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LINC students participating in a variety of outdoor activities
LINC 2021 participants enjoyed a variety of in-person outdoor learning experiences with COVID-19 precautions as part of a hybrid online/in-person program. Photos by Adriana Castillo and Grecia Pacheco.

Do you enjoy being outside? Are you looking for a meaningful way to spend the summer and willing to try new things? 

Linking Individuals to their Natural Community (LINC) is a six-week program that brings youth from across the Bay Area together to participate in a variety of local service projects, education, recreation, and skills-building workshops to gain career and leadership skills. Projects and activities will vary week to week and may include: 

  • Service projects: trail work, habitat restoration, and community cleanups, etc. 
  • Professional development: building resumes, mock interviews, and networking with park partners 
  • Opportunities to experience and gain soft job skills like facilitation, team building, and healthy communication styles
  • Opportunities to experience and learn technical job skills like wildlife monitoring or carpentry
  • Overnight service camping trip to a national park  
  • Practicing wildlife observation using tools like iNaturalist
  • Participating in team-building exercises like ropes courses, kayaking, or field games
  • Collaborating and networking with other youth programs throughout the summer
  • Learning about your local, state, and national parks

Schedule: This program meets Tuesday–Friday for six weeks. We are planning for a fully in-person program for summer 2023. Pending COVID-19 safety restrictions, we will adapt to virtual/hybrid programming as needed. 

2023 Program dates: June 13–July 28, 2023 (*There will be a one-week break July 4-7.*) 

Stipend: At the conclusion of the program, all participants receive up to a $2300 cash education award.

Application: closed for the 2023 program.

For more information, please contact either:

Adriana Castillo (LINC North),

Daryl Burton (LINC South),

Questions and additional information: 

  • You want to make connections with other like-minded youth across the Bay Area who are interested in science and the outdoors 
  • You are interested in exploring your local parks and going on local adventures
  • You are open and flexible to a dynamic program with certain uncertainty 
  • You want to gain a better understanding of climate change impacts to your local community  
  • You are dependable and accountable when working individually and, in a team 
  • You are interested in challenging yourself to grow as a leader 
  • You can commit and attend all program dates

The program typically consists of two cohorts, one in Marin County (LINC: North) and another team based in San Francisco (LINC: South). This year the LINC team will be made up of 24 participants (12 youth in each cohort) who will meet four times a week from Tuesday-Friday. The cohorts will work closely together throughout the summer. Please note that there will be some days when each cohort will meet separately.

This program meets Tuesdays–Fridays with some occasional Saturdays. This year the program will start on June 13, 2023 and end on July 28, 2023.

Key dates:

Application due date: Sunday, March 12

Family & Student Orientation: Saturday, May 20

Program starts: Tuesday, June 13

Program week break: Tuesday, July 4 - Friday, July 7

Program ends: July 28

Yes, we can provide transportation for youth who need it. We will have a designated pick-up location. For LINC North there will be a pickup location in Marin City and San Rafael Bus Transit Center. For LINC South, a pickup location will be determined in the Spring.

We will also provide Clipper Card funds for public transportation for students to get to and from the program during the summer.

No, the program does not cost anything.

Please CLICK HERE TO APPLY. The application includes the following short essay question:

Why does this summer experience interest you?

Your response must be 100 - 250 words.

We also require at least one reference; a reference cannot be a family member or friend. Examples of a reference: coach, teacher, counselor, mentor, etc.

How to best prepare: 

Q: How will interviews be conducted? All interviews will be conducted in person, please arrive on time. 

Q: What should I do if I’m going to be late for my interview? Please call your interviewer as soon as possible if you know that you will be late. Your interview confirmation email will provide a phone number you can contact in case you need to make any changes.  

Q. What will the interview questions be like? We want to make the interview as comfortable as possible for you. We ask questions so that we can get to know you better and understand how you will fit into the LINC team.  

Here are a few questions that we may ask during your interview:  

1. What part of this program are you the most excited about? 

2. What role do you play in a group or team?  

3. What is your relationship with nature and the outdoors?  

4. What is a change that you’d like to see in your community?  

5. What is a project that you’ve been a part of that you are proud of?