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    Oakland Zoo Teen Programs: Teen Wild Guides

    Oakland Zoo Teen Programs: Teen Wild Guides


    • Listing Type: Volunteer Opportunities
    • Category: Animal Rights and Rescue, Preserving the Environment, Youth Outreach
    • Volunteer Type: Individual
    • Minimum Age: 13
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    Our popular Teen Wild Guide program is an important part of our volunteer corps consisting of young people interested in animals & conservation. Participants will be trained as interpreters in the Valley Children's Zoo, teaching visitors about animals and monitoring the goat/sheep barn. As TWGs develop within the program, they will have the opportunity to plan and participate in service learning projects, assist keepers and gain leadership experience.

    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!Program RequirementsTeens must be be 13+ years old or will turn 13 within the season they are applying for.Must be responsible and punctual.Must be able to act in a professional manner while representing the zoo.Must have received the COVID-19 vaccination and at least 1 booster and show proof of such before beginning to volunteer.Must pay a program fee of $200 ($180 for Oakland Zoo Members) upon joining the program and then annually for as long as you remain in the program — If this fee would inhibit your ability to join the Teen Wild Guide program, please fill out this Financial Aid Application after submitting an application and we may have the funds to cover part or all of this cost.

    Please email me using the email at the bottom of this page if any of these requirements will get in the way of you volunteering as a Teen Wild Guide.


    A Teen Wild Guide's responsibilities 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 contact yard with our goats/sheep, monitoring the animals and teaching children about animal care.

    Providing animal information to the public using a variety of biofacts and other educational tools.

    Painting hands/faces while teaching about animals including bats, lemurs, and bugs.

    Depending on how long they are in the program, teens may be able to work at stations in other areas of the zoo and help with projects that assist keepers.

    Core Schedule

    Shifts run from 9:30am-4pm with a 30 minute lunch and 20 minute break.

    During the school year, Teen Wild Guides are expected to volunteer ~ 2 weekend days a month (every other Saturday or Sunday).

    During Summer, Teen Wild Guides are expected to volunteer once a week.