At this time we still plan to bring on new Teen Wild Guides for our summer session, though we will be unable to hold the scheduled informational orientations. We are also extending the application deadline to May 15th, however this change of date is not reflected on the application forms themselves. If you have any questions, please contact us using the email at the bottom of this page.
Why Become a Teen Wild Guide? (TWG)
There are many reasons to consider joining this exciting program, including:
- To gain knowledge and zoo work experience, especially for those interested in a future career with animals.
- To gain experience working with children.
- To build community service hours.
- To gain valuable public speaking skills.
- To meet other teens with similar interests.
- To do something new and fun!
Roots & Shoots Affiliation
In addition, Teen Wild Guides are all members of and affiliated with Roots & Shoots, an international organization founded by Dr. Jane Goodall to promote conservation leadership and action among young people. Each semester teens will have the opportunity to earn their hours by participating in two or three teen-designed Roots & Shoots activities.
In the past, we have raised money for conservation organizations around the world, created teen-led Zoo events such as the Asian Animal Festival and CaliforniaFest!, created pollinator habitats, participated in beach clean-ups, and assisted in sending thousands of pencils to students in Africa for environmental education.
Age Requirements and Responsibilities
- Teens must be 13 years or older to apply for the program.
- The program is designed on a step ladder system allowing teens to gain additional opportunities the longer they are active as a TWG.
- Depending on how long they are in the program, teens may be able to work at stations in other areas of the Zoo, assist keepers, and be trained to handle small animals.
The teens' core schedule consists of working in the Valley Children's Zoo at a variety of stations designed to help children to learn about and experience our animals, including:
- Working in the goat/sheep barn, monitoring the animals and teaching children about animal care.
- Providing animal interpretive information for the public using a variety of biofacts and interactive stations.
- Painting faces while teaching about animals including, bats, lemurs, and bugs.
Please review Teen Wild Guides Important Dates to ensure that you will be able to attend before applying to be a Teen Wild Guide.
How to Apply
- Teens interested in becoming a Teen Wild Guide need to submit a completed Teen Wild Guide Application.
- Submit two Teen Wild Guide Letters of Recommendation.
- Information orientations are recommended so that you will have the opportunity to ask questions and learn more about the program.
- After we receive your completed application, participants will be contacted for an interview.
- Once accepted, teens must attend 12 hours of required training. Training is essential to being a well prepared volunteer. We are unable to provide make-up training sessions.
Please read Teen Wilde Guide FAQ's. Still have questions? You can contact the Program Director, Teen Outreach at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (510) 632-9525 ext. 207.