Smithsonian National Zoological Park l Friends of the National Zoo



Safari Day Camp Class Aides

The deadline for applications for the 2014 season has passed. Please check back in mid-January 2015.

Below is information about the Class Aide volunteer program and application process.


Application Requirements
Applicants must be between the ages of 13 and 17 on or before June 1, 2014.

Please note:  if you will turn 18 before June 1, 2014, you are not eligible to volunteer in the teen class aide program.  You are welcome to apply for openings in our adult programs.  Please click here to return to our adult volunteer webpage for programs that are currently recruiting.

Junior Class Aides (ages 13-15) are required to work two weeks.  Senior Class Aides (ages 16-17) are required to work a minimum of three weeks but may opt to volunteer for up to four weeks.

Summer camp will run for 8 weeks and begins Monday, June 23, 2014. Camp will be held during the week of July 4 but not on the actual holiday. All camp sessions will be full day (9 a.m. to 3 p.m.). Class Aides are expected to arrive by 8:30 a.m. each day, and will be able to leave by 3:30 p.m.

What to know about the Class Aide program
Safari Day Camp Class Aides assist camp teachers with supervising campers ages 5-12 as they explore the lives and habitats of animals and world-wide conservation efforts to protect them. Class Aides will help with science experiments, activities, crafts, zoo walks, and much more! We are looking for responsible, outgoing, and motivated teens to volunteer their time and talent to this program.  There will not be any direct contact with animals at Safari Day Camp.

Upon acceptance, all teen volunteers will be required to submit a medical history form and pay the Class Aide Orientation/Training fee of $30.  This fee covers the cost of one new FONZ volunteer shirt, supplies for orientation training, a daily snack on the weeks that you work, and program administration. We understand that this fee may present a hardship for some, and if that is the case please contact the Safari Day Camp office prior to the registration deadline to discuss available options.

Teen volunteers are required to observe the National Zoo’s attendance and behavior policies. Class Aides are required to wear a FONZ volunteer t-shirt (included in registration fee and provided at training) and khaki (light brown or tan) pants, shorts, or skirts. No denim is allowed. Closed-toed shoes are also required; flip-flops are not acceptable.

The Class Aide program is quite competitive.  There is limited space available each year; therefore, not all applicants will be interviewed or accepted.
  By applying to this program, you and your parents indicate your commitment to follow the policies outlined above. 

Important dates
Please review the critical dates below for 2014.

  • Application due date:  March 1, 2014.This deadline has passed and we are no longer accepting applications for the 2014 season.
    We can only accept a maximum of 100 applications at this time.  We will not accept applications after March 1, 2014 or potentially sooner once we are in receipt of 100 completed applications (online application + two completed reference forms). 
  • Notification of selection for interview:  March 15, 2014
  • Interview day:  April 5, 2014
    Morning session:  9 a.m. to 12 p.m., Afternoon session:  1 p.m. to 4 p.m.  We will do our best to consider your session preference, but may not be able to accommodate every request.  You must be available for both sessions to be considered for an interview.
  • Notification of selection for 2014 Class Aides: April 15, 2014
  • Class Aide training: May 31, 2014
    All returning and new Class Aides must be available from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. for training.

To apply for the Class Aide Program

Completed applications must be received by March 1, 2014This deadline has passed and we are no longer accepting applications for the 2014 season.

A completed application packet must include the following items:

    • Completed application form including essay questions.
    • References:  identify two references and send them the link below to the Class Aide Reference Form.  References should be adults (18 years or older) who know you well but who are not related to you (teacher, family friend, etc.).  Give your references the link as soon as possible to ensure they have enough time to complete it.  Please remember that we can only accept the first 100 applicants who have complete applications and two reference forms.
    • As a reminder, submission of an application is not a guarantee of placement.

      If you have questions about the program requirements or application process, please contact us at 202-633-3024 or fonz_programs@si.edu.