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Teen Volunteers

Friends of the National Zoo is now offering two summer volunteer opportunities for teens between 13 and 17 years old. Opportunities are available at the Kids' Farm exhibit and with the Summer Safari Day Camp. Read the position descriptions and follow the steps below to apply.

Currently accepting applications for:

Help teachers supervise campers (kindergarten through grade 7) as they explore the lives and habitats of animals and learn about worldwide conservation efforts. Class aides assist with science experiments, activities, crafts, Zoo walks and much more!
Age Range: 13-17
Commitment: short-term
Teen volunteers are essential to providing a meaningful experience for guests of all ages. Duties include, but are not limited to, answering visitor questions, assisting guests with interactive activities and sparking conversations about the role individuals can play in local and global conservation efforts.
Age Range: 14-17
Commitment: short-term
  • All teen volunteers must be between 13 and 17 years old.
    Please note: Teens turning 18 years old before Aug. 16, 2019, are encouraged to apply for openings in the adult volunteer programs. Please see the Washington, D.C. (Zoo), and Front Royal, Virginia (Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute), volunteer pages for programs that are currently accepting applications.
  • Safari Day Camp 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. Class aides are expected to arrive by 8:30 a.m. each day and will be able to leave by 3:30 p.m.
  • Kids’ Farm teen volunteers (ages 14-17) are required to commit to one three-hour shift per day for at least two weeks for new volunteers, at least three weeks for returning volunteers. Shifts will be available from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 1 to 4 p.m.
  • Application online: Friday, January 11, 2019
  • Application due date (new volunteers): Friday, March 29, 2019
  • Application due date (returning volunteers): Friday, March 22, 2019
  • Notification of selection for interview:  Friday, April 12, 2019
  • Interview date: Saturday, April 27, 2019
  • Required training: ALL accepted teen volunteers must attend one of the following in-person trainings:
    • Saturday, May 18, 2019
    • Saturday, June 15, 2019
    • Accepted Kids' Farm teen volunteers are also required to attend additional in-person training on June 17 and 19, 2019

A completed application packet must include the following items:

  1. Completed application form, including essay questions 
  2. References: Identify two references, and send them the Reference Form link(s) below

As a reminder, submission of an application is not a guarantee of placement.

Apply Now

Upon acceptance, all teen volunteers will be required to submit a medical history form. 

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