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Teen Volunteers

Friends of the National Zoo offers summer volunteer opportunities for teens between 13 and 17 years old.  Please read the information carefully and check this page in January 2020 for the position description and an application link.

Upcoming opportunities:

Help teachers supervise campers (kindergarten through grade 7) as they learn about animals and conservation. Class aides assist with science experiments, activities, crafts, Zoo walks and more.
Age Range: 13-17
Commitment: short-term

Currently accepting applications for:

We currently have no open teen volunteer positions.
  • All teen volunteers must be between 13 and 17 years old.
  • 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
Please note: Teens turning 18 years old before Aug. 14, 2020, are encouraged to apply for openings in adult volunteer programs. See the Washington, D.C., (Zoo) and Front Royal, Virginia, (Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute) volunteer pages for programs that are currently accepting applications.
  • Application online: Friday, Jan. 3, 2020
  • Application due date (returning volunteers): Friday, Feb. 21, 2020
  • Application due date (new volunteers): Friday, Feb. 28, 2020
  • Notification of selection for interview:  Friday, March 13, 2020
  • Interview date: Saturday, March 21, 2020
  • Required training: ALL accepted teen volunteers must attend in-person training on May 9 or June 7.

A completed application packet must include the following items:

  1. Essay questions
  2. Your photo
  3. Completed reference forms*

*Identify two references, and send them the reference form link (the link will be added to this page when the position opens in January).

  • 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.

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. 

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.