Zoo Crew

Teen Volunteer Program

If you are passionate about animals, you enjoy working with kids, and have ever wanted to know what a zookeeper's day is like, Denver Zoo's Teen Volunteer Program, Zoo Crew, might be the place for you! Zoo Crew runs primarily in the summer months (June-August), and supports a variety of areas around the zoo.
Zoo Crew logo

Requirements

  • Teen volunteers are required to commit to 75 hours of service per summer (June through August) with several shifts each month.
  • First-year teen volunteers must commit to three weeks (M-F, mornings or afternoons) of volunteering during the summer months to support Summer Safari, Denver Zoo's summer camp. These hours go towards your minimum hours requirement.
  • All current teen volunteers have the option in the fall to volunteer year-round, after participating for at least one summer season.  These teens must commit to at least one shift per month.
  • Teens must be able to perform position duties as assigned including being able to work outside in summer weather conditions.
  • Teens need to be able to communicate with guests, other teen and adult volunteers as well as staff.
  • Teens need to be able to volunteer independently and alongside other teen and adult volunteers.

Junior Crew

(Year 1 in Zoo Crew)

  • Summer Safari: Denver Zoo’s summer camp is where Junior Crew members will earn most of their hours, assisting camp instructors with games, zoo tours, and educational activities.
  • Interpretive Stations: spend your day interacting with visitors of all ages as you lead activities such as educational games, showing animal biofacts, and talking about conservation with Zoo guests.
  • Special Events: All teens can expect to assist with at least one of the Zoo’s special events by running activity centers, helping with set up or leading interpretive stations.
  • Animal Department: First-year teen volunteers also have a few opportunities to assist veteran teen volunteers with daily animal husbandry responsibilities such as cleaning, diet preparation and animal enrichment.  Teens 16 or older may also help at the Nutrition Center, the Zoo’s animal kitchen.

Volunteens

(Year 2+ in Zoo Crew)

After one summer of participation, teens are required to assist with one week of Summer Safari, one Special Event and to continue their work at Teen Interpretive Stations around the Zoo. In addition, the second year and beyond is a time when teens can tailor their own experience at the Zoo by applying to one or more Volunteen positions in the areas that they choose. Volunteen positions are available in a variety of departments, and are wonderful opportunities for increased responsibility and new experiences throughout the Zoo!

Tuition

$150 nonrefundable tuition fee (due no later than May 1 of each year). Tuition Assistance is available. Visit Denver Zoo's Scholarship Page to apply  (Select "Individual Program" )  Tuition helps cover costs of Zoo Crew T-shirt uniforms and name tag, as well as daily supervision, program supplies and materials, training and continuing education programs, annual award ceremony, social events and CampOUTs. Scholarship requests are due no later than April 15 each year.

We do not offer one-time volunteer or community service opportunities for school or court appointed teens.

Additional Information

Expectations

  • HAVE FUN!
  • Confirm and secure all necessary means of transportation
  • Commit to the areas they are assigned to and report to shifts on time
  • Attend all mandatory training sessions at the Zoo
  • Abide by all Zoo rules set forth in the teen volunteer handbook
  • Comply to Zoo Crew uniform specifications and wear nametag
  • Teen must meet basic requirements and abide by zoo safety and behavior policies, both in public and behind the scenes areas.

Teens will be provided with:

  • All necessary training & handbooks
  • Zoo Crew uniform, including T-shirts and a nametag
  • Opportunities to meet and interact with Zoo professionals
  • The chance to learn about animal related careers, conservation and zoo operations
  • The opportunity to form friendships with teens who share similar goals and interests
  • Fun, Fun, Fun!

Zoo Crew Tuition

  • Tuition must be paid yearly by the first day of summer.
  • You will need a password to be able to complete your payment, if you do not know the password contact a Teen Programs Staff person.

Questions?

For more information please call the Teen Programs Specialist at (720) 337-1491 or e-mail at teenvolunteers@denverzoo.org.