Our popular Teen Wild Guide (TWG) program is an important part of our volunteer corps consisting of young people interested in animals, conservation and our many young guests. They are motivated, friendly and have a lot of fun! 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!
In the past, we have raised money for conservation organizations around the world, created teen-led Zoo events such as the Asian Animal Festival and CaliforniaFest!, created pollinator habitats, participated in beach clean-ups, and helped with black-crown night heron conservation by attaining almost 1000 signatures to make them the official bird of Oakland.
Age Requirements and Responsibilities
Teens must be 13 years or older to apply for the program.
Depending on how long they are in the program, teens may be able to work at stations in other areas of the Zoo, assist keepers, and be trained to handle small animals.
The teens' core schedule 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 goat/sheep barn, monitoring the animals and teaching children about animal care.
-Providing animal interpretive information for the public using a variety of biofacts and interactive stations.
-Painting faces while teaching about animals including, bats, lemurs, and bugs.