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Zoo Teens

Do you want to contribute to the Zoo’s mission this summer? Do you want to learn more about conservation, Zoo animals and Zoo careers? Do you need to complete service hours for your school? Share your knowledge and passion with our guests by joining the ZooTeens program!

ZooTeens is a summer volunteer program for teens, ages 15-18. Teens will have opportunities to volunteer in the following areas throughout the summer. In each role, teens will learn about conservation and share information with our guests.

  • In the Bayer Insectarium/Mary Ann Lee Butterfly Wing, ZooTeens keep our butterflies and guests safe and engage with guests to further their appreciation for invertebrates and our sustainability initiatives.
  • Junior Ambassadors help make the Saint Louis Zoo the friendliest place in town! ZooTeens greet guests in Schnuck Family Plaza and give directions to the Zoo’s award-winning exhibits, amenities and unique attractions.
  • Junior Docents volunteer in the Education department. They are paired with an adult education volunteer at different animal habitats engaging with Zoo guests about our animals, conservation stories and nature. ZooTeens will meet others who share their interests and enthusiasm, learn more about our Zoo work and expand their knowledge!
  • At Safari Gift Shop, ZooTeens volunteer in a fun, fast-paced environment. They help the store look its best by working with gift shop employees to stock merchandise, create displays and welcome guests. ZooTeens help the Zoo provide funding for the animals, all while learning valuable retail skills for their future.

Volunteer requirements:

  • Minimum age of 15 by May 11, 2024.
  • Ideal volunteers have a passion for the Zoo’s mission, an interest in learning and sharing knowledge and an energetic, service-oriented attitude.
  • Attendance at both volunteer orientations on May 11, 2024, and volunteer training on May 18, 2024, is mandatory.
  • Volunteer throughout the summer (late May-early August, depending on school schedule). Teens are expected to complete at least 30 total service hours. Teens will sign up for volunteer shifts that match their interests and availability. Shifts are available each day and are typically 2-4 hours

Steps to volunteer:

All interview spots for the summer 2024 season have been filled. We are no longer accepting applications. Please check back in February 2025 for information on next summer.

Program outcomes:

  • Teens will learn from experts in the field of education, conservation and animal welfare.
  • Teens will improve communication skills as they share knowledge and their own personal connections to the Zoo and animals with our guests.
  • This program is meant to foster a group of conservation-minded Zoo supporters and potential future employees.

Frequently Asked Questions

The minimum age is 15 by Volunteer Orientation date.

Teens are expected to complete at least 30 total service hours over the summer.

Teens may begin or end volunteer service on different dates based on school schedule, but attendance at orientation and training is mandatory. Teens will sign up for volunteer shifts that match their interests and availability throughout the summer. Shifts are available each day and are typically 2-4 hours.

Yes, we provide free parking on the Zoo parking lots for volunteers.

Yes, teens must wear the volunteer uniform during all volunteer shifts. Volunteers are required to wear a solid white polo shirt, blouse or sweater, with khaki pants, shorts or skirt, along with a volunteer name tag and volunteer lanyard.

If you have additional questions, call Volunteer Services at (314) 781-0900, ext. 4670.