checked bag round trip ONLY, we do not cover overweight luggage or 2nd checked luggage.

What airport do the student’s fly into?

Student’s fly into Denver International Airport, where they will meet with NAFWS staff to be picked up and transported to CSU Mountain Campus.

What if we (parent/guardian) want to drive our student to CSU Mountain Campus to drop off  before the program and pick up after the program?

You can decide to drive to CSU Mountain Campus to drop off your student, and pick up your student in Denver, CO; however, we will have to do a price comparison for the travel costs, to abide by our NAFWS Travel Policy. This means that if driving costs more than a roundtrip airfare, the NAFWS will cover the roundtrip airfare costs. In other words, the NAFWS will cover the most cost-efficient mode of travel.

I have two students that want to attend together, do they submit 1 application or would they both need to submit an application?

There should be 1 application submitted per student, even if the student’s are siblings. Also, note that there is no guarantee that students that want to or plan to attend as a group or together, will all be accepted. This allows space and diversity for other student’s who may be applying on their own.

Great times at the 2023 National SYP

More information about our Scholarships & Internships

 If you are interested or would like to share this opportunity, please click for the application by clicking the link below.

In Recognition of Their Support

The Native American Fish and Wildlife Society would like to thank those organizations that provided us with support over the years. With them we grew an effective national communications network for the exchange of information and management techniques related to self-determined tribal fish and wildlife management.

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