Teen Volunteers

“This really showed me that there are many different jobs in a zoo.” – Zoo Keeper Aide


“The zoo gives me the experience I need for future careers and college applications.” – Zoo Keeper Aide


“I had a blast and it was a great way to make new friends.” – Zoo Camp Aide


“This was a wonderful experience. I learned a lot from the counselors…I found out tons of information about the zoo…and I also learned how to care for kids.” – Zoo Camp Aide


”I was able to…get a taste of how a zoo worked.” – Zoo Crew Member




Volunteer and Leadership Program for Teens

The online application for Z-TEAM will be available from January 1 – February 28, 2015.

What is the Z-TEAM?
The Z-TEAM stands for Zoo Teens, Education, Animal Care, and Marketing. Our structured summer program helps teens explore animal-related careers while developing important lifelong professional skills. 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, 2015
  • 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

What will we do?
Z-TEAM members make a commitment to work Monday through Friday for two consecutive weeks during the summer OR every Wednesday for 8 weeks. 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 8:00 AM – 4:00 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 7:30 AM – 11:30 AM 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 9:00 AM – 3:00 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, and monitoring stream water quality. Meet every Wednesday from 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM from June 10 -  July 29, 2015.
    The Conservation Crew is supported by the Fort Wayne Branch AAUW Trust

Read a full description of each Z-Team position.

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.

When would I participate?
Z-TEAM members work Mondays-Fridays for one session during the summer. Each session runs for two consecutive weeks, except for the Conservation Crew, which meets weekly for 8 weeks.

2015 Z-TEAM Session Dates:

Session 1: Monday-Friday 6/8 – 6/19/15
Session 2: Monday-Friday 6/22 – 7/3/15
Session 3: Monday-Friday 7/6 – 7/17/15
Session 4: Monday-Friday 7/20 – 7/31/15
Conservation Crew: Wednesdays only 6/10 – 7/29/15

How to apply:

  1. Read the information above to make sure you meet the eligibility requirements.
  2. 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 (except for the Conservation Crew, which meets once a week for 8 weeks). You will mark your session preference on the application.
  3. Fill out the online application.  The application is available only from January 1 through February 28, 2015.
  4. If this is your first year in the program, you must submit a recommendation. Print the Recommendation Form. 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 no later than February 28, 2015. Participants returning for their 2nd, 3rd, 4th, or 5th year do not need to obtain a recommendation.

Note: If the Recommendation Form is not received by the deadline, your application will be considered incomplete and you will not be eligible for the program, so give the person plenty of time to complete and mail the Recommendation Form to the zoo. Forms can be mailed or hand-delivered to Z-TEAM, 3411 Sherman Blvd, Fort Wayne, IN 46808 or faxed to 260-427-6820 by February 28, 2015.

Program Fee:  $59

Fee 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.

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, 2015 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.

Thanks for your interest in the Z-TEAM Volunteer and Leadership Program!

Z-Team members:  Click here to log in to our online scheduling system