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PHONE: (208) 608-7760

ZooTeen Program

Are you a teen looking for an opportunity to spend the summer at the zoo? How about Zoo Boise’s ZooTeen program? As a ZooTeen you’ll focus on educating Zoo Boise visitors and will gain experience with teaching, leadership, and public speaking. You’ll also learn about animals and play a part in our wildlife conservation mission.

ZooTeen applications are closed for 2017, please check back for the 2018 schedule.

The ZooTeen program is generously sponsored by:

Duties

Assist with summer camps for children, provide informal educational presentations for zoo visitors, assist in the operation of seasonal exhibits, and assist in Zoo Boise’s wildlife conservation mission.

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Time Commitment

Weekly 4-hour shift (9:15am – 1:15pm or 1:00pm – 5:00pm); minimum 48 service hours within June, July, and August.  ZooTeens assisting with camp will volunteer from 8:00-5:00.

Orientation

An initial two-day orientation is required by those accepted into the ZooTeen program. New teens are required to attend an all day orientation on June 3 and 4.  Teens unable to attend orientation will not be able to participate in the 2017 ZooTeen program.

Tuition

$100 tuition fee includes (non-refundable):

  1. Daily mentoring and supervision of Zoo Teens by skilled Zoo Boise staff members
  2. Initial orientation and continuous, daily training in:
    • Professionalism & job skills
    • Leadership, public speaking, and communication skills
    • Animal biology, wildlife habitats, ecology and wildlife conservation
  3. Program supplies & materials for:
    • One Zoo Boise uniform shirt
    • End-of-summer party
    • Orientation and training
    • And more . . . .!
  4. Opportunities for FUN!

Age Requirements

Ages 13 (entering 8th grade the following fall) to 18 (entering 12th grade).
NO EXCEPTIONS.

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A Note to Parents & Guardians

The ZooTeen program at Zoo Boise provides a fun and educational activity for your teen. We make every effort to maintain a quality program which also requires assistance from you. We emphasize to the student that they are making a commitment to Zoo Boise and it requires your support for them to fulfill their commitment. Please encourage your teen to take the application and interview seriously as it will assist Zoo Boise in selecting applicants.

2017 ZooTeen Program Calendar

2017 ZooTeen Calendar:

January 2 – Applications Available (online)
ZooTeen Info Nights for teen & parent/guardian (mandatory – must choose one)
March 14 – 6:00pm – 7:00pm
March 20 – 6:00pm – 7:00pm
March 22 – 6:00pm – 7:00pm
March 24 – Application due by 5:00pm – includes Letter of Reference
April 4-21 – Interviews
May 1 – Notification of acceptance
May 20 – Returning ZooTeen Refresher 9:00am-4:30pm Returning Teens Only
June 3 -4 –  NEW Zoo Teen Orientation – 9:00am-4:30pm New Teens Only (Both days are mandatory)
May 22 – Returning ZooTeen start date
June 5 – New ZooTeen start date
Sept 4 – Last day of ZooTeen Program

Parent and ZooTeen Testimonials

ZooTeen Parents:

“I think this was a great opportunity for my teen to get “real life” experience in working a schedule, being responsible, developing customer service skills, and leadership skills, and learning to work with a varied group of co-workers. Thank you for allowing her to be a part of this program!”

“Thank you for providing such an awesome opportunity for students to participate in on the job education and development at the zoo. I watched the transformation of my daughter throughout the summer as she grew more confident and more in love with the experience. It is truly an excellent program and I cannot say enough good things about it! THANK YOU.”

ZooTeens:

“What I liked most about being a ZooTeen was the social interactions and life skills brought to my attention. Before I was a ZooTeen, I was VERY shy and now I feel like I can talk to people. It was such a great experience at the zoo and it taught me to be outgoing and a leader, to work hard and have fun!”

“When I first came to the zoo I wasn’t very social being apart of the zoo helped me be a better person who is more comfortable in social situations also it helped get my first job and thought me valuable things to keep and be successful with that job.”

