John Ball Zoo

Teen Volunteers

Are you interested in joining other teens at John Ball Zoo to teach youth and interact with visitors? Share your love of the JBZ animals with our visitors and apply to be a teen volunteer this summer! We have two programs available with different themes and time commitments.


These are some of the qualities we look for when selecting teen volunteers: 

  • Positive attitude
  • Enthusiasm for learning and sharing information with visitors, kids and adults!
  • Desire to meet new friends and be part of a team

To be eligible for a Teen Program you must meet the following requirements

  • Be entering 9th – 12th grade in Fall 2017
  • Submit a completed application by the April 12th deadline.
  • Be available for an interview
  • Make the required time commitment for the program chosen
  • Once accepted, contribute a $25 program fee. Should this cause economic hardship for you these fees may be waived, just let us know.
  • Be able to attend one of the Saturday New Volunteer Orientation sessions.
  • Be able to receive important information via email  


Counselor In Training (CIT)

CIT’s choose which Summer Zoo Camp sessions and classes they would like to assist with before summer starts. CIT’s assist camp staff with all class activities including; zoo tours, art projects, story time, adventure hikes and games! We ask that you commit to at least 4 camp sessions. A camp session is one complete class, which could be a 2 day 8:30-4:30, or 4 day, 8:30 - 12:00 or 12:30 - 4:00.

Zoo Teens

 Zoo Teens focus on in-zoo visitor interactions, teaching youth, assisting keepers and team building. Zoo Teens begin their volunteer career by assisting in camp as well as visitor interactions at exhibits and discover carts. As teens become accomplished at each skill level they are given more responsibility. All teens will work on public speaking, conservation project development, leadership skills and increasing their animal knowledge. This program requires teens to commit to one day each week (the same day each week), 8:30-4:00, for the 10 week program, 1 weekend day in each of June, July and August and assist with one camp session. A camp session is one complete class, which could be a 2 day 8:30-4:30, or 4 day, 8:30 - 12:00 or 12:30 - 4:00.

How Do I Apply? 

There are three parts in the application process to become a new teen volunteer. More information on the process and the different parts can be found here. All three parts of the application process must be completed by the April 12th, 2017 deadline.

Online Application

Application for 2017 Teen Program is now closed. 


These are submitted by your reference via a survey link found in the application confirmation email. You would then send the link to your references. We require 3 references.


Directions for the essay can be found here.

What happens after I apply?

After reviewing completed applications we will contact selected applicants for an interview in April. Due to the high number of applications we receive we cannot guarantee an interview for all applicants. All completed applications will receive email notification if they did or did not get into the program.