Zoo Teen Program

The Zoo Teen program at Potter Park Zoo has two different facets, giving teens age 14 through current high school seniors a great opportunity to explore some of the many career pathways available at a zoo! Sound like fun? Check it out!

Teen Zoo Volunteers

Teen Zoo Volunteers will assist staff with pony rides, the Wings From Down Under exhibit, the contact (goat) yard, and will work with the education staff in the Zookambi summer school program.

Requirements:

  • Must be at least 14 years old by April 1, 2020
  • Commit to 20 hours of service over the summer
  • Completed application
  • Letter of recommendation from a teacher

Junior Zookeeper

After one year as a Teen Zoo Volunteer, teens are eligible to apply to become a Junior Zookeeper. Junior Zookeepers will take their career exploration one step further as they work more closely with the animal care staff. Teens will work with zookeepers and assist them with the daily care of the animals.

Requirements:

  • Must be at least 15 years old by April 1, 2020
  • Completed one year of Teen Zoo Volunteer or previous Teen Keeper program
  • Commit to 40 hours of service over the summer
  • Completed application
  • Letter of recommendation from a teacher
  • 500-750 word essay explaining how this program will help you meet your career goals.  Previous participants should reflect on their past experience in the program as well.

How to apply:

Download the printable application here    Zoo Teen Application 2020  

Click here to apply online!

For Teen Zoo Volunteers, please submit a completed application and a letter of recommendation from a teacher. Home-schooled candidates must submit a letter of recommendation from a non-family adult.

For Junior Zookeepers, please submit a completed application, a letter of recommendation from a teacher, and a short essay explaining how this program can help you meet your career goals.

Due to the high volume of interested teens applying for a limited number of program openings, all applications must be complete, submitted with a letter of recommendation and essay if applicable, and be postmarked or completed online no later than April 10, 2020 to be considered.

If submitting your application online, please mail your letter of recommendation to the address below.  Make sure your full name is on the letter so that we can connect it to the rest of your application. 

  • As you are filling out your application, just a few important reminders:
  • Applicants must be at least 14 years old by April 1, 2020
  • Applicants must include a letter of recommendation from a teacher. Home schooled candidates may submit a letter from a non-family adult.
  • Teen Zoo Volunteers are required to give a minimum of 20 hours during the summer.
  • Junior Zookeepers are required to give a minimum of 40 hours during the summer.
  • Participants will be primarily working outside, and will be getting dirty in most cases.
  • All teen volunteers MUST attend one of the orientation sessions with a parent or guardian.  Orientation will take place on June 7 and June 8, 2020 at 6:00 PM.
  • A program fee ($50 Teen Zoo Volunteers, $100 Junior Zookeepers) will be assessed and includes a uniform T-shirt and name badge. The fee will be collected when you attend orientation. If the fee would pose a hardship for your family, scholarship funds for a portion of the fee are available. To request a scholarship application, please contact the education department at the numbers below.
  • Accepted participants will need to provide a negative TB test prior to volunteering, preferably by orientation.  The TB test must have been administered after January 1, 2020.
  • Incomplete applications will not be considered.

If you need further information or have questions, please contact us at 517-342-2714 or 517-342-2769.

Mail to:

Teen Zoo Volunteer/Junior Zookeeper Program
Potter Park Zoological Society
1301 S. Pennsylvania Ave.
Lansing, MI 48912

Hand deliver to:

Potter Park Zoological Society
1301 S. Pennsylvania Ave.
Lansing, MI 48912
Mon. – Fri., 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.