“The ZooTeen program is the best thing I have ever joined. It opened so many opportunities and was a great learning experience. I had the best summer ever.”

“I learned a lot from this amazing experience and it helped me know what I wanted to do for the future.”

“A personal benefit that I received from this experience would be an increase in self-esteem and confidence. I used to have a hard time talking to people, but now I am a lot more extroverted and I feel a lot better around other people.”

ZooTeen FAQ

2017 ZooTeen Program Frequently Asked Questions:

What age do I have to be for the ZooTeen program?

Ages 13 (entering 8th grade) to 18 (entering 12th grade). Applicants must be at least 13 years of age by September 1 of the current year and have completed 7th grade.

What do ZooTeen volunteers do?

ZooTeens are responsible for assisting with summer camps for youth, assisting in the operation of seasonal exhibits and hosting informal educational opportunities and encounters.  For more information, please see the detailed descriptions below.

What is the time commitment required for ZooTeens?

Minimum 4 hrs per week, any day of the week, with a minimum of 48 hours throughout the summer.
AM shifts: 9:15am-1:15pm
PM shifts: 1:00pm-5:00pm
Camps are from 8:00am-5:00pm

How do I apply?

  1. Fill out the online portion of the application before March 24. Once you have started the online application, you will receive an email with a reference letter attached. Applications are not considered complete unless all online fields have been completed, and the provided reference letter has been submitted.  If you do not receive an email after you fill out the application, please check your spam folder or email. Completed applications, including the reference letter, must be received no later than March 24, 2017 at 5:00pm.
  2. The 2017 ZooTeen Online Application must be completed in one session. Please allow at least 30 minutes to complete the process. Only one entry per applicant will be accepted.
  3. You and a parent or guardian must attend a ZooTeen Info Hour to learn more and ask questions about the ZooTeen Program. Attending the Info Hour will help you make the decision on whether or not this program is right for you and will help keep your parents informed. Teens that do not attend an info hour will not be eligible for an interview and will not be accepted into the program.

2017 Info Hour Dates :  
(Meet in front of Zoo Entrance)
March 14 – ZooTeen Info Hour for teen & parent/guardian (choose one) – 6:00pm–7:00pm
March 20 – ZooTeen Info Hour for teen & parent/guardian (choose one) – 6:00pm–7:00pm
March 22 – ZooTeen Info Hour for teen & parent/guardian (choose one) – 6:00pm–7:00pm

What happens after I apply?

  1. Based on quality of applications, applicants will be chosen for an interview. If applications do not meet standards for an interview, you will not be contacted to schedule and interview. All interviews take place in April. Interviews must be in person, requests for phone or online interviews will not be granted.
  2. After all interviews are complete, applicants will be contacted by email (on or before May 1) regarding acceptance into the ZooTeen Program.

What happens if I am accepted into the ZooTeen program?

If accepted as a ZooTeen, you will be expected to:

  1. Participate in all aspects of the program.
  2. Attend all training sessions. Training dates for new ZooTeens will be Saturday, June 3 & Sunday June 4 from 9:00am – 5:00pm.
  3. Pay a $100.00 tuition fee (Due at orientation)
  4. Wear the Zoo Boise ZooTeen shirt (provided by the zoo) and khaki pants or shorts (no shorter than mid-thigh) that are provided by you. Closed-toe and closed-heel shoes are required. No sandals or flip-flops.
  5. Submit waiver and medical form(this will be emailed in acceptance letter) .
  6. Submit a negative TB test (due at orientation).

What does the tuition fee cover?

Tuition fee includes:

  1. Daily mentoring and supervision of Zoo Teens by skilled Zoo Boise staff members
  2. Initial orientation and continuous, daily training in:
    • Professionalism & job skills
    • Leadership, public speaking, and communication skills
    • Animal biology, wildlife habitats, ecology and wildlife conservation
  3. Program supplies & materials for:
    • One Zoo Boise uniform shirt
    • End-of-summer party
    • Orientation and training
    • And more . . . .!
  4. Opportunities for FUN!