John Ball Zoo

Teen Volunteer Program

Are you interested in joining other teens at John Ball Zoo and in sharing your love of the JBZ animals with our guests? We have two programs available with different themes and time commitments so you can find one that suits you. Programs traditionally run June through August. 


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

  • Positive attitude
  • Enthusiasm for learning and sharing information with guests, 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 2021.
  • Submit a completed application by the deadline. Late applications will not be considered.
  • Be available for an interview, in person or virtually. 
  • Make the required time commitment for the program chosen
  • Once accepted, contribute a 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 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, storytime, adventure hikes and games! We ask that you commit to at least 4 camp sessions. Camp sessions are: 2 day 8:30-4:30, or 4 day AM, 8:30 - 12:00 or 4 day PM, 12:30 - 4:00.

Zoo Teens

 Zoo Teens focus on in-zoo guest interactions, teaching youth, assisting keepers and team building. Zoo Teens begin their volunteer career by assisting in camp as well as interacting with guests in a variety of capacities throughout the zoo. As teens become accomplished at each skill level they are given more responsibility. All teens will work on public speaking, conservation, leadership skills, and increasing their animal knowledge. This program requires teens to commit to one day, the same day, each week from 8:30-4:00 for the 9-week program. We also require zoo teens to sign up for a minimum of 2 weekend days throughout the 9-week program and assist with one camp session. A camp session is one complete class. Camp sessions are: 2 day 8:30-4:30, or 4 day AM, 8:30 - 12:00 or 4 day PM, 12:30 - 4:00.

How Do I Apply? 

Applications are now closed and will open for the summer 2021 season in the spring. 

If you applied to be a teen volunteer in 2020, both new and retrurning, you will recieve an email in the spring with details on how to get started. If you have new contact information please email that to us at


What happens after I apply?

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