The ZooTeen! program is a year-round program with a summer focus on two tracks: Summer Camp Counselors and Conservation Specialists. ZooTeens! have the opportunity to earn community service hours for school, make friends, and have fun while helping educate guests about wildlife and conservation efforts and assisting with summer camp.

The ZooTeen! program is competitive and elite, so please be thorough in your responses. Not all applicants will be accepted into the program. Applications are due by Friday, March 3, 2017. No exceptions. After applications have been received, the Volunteer Department will contact you if you have been selected for an individual interview. You must be available for all dates and times. No exceptions.
This application must be completed in one sitting. You cannot save and return to complete the application at another time. Please be prepared with all required information prior to beginning the application. If you have any questions, please email
Applicants Must:
  • Submit this online application, along with a recommendation form and teacher evaluation.
  • Be between the ages of 13 and 17 and have completed the 8th grade by June 1, 2017.
  • Be available for all interview dates.
If Selected, ZooTeens! Must:
  • Provide negative Tuberculosis (PPD type) reading by Saturday, June 10, 2017.
  • Attend all mandatory training dates. No exceptions.
  • Pay non-refundable tuition fee of $100.
  • Complete all necessary paperwork.
  • Read the ZooTeen! Handbook and sign an acknowledgement form.
  • Adhere to behavioral standards set forth in the ZooTeen! Handbook.
  • Pass the ZooTeen! Training Final Exam with with a score of 80% or higher.
  • Commit to at least 100 hours of volunteer service between June 12, 2017 and August 4, 2017.
  • Commit to at least 4 hours of volunteer service each month between August 2017 and May 2018.
  • Have access to reliable transportation and the ability to arrive on time and be picked up on time. 

Important Dates

All dates listed below are mandatory. If selected for an individual interview, applicants must choose only one of the three dates for individual interviews. One parent or guardian is required to attend the Parent Orientation and Training Session 1 from 10:00 am - 12:00 pm. The exam makeup day is mandatory if you do not pass the exam during Training Session 3.

Applications Due - Friday, March 3, 11:59 pm

Individual Interviews
Pick one
Thursday, March 30
5:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Tuesday, April 4
5:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Thursday, April 6
5:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Group Interviews - Saturday, April 15, 9:00 am - 1:15 pm
Group interview sessions are 75 minutes long. If selected, you will be given a choice between three time slots.

Parent Orientation and Training Session 1
Pick one
Saturday, May 6 10:00 am - 3:00 pm Sunday, May 7
10:00 am - 3:00 pm
Training Session 2
Pick one
Saturday, May 13 9:00 am - 12:00 pm Saturday, May 13 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Training Session 3
Pick one
Saturday, May 20 10:00 am - 3:00 pm Sunday, May 21 10:00 am - 3:00 pm

Exam Makeup - Saturday, May 27, 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Kick-Off Picnic - Saturday, June 10, 11:00 am - 1:00 pm

* 1. First Name

* 2. Last Name

* 3. Phone Number

* 4. Address

* 5. City, State, and Zip Code

* 6. Personal Email Address

Please note that all email correspondence must be between the ZooTeen! and the Volunteer Department. You must check your email regularly as this is our primary form of communication.

* 7. Date of Birth (ie: 01/01/1999)

* 8. Current Age

* 9. School

* 10. Current Grade in School

* 11. T-Shirt Size

* 12. Parent/Guardian Name

* 13. Parent/Guardian Email

* 14. Parent/Guardian Phone Number

* 15. In the event that we are unable to reach a parent or guardian during an emergency, please provide the information of an additional contact person. This individual must be cleared by your parent or guardian to transport you if necessary. Please include name, relationship, and phone number.

* 16. Have you ever been arrested, cited with, or charged with any criminal violation?

* 17. Have you attended any of our educational programs? Such as Zoo Camp, Home School, etc.

* 18. If yes, which one(s)?

* 19. Are you willing to take a TB Test? 

* 20. Have you applied to ZooTeens! before?

* 21. If yes, when?

* 22. All ZooTeens! will be cross trained as both Conservation Specialists and Summer Camp Counselors, but which area do you prefer to be your specialization?

* 23. Are you able to commit to volunteering a minimum of 100 hours between June 12, 2017 and August 4, 2017?

* 24. If no, or if you're not sure, please explain.

* 25. Are you able to commit to volunteering a minimum of 4 hours each month between August 2017 and May 2018?

* 26. If no, or if you're not sure, please explain.

* 27. These are the available shift times for each specialization. All shifts are available Monday through Friday. Please select if you are available or unavailable during these shift times.

  Available Unavailable
Conservation Specialist - 9:00 am - 12:00 pm
Conservation Specialist - 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Summer Camp Counselor - 8:30 am - 4:30 pm

* 28. ZooTeens! that would like to specialize as a Summer Camp Counselor must commit to one full week of summer camp at a time, Monday through Friday. Are you able to make that commitment?

* 29. In a short paragraph, please explain why you want to become a ZooTeen!

* 30. In a short paragraph, please explain how being a ZooTeen! would fit into your education/career goals.

* 31. In a short paragraph, please explain what you think is the most interesting and unique thing about you.

* 32. What activities or hobbies are you involved in outside of school?

* 33. What activities or clubs are you involved in at school?

* 34. Zoos and aquariums are important for many reasons, including education about wildlife and the survival of some species. In your own words, discuss the role of zoos and aquariums in the preservation and conservation of many species, both in their facilities and abroad. Minimum 200 words. For an accurate word count, please copy and paste from a Word document.

* 35. How would you take a difficult subject matter - such as poaching, deforestation, or climate change - and communicate it in a kid-friendly way? Minimum 200 words. For an accurate word count, please copy and paste from a Word document.

Recommendation and Teacher Evaluation

One recommendation form and one teacher evaluation are required. The recommendation must be from an adult but cannot be from a relative, but rather a mentor. For example, your recommendation can come from a coach, youth minister, boss, neighbor, or someone you babysit for. The recommendation and teacher evaluation cannot be from the same person.

The recommendation and evaluation must be mailed individually to the following address in a sealed envelope, with a signature from the reference on the seal.

Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens
ATTN: Christie Harrod
Volunteer Engagement Department
370 Zoo Parkway
Jacksonville, FL 32218

All recommendations and applications must be postmarked by Friday, March 3, 2017. No exceptions
. Please be advised that references may be contacted for verification purposes.

Click here to download the recommendation form.

Teacher Evaluation
Click here to download the teacher evaluation form.

* 36. Signature of Acknowledgement

I agree to adhere to the requirements of the 2017 ZooTeen! program. I will be available for all listed interview and training dates. I will maintain communication with the Volunteer Department by checking my email and responding in a timely manner. I agree to meet the minimum hour requirements.

By typing your full name below, you are acknowledging that you have read and understand the information included in this application: