youth scholarships

Students at Audubon Youth Birding Camp in Maine. Photo: SMRA/Lewis Lolya.
Students at Audubon Youth Birding Camp in Maine. Photo: SMRA/Lewis Lolya.

Saw Mill River Audubon offers scholarships to youth age 13-17 to help underwrite the costs for a environmental camp, workshop or class.

Over the past 65 years, we have assisted over 160 youth and adults with scholarships.

Our scholarships are not awarded on the basis of financial need but on the level of environmental interest shown by the applicant through coursework and/or extracurricular or volunteer activities.

We especially focus on applicants who will apply their experience in ongoing environmental education and outreach in their circles of influence where in local communities, school or work.

The Larry Light Memorial Scholarship Fund for Youth was established by the Light family and their friends in 1981 and has been strengthened over the years with additional gifts from our members and friends.

programs funded

Camp Avocet youth birding camp, American Birding Association. Photo: ABA.
Camp Avocet youth birding camp, American Birding Association. Photo: ABA.

Below are examples of what we have funded in the past but our scholarships are not limited to these programs.

The maximum amount of our youth scholarship award varies based on funds available but has typically covered all or most program costs.

Applicants select their program themselves and then apply for a SMRA scholarship.

We now have a rolling deadline for applications. As soon as you know the event you want to attend, use this online application to apply.

how to apply

We typically make a decision with a month of your application but do plan ahead since many summer youth programs will fill up by January!

past awards

  • 2020: Adam Vinson: National Audubon Youth Birding Virtual Camp
  • 2019: Erik Brodsky, National Audubon Coastal Bird Studies for Teens, Maine
  • 2018: Aidan Perkins, VENT/American Birding Association, Camp Chiricahua, Arizona
  • 2017: Hannah Mirando, Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology Young Birder Event
  • 2017: Max Kogut, National Audubon Youth Birding Camp, Maine
  • 2016: Mack Meller, National Audubon Youth Birding Camp, Maine
  • 2015: Eamon Freiburger, National Audubon Youth Birding Camp, Maine
  • 2015: Josiah Wiedenheft, New York Department of Environmental Conservation Wildlife Camp
  • 2014: Alex Chin, New York Department of Environmental Conservation Wildlife Camp
  • 2013: Anna Roberto, Minnesota Owl Banding Research Trip
  • 2011: Lewis Lolya, National Audubon Youth Birding Camp
  • 2010: Benjamin Van Doren, American Birding Association Youth Birding Camp
  • 2010: Sophia West, Fiji Marine Biology Study Trip
  • 2009: Kyle Bardwell, Costa Rica SMRA Birding Trip