The ZOOTeen program offers volunteer opportunities to students between the ages of 13 and 17 who have a strong interest in education, animal science and conservation. It is a seasonal/year-round program that offers youth a range of opportunities.
- Host education activity stations covering a variety of animal topics
- Help in Nature’s Neighborhood, staffing the animal contact yard and other areas
- Use biofacts (hides, bones, etc) to educate visitors about our animals and exhibits
- Assist with Summer Camp programs
- Participate in a variety of off-grounds community service and conservation projects
- Make enrichment for the animals, provide clerical support, and other activities as needed
Training and Time Commitment
New ZOOTeens must attend an orientation series that covers volunteer opportunities, customer service training, biofacts, Nature’s Neighborhood duties, teaching techniques, and more. Training is provided by department staff and will be supplemented by optional classes for other programs.
ZOOTeens are required to complete the following requirements within the season (May – October):
- Volunteer at least 60 hours
- Attend at least 1 ZOOTeen meeting, held on the second Sunday of each month.
- Within the 60 hours, ZOOTeens are required to spend at least 20 hours participating in on-grounds education activities in addition to 1 community service or conservation project.
The ZOOTeen program requires an annual fee of $50 to cover the initial expenses of the program, including ZOOTeen shirts, training materials, name tag, etc. This fee is payable upon acceptance into the ZOOTeen program, and is not required at the time of application.
Support for Economically Disadvantaged Youth
Scholarships are available to cover the $50 program fee. In addition, transportation assistance (via TARTA) and meal allowances are available, on a limited basis, for qualifying youth. Please contact the Volunteer Manager to learn more about these programs, including qualifying information.
Year-Round ZOOTeens can support all the seasonal opportunities; in addition they may:
- Handle live animals for the purpose of public education
- Serve in leadership positions on the ZOOTeen Executive Board and Committees
- Participate in advanced projects such as Zoo Snoozin’s, Humane Society and more