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Teen Wild Guides at Oakland Zoo

Local Region:

East Bay


P.O. Box 5238
9777 Golf Links Road
Oakland, CA 94605
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(510) 632-9525 ext. 207

Contact Name:

Oakland Zoo


Click here to visit official website

Intern / Lab Volunteer
Fees / Stipend:
Program is year-round
Why become a Teen Wild Guide?

There are many reasons to consider joining this exciting program, including:
-To gain knowledge and zoo work experience, 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 addition, Teen Wild Guides are all members of and affiliated with Roots & Shoots, an international organization founded by Dr. Jane Goodall to promote conservation leadership and action among young people. Each semester, teens will have the opportunity to earn their hours by participating in 2-3 teen designed Roots & Shoots activities. 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 assisted in sending thousands of pencils to students in Africa for environmental education.
Check official program website
Target Group:
Teens must be 13 years old or older to apply for the program. The program is designed on a step ladder system, so that teens gain additional opportunities the longer they are active as a TWG. 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 get kids to learn about and experience our animals, including: Working in the contact yard, 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./
# of Recommendations:
Other Materials:
Teens interested in becoming a Teen Wild Guide need to submit a completed "Teen Wild Guide Application" and 2 different "Teen Wild Guide Letters of Recommendation" / Information orientations are recommended so that you will have the opportunity to ask questions and learn more about the program. After we receive your completed application, participants will be contacted for an interview. Once accepted, teens must attend 12 hours of required training. Training is essential to being a well prepared volunteer and we are unable to provide make-up trainings. We accept new Teen Wild Guides 3 times per year, for our winter, summer, and fall sessions. In general, orientations are held in December (winter session), April (summer session) and August (fall session). Please refer to the zoo’s Calendar of Events or to the “Application Process” section of the Teen Wild Guide page for a list of upcoming orientation, application and training dates.
Last updated Feb 2, 2018, 1:59 PM. Please check the official website link for the most accurate and current information to applying!