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Teen Volunteers

Safari Day Camp Class Aides 2017
Thank you for your interest in this program. We have surpassed our 100 applicant limit and are no longer accepting new applications. Teens who have previously volunteered as a Safari Day Camp Class Aide should contact for more information on how to reapply for this summer.

Safari Day Camp class aides assist camp teachers with supervising campers kindergarten through grade 7 as they explore the lives and habitats of animals and the worldwide 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.

Summer Safari Day Camp begins Monday, June 26, 2017 and ends Friday, Aug. 18, 2017. Camp runs Monday through Friday each week (no camp on July 4). All camp sessions are 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.

The Class Aide program is quite competitive. There is limited space available each year; therefore, not all applicants will be interviewed or accepted. Applications are due Feb. 15, 2017. Please see "Important Dates" below for more information.

By applying to this program, teens and their parents indicate their commitment to following the policies outlined below.

Please note: There will not be any direct contact with animals at Safari Day Camp.

If you have questions about the program requirements or application process, please call 202-633-3024 or contact us.

Junior class aides (ages 13 to 15) are required to work two weeks. Senior class aides (ages 16 to 17) are required to work a minimum of three weeks. Based on need and availability, class aides may volunteer for additional weeks.

Eligible teens must turn 13 years old before June 26, 2017 and cannot turn 18 before Aug. 18, 2017. New applicants are required to submit an application with two references and participate in a group interview session. Not all applicants will be interviewed or accepted.

Please note: Teens turning 18 years old before Aug. 18, 2017 are encouraged to apply for openings in our adult programs. Please see our Washington, D.C. (Zoo), and Front Royal, Virginia (SCBI), volunteer pages for programs that are currently accepting applications.

Application online: Jan. 15, 2017.

Application due date: Feb. 15, 2017.
We can only accept a maximum of 100 applications at this time. We will not accept applications after Feb. 15, 2017, or potentially sooner once we are in receipt of 100 completed applications (online application and two completed reference forms). 

Notification of selection for interview:  March 1, 2017

Interview day: March 18, 2017
Morning session: 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. | Afternoon session: 1 p.m. to 3 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 2017 Class Aide Program: March 31, 2017

Required class aide training: May 20 or June 3, 2017
All returning and new class aides must be available from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. for training.

Thank you for your interest in the 2017 Safari Day Camp Class Aide program.  We have surpassed our 100 applicant limit and are no longer accepting new applications.  Teens who have already volunteered as a Safari Day Camp Class Aide for previous summers should contact for more information on how to reapply for this summer. If you have already submitted your application, we will be in touch about your status soon.

A completed application packet must include the following items:

  1. Completed application form – including essay questions. 
  2. References: Identify two references, and send them this link 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, coach, etc.). Give your references the link as soon as possible to ensure they have enough time to complete the form. 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.

Upon acceptance, all teen volunteers will be required to submit a medical history form and pay an orientation and training fee of $30. This fee covers the cost of one new FONZ volunteer shirt, supplies for orientation training, a daily snack during volunteer work and administration fees. We understand that this fee may present a hardship for some, so please contact the Safari Day Camp office prior to the registration deadline to discuss available options.

Teen volunteers are required to observe the Zoo’s attendance and behavior policies. Class aides are required to wear a FONZ volunteer 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.