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Youth Volunteer Opportunities


Are you 14-18 years old and interested in a career in conservation, animal care, science, education or gaining practical experience to use towards your chosen career path? Do you want a chance to show your passion for wildlife and develop your leadership skills? Do you want to learn more about animals and the wonderful world we live in, mentor future generations, help protect the environment, participate in citizen science, or just be somewhere that you can make a difference?  Then the Zoo might be the place for you! We are looking for new youth volunteers for our June-August Summer Camp Assistant Volunteer Program and Summer Naturalist Volunteer Program. Participating in one of these two programs could make you eligible to join our year-round ZooTEAM youth volunteer program.

***If you are 18 years old and are a graduating high school senior in May with a dual credit transcript or have a college acceptance letter please go to the College Internship page.  

In order to be considered as a youth volunteer, you must:

  • Complete the online application form during the application period. April 1st-May 1st.

  • Attend an interview. (Typically these are the last 2-3 Saturdays in May for new youth volunteers.)

  • Have a parent or guardian sign a ‘Consent to volunteer’ form.

  • Have open availability to meet the volunteer time requirements.

  • Show strong personal and social maturity and maintain a professional attitude while representing the Zoo.

  • Attend mandatory orientation(s) and trainings.

  • Show a strong interest in learning about animals and conservation.

  • Have a passion for interacting in a diverse team.

  • Agree to read and abide by the policies listed in the Volunteer Handbook.

  • Maintain a customer friendly attitude.

  • Keep an accurate record of volunteer hours.

  • Report on time for volunteer service.

  • Wear a designated uniform and nametag while volunteering on Zoo property.

  • Notify Volunteer Services, in writing, of any change in volunteer status.


Summer Naturalist

Are you 14-18 years old interested in a conservation career? Do you love being outdoors, learning about animals, and protecting the environment? Join the San Antonio Zoo and make a difference in the world by participating in the Summer Naturalist program! As a Summer Naturalist volunteer, you will team up with like-minded teens that are passionate about conservation. College interns will act as mentors and guide you in teaching guest about how to conserve wildlife to Zoo guests. Teens will have the opportunity to interact directly with guests as they introduce topics about endangered species, conservation efforts, and more! This position is modeled after a traditional job setting, and applicants should be prepared to be treated as an employee. Successful applicants should have a desire to gain experience working in a Zoo environment, speak directly with the public, be interested in learning about conservation efforts, and attend all training and orientation sessions. Summer Naturalists agree to work 60 cumulative hours during the summer, on Thursday – Sunday from 10am-3pm. Applicants must apply between April 1st and May 1st. Please check back for more details during that time.

Summer Camp Team Assistant Volunteers

Summer Camp volunteers assist the Education Department with the summer camp programs for children 4-13 years of age. Camp volunteers help by facilitating crafts, preparing and cleaning up classrooms, leading activities and games, and assisting the Summer Camp instructors during tours with the campers in the Zoo and behind the scenes. Summer Camp Volunteers must be 15 -18 years of age. This position is modeled after a traditional job setting, and applicants should be prepared to be treated as an employee. Successful applicants should have a desire to gain experience working in a Zoo environment, model strong personal maturity, be prepared to interact with children of all ages, be interested in learning about conservation efforts, and attend all training and orientation sessions. Volunteers must commit to volunteer for at least two whole weeks every day, Monday-Friday. Applicants must apply between April 1st and May 1st. Please check back for more details during that time. 

 


ZooTEAM

ZooTEAM is a year-round youth volunteer program. Applicants must have volunteered for the Summer Naturalist Volunteer Program and/or the Summer Camp Volunteer Program to be considered for ZooTEAM.  ZooTEAM is for current youth volunteers that are interested in increasing their knowledge of zoo animals and conservation, have a desire to share information on the plants and animals with the public, be comfortable working as a team, and be looking for an opportunity to display leadership.  Volunteer opportunities are scheduled on weekends and ZooTEAM volunteers pick from a list of scheduled opportunities. Throughout the year, ZooTEAM volunteers help out with special events such as Zoo Run, Zoo Boo and Holiday Lights. ZooTEAM volunteers work with the Education Department to: educate zoo visitors about conservation and wildlife, help answer guest questions in our butterfly house and giraffe exhibit, assist with citizen science research, participate in offsite conservation programs, assist with craft and activity tables at Zoo events, assist with office work, help direct and answer general guest questions, and assist the zoo with service projects that become available. All ZooTEAM volunteers must commit to one-year of service and volunteer at least 12 hours per month. ZooTEAM are eligible to work as either Summer Naturalist or Summer Camp Volunteer during the summer. First year ZooTEAM do not handle or work with animals directly.