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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:

Safari Day Camp Class Aide with Campers
Help teachers supervise campers (kindergarten through grade 7) as they explore the lives and habitats of animals and learn about worldwide conservation efforts.
Age Range: 13-17
Commitment: short-term
farm paddock
Answer visitor questions, assist guests with the interactive activities and spark conversations about the roles 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. 17, 2018, 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, with an option for a third week (weeks do not need to be consecutive). Shifts will be available from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 1 to 4 p.m.
  • Application online: Friday, Jan. 12, 2018
  • Application due date (new volunteers): Friday, Feb. 23, 2018
  • Application due date (returning volunteers): Friday, Feb. 16, 2018
  • Notification of selection for interview:  Friday, March 9, 2018
  • Interview date: Saturday, March 17, 2018
  • Required training: ALL accepted teen volunteers must attend one of the following in-person trainings:
    • Saturday, May 19, 2018
    • Saturday, June 9, 2018
    • Accepted Kids' Farm teen volunteers are also required to attend additional in-person training during the week of June 18 (dates to be announced)

Fill out the teen application form and follow the additional steps below.
Please note: The application link is the same for both teen volunteer opportunities.

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.

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 us to discuss available options.

Teen volunteers are required to observe the Zoo’s attendance and behavior policies. Volunteers are also 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 required; flip-flops are not acceptable.