Teen Volunteers

Z-team applications are closed for the 2017 season. All 2017 applicants will be notified of their statuses after March 31.

What is the Z-TEAM?

The Z-TEAM Teen Volunteer & Leadership Program is an exciting way for students to develop leadership and teamwork skills while exploring the zoo. Teens will learn, grow, make new friends, and have fun!

Who can apply?

To apply for the Z-TEAM, you must:

Be 13 to 17 years old by June 1, 2017

Have the desire and ability to work with people of all ages

Have an interest in animals and the environment

Be courteous and helpful to zoo guests

Be able to understand and follow instructions

Commit to being in attendance on the days you are assigned, completing training sessions, and following the program’s code of conduct

Download and read the Z-TEAM Teen Volunteer Position Description to learn the full details of the functions performed, education and experience criteria and the knowledge, skills and abilities required to become a Z-TEAM Teen Volunteer.  Thank you for your interest in becoming a Z-TEAM Teen Volunteer!

What will we do?

Z-TEAM members make a commitment to work Monday through Friday for two consecutive weeks during the summer OR weekly if joining the Conservation Crew.  Note: If you are a 1st or 2nd year Z-TEAM participant, we will assign a position to you. If you are a 3rd, 4th, or 5th year participant, you can mark your position preference on your application.

Teens help in four main areas:

Zoo Camp Aide

Explore the whole zoo as you assist at our popular Summer Safari Day Camp. Hours are Monday-Friday 8 AM – 4 PM for two consecutive weeks.

Zoo Keeper Aide

Assist keepers with daily tasks like cleaning public areas and animal holding areas. Hours are Monday-Friday 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM for two consecutive weeks.
Note: You must be returning for your 3rd, 4th, or 5th year to be a Zoo Keeper Aide.

Zoo Crew Member

Make connections with zoo guests of all ages by sharing fun activities and biofacts. Hours are Monday-Friday 9 AM – 4 PM for two consecutive weeks.

Conservation Crew

Participate in a project that promotes conservation awareness! Past projects have included constructing bat houses, building a butterfly garden, monitoring stream water quality, and producing a special event. Schedule will be announced soon.
The Conservation Crew is supported by the Fort Wayne Branch AAUW Trust.


2017 Z-TEAM Session Dates:

Session 1: 6/5 – 6/16/17

Session 2: 6/19 – 6/30/17

Session 3: 7/3 – 7/14/17

Session 4: 7/17 – 7/28/17

Is there a fee?
The Z-Team Program Fee is $59 and is due at time of training. Please do not send fee with your application. This fee helps cover the cost of curriculum materials, uniforms, and the Z-TEAM Instructor.

A limited number of scholarships are available for those demonstrating financial need. Download a Financial Aid Request Form or contact the Volunteer Manager at 260-427-6828 for information.

Apply to be a Z-TEAM Teen Volunteer

Ready to take the next step? Great! Here’s how to apply:

Read the information above to make sure you meet the eligibility requirements.

Talk with your family to choose the Session(s) that you are available. You will be expected to attend each day of your session Monday – Friday. Mark your session preference on the application and please list all sessions for which you are available.

Complete an application online. The application deadline has passed for the 2017 season.

If this is your first year in the program, you must submit a recommendation. Give the form to a person age 18 or older who is not related to you. A teacher, coach, employer, or family friend would be a good choice. Ask them to complete the form and return it to the zoo by the application deadline. Participants returning for their 2nd, 3rd, 4th, or 5th year do not need to obtain a recommendation.

Download and print a Recommendation Form, get it filled out and send it to us at:

Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo
Attn: Volunteer Manager
3411 Sherman Blvd.
Fort Wayne, IN 46808

Or fax to the attention of the Volunteer Manager at (260) 427-6820

How will Z-TEAM volunteers be chosen?

This program is competitive. Applicants are selected based on their timely completion of application materials, program experience, and availability.

What happens next?

After March 31, we will mail you a letter stating whether you’ve been selected for the program. If selected, we’ll tell you which session and position you are assigned.

1st and 2nd year participants are assigned a position while returning 3rd, 4th, and 5th year participants are awarded their 1st or 2nd preference. In the letter, you’ll also find out about training sessions and events.

Want more information?

Contact the Volunteer Office at 260-427-6828 or volunteer@kidszoo.org

Current Z-TEAM Volunteers: Click here to log in to our online scheduling system