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Connecting area teenagers with nature and building successful, caring members of the community.

ZooTeen youth development programs are not only fun and a great way to meet new friends, but they also provide opportunities to develop job-readiness and life skills while serving as an ambassador for Riverbanks Zoo and Garden.

For more information, please call 803.602.0887 or email Grace Fields.

Summer ZooTeens A teen program that runs for 8 weeks from June-August. Teens will participate in volunteer activities, team-building, trainings and hands-on learning. Activities in the past have included aiding Zoo Camp classrooms, education programs, craft preparation, and more.

Summer ZooTeens will be required to attend a Spring orientation, two mandatory trainings, education workshops and complete a minimum of 80 hours of volunteer shifts at Riverbanks Zoo and Garden. Attendance will be monitored. All participants in good standing will have the opportunity to apply for the ZooTeen Conservation Team that runs from October to May.

Space is very limited in this program. No experience is required, but we do ask for these requirements:

  • Must be in or entering high school in fall 2019 and must be at least 14 years old.
  • Support Riverbanks Zoo and Garden and its mission.
  • Complete the interview process.
  • Attend Summer ZooTeens orientation and all mandatory trainings.
  • Complete program required hours (min. 80/summer, max 120/summer).
  • Must be comfortable speaking in public and interacting with different ages and cultures.
  • Provide negative TB test results.
  • Upon application, present 2 letters of recommendation and a 1-page interest letter.

Applications are closed for this coming year and will reopen December 2019.

ZooTeen Conservation Team The ZooTeen Conservation Team (ZTCT) is a year-round volunteer program that runs monthly throughout the school year and weekly or daily during the summer.

All participants must complete one year of training and program requirements to be invited back for additional opportunities, with up to 4 years of service opportunities within the ZTCT program. During the school year ZTCT will be required to attend monthly meetings, volunteer at least 30 hours, and attend two mandatory summer training workshops in May/June. All participants are required to volunteer at least 80 hours and no more than 120 hours in the summer. Attendance and hours will be monitored.

ZooTeen Conservation Team Opportunities:

  • Assist with Zoo Camps, education events and programs.
  • Educate visitors about wildlife and environmental conservation.
  • Engage and inspire guests through informal interpretive and presentations.
  • Participate in team-building, trainings and experiential learning.
  • Take action for wildlife through conservation projects.
  • Learn proper animal ambassadors handling techniques.
  • Participate in optional Conservation Field Studies.

Space is very limited in this program. No experience is required, but we do ask for these requirements:

  • Must be a high school student and at least 14 years old.
  • Support Riverbanks Zoo & Garden and its mission.
  • Complete interview process to be selected for the program.
  • Attend program Orientation and all Mandatory Trainings.
  • Commit to at least one year (September to August).
  • Complete program and shift requirements.
  • Are comfortable with speaking in public and interacting with different ages and cultures.
  • Provide negative TB test results annually.

Applications are closed and will reopen Wednesday, May 15.