The Zoo Teen Docent program offers participants a unique opportunity to develop useful job/public speaking skills, increase their knowledge of animals and their habitats, and to expand their conservation awareness, in a collaborative and fun learning environment at the Zoo and beyond.
Zoo Teen Docent Qualifications:
- Volunteers with a genuine appreciation of the natural world.
- Volunteers who want to educate and engage Zoo guests of all ages.
- Volunteers who seek to learn more about animals and conservation while gaining valuable job skills through a volunteer experience.
- Successful Volunteers learn quickly, are approachable and are comfortable initiating conversations.
Zoo Teen Docent Duties:
- Work with the Eco-Explorer Team within the Education Department at Utah’s Hogle Zoo.
- Engage Zoo guests in conversations about the animals in our exhibit areas.
- Educate Zoo guests on a variety of animal, conservation and environmental issues.
- Guide interactive stations that connect guests to conservation and motivate them to take action.
- Work with Education Staff to produce and perform educational demonstrations for Zoo guests.
- Provide superior service for all Zoo guests.
- Maintain the cleanliness of the Zoo grounds.
- Ensure that everyone is following safety protocols.
- Interact with Zoo guests of all ages in a FUN and EDUCATIONAL setting.
Returning Zoo Teen Docents may apply for a limited number of animal handling positions and become Animal Handling Docents in addition to their regular Zoo Teen Docent responsibilities.
*Please Note: First-year Zoo Teen Docents DO NOT handle animals.*
Membership in the Zoo Teen Docent program requires a significant time commitment not just through the summer months, but also during the last month of the school year.
- Teens and a parent must attend Orientation and teens will be interviewed following orientation on Saturday, March 23, 2013. Orientation will be from 9:30-10:15 am. Interviews will follow. Both orientation and interviews will take place in the Zoo’s RendeZOO Room.
- Once accepted into the program, teens must be available to attend training on May 4, 11 and 18, 2013. Training begins at 9:00 am and ends at 4:00 pm.
- Zoo Teen Docents are expected to serve a minimum of 72-84 hours between the first training day on Saturday, May 4 and the final day of the summer season Friday, August 16, 2013.
- The official Summer Season will begin on Monday, June 10, 2013 and will end on Friday, August 16, 2013. During this period of time Zoo Teens are required to work one shift each week from 9:00 am to 3:30 pm.
Zoo Teen Docents are asked to schedule their volunteer weeks around their summer family and school commitments. A total of two (2) excused absences are allowed during the summer provided the Volunteer Office receives prior notification of the absence. An excused absence includes circumstances such as illness, injury, death in the family, etc.
Please note: The inability to attend orientation, training, or to properly notify the Volunteer office of an absence, will result in your automatic dismissal from the program.
Zoo Teen Docents, upon discussion with the Volunteer Office, may complete more hours than required if desired.
Zoo Teen Docents who wish to remain active during the school year following their summer experience should meet with the volunteer coordinator prior to the end of the summer.
- The Zoo Teen Docent program requires a fee of $20 to cover expenses including, but not limited to: a volunteer shirt, nametag, training materials, and social activities. The Program fee is due following acceptance to the Zoo Teen Docent program.
- Note: financial assistance is available, please contact the Volunteer Office.
Note: hands-on contact and working directly with animals is not a key part of the program. (Teens completing prerequisites are eligible to apply for animal handling training and certification for animals used in specific educational programs after the first year of being a Zoo Teen Docent.)
We are no longer accepting applications for the 2013 Zoo Teen Docent Program.
Applications are due by March 1, 2014 for the 2014 Summer Program. Click here to fill out an application.