Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the TWG program has been modified to comply with current safety guidelines. If you are interested in applying, please attend one of our Orientations to learn about these changes.
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!
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 helped with black-crown night heron conservation by attaining almost 1000 signatures to make them the official bird of Oakland.
Age Requirements and Responsibilities
- Teens must be 13 years or older to apply for the program.
- 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 Wild Guide FAQ's. Still have questions? You can contact the Program Director, Teen Outreach at email@example.com or by phone at (510) 632-9525 ext. 207.