What is a ZooTeen?
ZooTeens enjoy the zoo and learn life skills with other teens ages 14-18 and in high school through this unique and immersive volunteer program.
What does a ZooTeen do?
ZooTeens become part of the Zoo team, and are trained to help with many important roles at the zoo. Zooteens interact with guests, help with our special events, interpret our exhibits, animals, and biofacts to guests, conduct hands-on activities in family programs, assist with activities for children in day camps, and much more. Please note: Zooteens do not shadow keepers or veterinary staff, or assist them with animal care. Zooteen volunteer roles involve people as much as they involve animals.
There are many perks to becoming a ZooTeen. It is a fun way to spend time with other teens that enjoy being at the zoo, and they will become more familiar with the zoo culture. It is a great way for a student to to gain knowledge, skills, and experiences that will last a lifetime. They will gain resume- or scholarship-building experiences that will lend benefits to their college and career choices, including …
- Volunteer service
- Community engagement
- Public speaking
- Zoo culture
- Careers in science, natural resources, and education
- Plant and animal ecology
- Wildlife & environmental conservation
- Interpretation of exhibits, animals, and bio-facts
- Teaching and Interpreting to others
- Working with children
How do you become a ZooTeen?
The ZooTeen program has annual application, training and service requirements each year. These may change year to year, and will be published in the Zooteen program flyer below. Please read the requirements and expectations thoroughly.
- Read the Zooteen Program Flyer (link below) to find out more about the program, schedule, and requirements.
- Plan to attend an informational session for applicants and their families to learn more about the program (offered each Feb).
- Teens must be age 14-18 and currently in high school to apply.
- Complete the online ZooTeen Application (link is below & available Jan. 2-March 1) by the deadline (March 1 each spring).
- Zooteens must REAPPLY annually for an annual term – to begin March 15 for returning ZTs and in late March /April for new ZTs.
- The program is competitive. Priority is given to current Zooteens that have demonstrated excellence and dedication to the program.
- Plan ahead to attend mandatory spring training classes (two Saturdays in March / April) if accepted into the program.
Questions? call 812-435-0809, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
PARENTS – PLEASE NOTE: The ZooTeen program teaches teens independence and responsibility. ZooTeens become part of the Zoo Team, and we expect them to take initiative for managing their own volunteer service and communications. Teens are expected to understand the rules and expectations, fully participate in their trainings, communicate with Zoo Education staff via phone and email, and navigate Volgistics to signup for volunteer opportunities. Please allow your teen to be their own primary contact for the program. Please use the teen’s email and phone number in the application. Thank you!
Applications are posted and accepted Jan. 1 – March 1.
Training classes for new Zooteens are offered each spring in March/April.
RETURNING Zooteens will complete a different application form than NEW Zooteens, both of which are below.