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PHONE: (208) 608-7760

ZooTeen Program

Be a part of the conservation of wildlife world-wide!

The Zoo Boise ZooTeen program inspires teens across Idaho to increase and share their knowledge of animals, conservation, and the environment. 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 raise awareness about conservation projects supported by the Zoo Boise Conservation Fund.

Thank you for your interest in the ZooTeen Program at Zoo Boise. The 2018 ZooTeen applications are currently closed. Please check back in January 2019 to apply for next year. If you would like more information about the ZooTeen Program and what is involved, please read below.

The ZooTeen program is generously sponsored by:
 

Duties

As a ZooTeen, you will work to educate Zoo Boise visitors while raising awareness and funds for the conservation of wildlife worldwide. ZooTeens provide informal educational presentations for zoo visitors, assist in the operation of seasonal exhibits, assist with summer camps for children, and support Zoo Boise’s wildlife conservation mission.

Time Commitment

  • Weekly 4-hour shift
    • Shift times: 9:15am – 1:15pm or 12:45-4:45
    • Minimum 48 service hours within June, July, and August (approximately 4 shifts per month)
  • One special event or after-hours rental during ZooTeen season (June-August)
  • ZooTeens that would like to assist with camps are required to volunteer from 8:00am-5:00pm, Monday-Friday, during the week of camp.

Orientation

An initial two-day orientation is required by those accepted into the ZooTeen program. Teens unable to attend orientation will not be able to participate in the 2018 ZooTeen program. See program calendar for dates and times.

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
    • Communication skills
    • Animal biology, wildlife habitats, and ecology
    • Wildlife conservation
  3. Program supplies & materials:
    • One Zoo Boise uniform shirt
    • End-of-summer party
    • Orientation and training
  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.

2018 ZooTeen Program Calendar

2018 ZooTeen Calendar:

January 4: Online Applications Open

March 2: Applications close by 5:00pm

ZooTeen Info Nights :
Mandatory – Must choose one
For the teen and one parent/guardian
(Meet in front of Zoo Entrance)
March 3: ZooTeen Info Hour for teen & parent/guardian – 6:00pm–7:00pm
March 5: ZooTeen Info Hour for teen & parent/guardian – 6:00pm–7:00pm
March 15: ZooTeen Info Hour for teen & parent/guardian – 6:00pm–7:00pm
March 20: ZooTeen Info Hour for teen & parent/guardian  – 6:00pm–7:00pm

March 20: 6:00pm – 7:00pm

March 30: Letters of Reference due by 5:00pm

April 4-27: Interviews

May 1: Notification of acceptance

May 19: Returning ZooTeen Refresher
9:00am-4:30pm
**Returning ZooTeens Only** 

May 21: Returning ZooTeen start date
June 2-3: NEW Zoo Teen Orientation – 8:45am-4:30pm
**New Teens Only (Both days are mandatory)**

June 4: New ZooTeen start date

Sept 3: Last day of ZooTeen Program

Parent and ZooTeen Testimonials

ZooTeens:

“Thanks for giving me this opportunity, it really helped me grow as a person and gave me some cool stories to share. I wish more people could do this because it’s honestly so fun!”

“This has been a life changing opportunity for me and I cannot thank you guys enough for it! I love being able to learn about the animals and the different career opportunities available to me, while at the same time being able to meet a lot of new people and make valuable friendships.”

“I have gained and learned so much during my years as a ZooTeen. I am so incredibly grateful for every opportunity I have received through the zoo, and it’s been one of the best experiences in my life. I met so many wonderful and amazing people and friends through this program and learned so much about the zoo and wildlife.”

” I had an awesome time this year, and I hope that this program keeps going on for years and years to come!”

“I got the opportunity to work one on one with many of the brilliant people who work there and I got to learn so much about not only animals but also the world we live in. This experience was extremely educational and I believe that I am a more social person because of it.”

“I love being a ZooTeen partially because of how it helps me grow as a citizen but also because it is probably the most rewarding feeling to see a visitor’s face light up because I showed/told/taught them something they didn’t know before.”

Parent Quotes

“Thank you for providing such an amazing opportunity for our youth. My son had such a wonderful experience. He has become more comfortable and confident when talking with adults. I appreciate the time and energy that is put into educating and training the ZooTeens. This is such a valuable program for young people.”

“As a parent, I am very pleased with the ZooTeen program and am happy to see how excited my daughter was to come to the zoo and how excited she is for next year.  I was worried she might lose interest, but she has not.  She is really looking forward to next year and getting to help out with the animals in addition to the other ZooTeen things.  She greatly enjoyed helping out at the camps.  We enjoyed going to the Zoo with her and hearing her talk enthusiastically about the Zoo conservation efforts and tell us a lot of animal facts.  We look forward to her learning more facts so that she can teach us some more.  Thanks for making the ZooTeen Program such a wonderful experience.”

“I know that my son enjoyed this opportunity and looked forward to each shift.  He is looking forward to next year and progressing through the program. It has helped him socially step out of his comfort zone and talk to others.  Having the information he needed to share definitely helped him feel confident with the situation. He enjoys learning about animals and has expressed a desire to continue to move into that field as a possible career.  This opportunity has helped him learn more and enjoy the process since it is outside and not a classroom setting. Thank you Zoo Boise!!!!”

ZooTeen FAQ

2018 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?

As a ZooTeen, you will work to educate Zoo Boise visitors while raising awareness and funds for the conservation of wildlife worldwide. ZooTeens provide informal educational presentations for zoo visitors, assist in the operation of seasonal exhibits, assist with summer camps for children, and support Zoo Boise’s wildlife conservation mission.

What is the time commitment required for ZooTeens?

  • Weekly 4-hour shift
    • Shift times: 9:15am – 1:15pm or 12:45-4:45
    • Minimum 48 service hours within June, July, and August (approximately 4 shifts per month)
  • One special event or after-hours rental during ZooTeen season (June-August)
  • ZooTeens that would like to assist with camps are required to volunteer from 8:00am-5:00pm, Monday-Friday, during the week of camp.

How do I apply?

  1. Fill out the online portion of the application before 5:00pm on March 2. Once you have started the online application, you will receive an email with a reference letter form attached. This form must be completed and submitted to the Zoo Boise Volunteer Department by 5pm on March 30th.
  2. The 2018 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.
  4. Applications have three parts and are not considered complete unless all parts are submitted on time. The three parts include:
    • An online application with all fields completed
    • A reference form, filled out in full and submitted by 5:00pm on March 30th.  If you do not receive an email after you fill out the application, please check your spam folder or email.
    • Attending one ZooTeen Info Hour.

2018 Info Hour Dates :  
(Meet in front of Zoo Entrance)
March 3: ZooTeen Info Hour for teen & parent/guardian (choose one) – 6:00pm–7:00pm
March 5: ZooTeen Info Hour for teen & parent/guardian (choose one) – 6:00pm–7:00pm
March 15: 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

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 an 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 2 & Sunday June 3 from 9:00am – 4:30pm.
  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 a 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
    • Communication skills
    • Animal biology, wildlife habitats, and ecology
    • Wildlife conservation
  3. Program supplies & materials:
    • One Zoo Boise uniform shirt
    • End-of-summer party
    • Orientation and training
  4. Opportunities for FUN!