Junior Zoo Crew 


Junior Zoo Crew is a hands-on educational program in which selected teens spend the summer assisting in the Children's Zoo, educating the public, and working with ambassador animals. Applicants MUST be at least age 14 by May 30th, and no older than age 17 on August 11.

The 2023 Junior Zoo Crew session runs June 5 through August 11. Please read all of the information on this page BEFORE applying.

READY: Application Process

NEW Applicant Process:

  • Submit online application
    • First time applicants must upload a letter of recommendation when completing their application
  • Attend an interview at the zoo
  • Receive an acceptance or denial letter to the JZC program within 30 days of interview

RETURNING Crewmember Process:

  • Submit online application, a new letter of recommendation is NOT needed 
  • Correspond with zoo staff over email/phone when requested
  • Receive acceptance or denial letter within 30 days of corresponding with zoo staff

ALL Accepted Teens must: 

  • Submit a medical reference form (provided upon acceptance to the session)
  • Attend ALL trainings
  • Pay the program fee (detailed below)
Junior Zoo Crew teens


Junior Zoo Crew is $90 (pre-tax) for non-Tautphaus Park Zoological Society (TPZS) members. TPZS members pay a discounted fee of $72 (pre-tax). 

All fees are non-refundable. 

Program fee covers: 

  • Uniform T-shirt 
  • Name badge 
  • Training sessions and materials
  • Access to online resources
  • Mentorship from Animal Care and Education staff
  • A celebration at the end of the session

SET: Training

Junior Zoo Crew is a competitive educational program. Applicants are not automatically accepted, even those who have participated in prior sessions. Each year, ALL accepted teens must attend mandatory training sessions, including an evening training, for which a legal guardian is required to attend with them. Training commitments are detailed in the application.

GO: Work it!

Junior Zoo Crew members work an average of 2-4 shifts per week. Each shift is 4 hours long. Just as with zoo staff, weekend and holiday work is expected and required. Sunday shifts are evenly distributed between JZC members, unless additional Sunday hours are requested by an individual. We thank our applicants for making Junior Zoo Crew their first priority, and ask teens who need more than 8 days off during the session (for any reason) to wait for a future year to apply, when their schedule allows for greater commitment to the program.

Crewmember Perks

  • Free admission to the zoo for you during the session (not your family/friends) 
  • Gaining experience working with animals
  • Training and mentorship from zoo staff
  • Meeting peers with similar interests
  • Building up volunteer hours
  • Becoming more comfortable with public speaking, and interacting with people of all ages and backgrounds

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Contact the volunteer coordinator at  [email protected] or (208) 612-8453