Join Our Zoo Team - Teen Volunteer Program!

Zoo Team 2020 Photo Flyer

What it is all about -

An exciting way for students, age 14* to 18 years, to increase their leadership skills, as well as explore the possibilities of careers in zoo and aquarium sciences.  This program will further students’ interests, explore career goals, and develop interpretive skills in a professional zoological environment.

The job skills and work ethic developed will also apply to many other work environments.  This unique opportunity for North Texas & Southern Oklahoma students is a one of a kind opportunity!  Program is limited to just 20 teen volunteers each summer.

Frank Buck Zoo seeks positive, responsible, enthusiastic students with an interest in learning about the natural world, while enhancing their professional skills though public speaking, interpersonal skills, interpretation, and problem solving.  Zoo Team Teen positions are volunteer positions and are therefore unpaid, however the experience gained is immeasurable.

Dedicated Zoo Team members will be trained to:

  • Use bio-facts (skulls, antlers, horns, pelts, etc.) to assist zoo visitors in learning more about the zoo's animal collection through interpretation. 
  • Handle small animal ambassadors that are part of educational programs. 
  • Assist Summer Program staff and college interns by assisting in Summer Safari Day Camps. 
  • Arrange and create behavioral enrichment for the animals. 
  • Establish a mentoring relationship with Animal Care staff and assist Animal Care staff with cleaning and special projects. 
  • Be involved with special events.

A $100 activity fee is required for this program and includes a t-shirt, training manual, 2 behind the scenes field trips to another area zoo or wildlife facility, certificate and so much more. This is a great addition to any college application!

Before applying, students with a heavy schedule of spring and summer activities such as summer school, sports, camps, long vacations, jobs, etc. should consider whether or not they have the time to commit to the trainings and the program. 

Application Period:
Applications are being accepted starting January 13, 2020 through the Spring semester.

The earlier the application is received during the application period, the better the chance to secure a preferred interview time. All required paperwork must be returned as a single packet. If incomplete information is received, it will not be considered.

After the application materials have been reviewed, each student will be notified with an interview appointment by email of his/her March-May interview date.

Students selected for the program will attend a Mandatory orientation session on Saturday May 30, 2020.   If selected for the Zoo Team teen volunteer program, candidates would be required to attend all applicable trainings for their position and volunteer 90 hours (at least one to two days per week) for the entire summer.

Learning about Animal Handling


Learning about Biofact Presentations


To Apply:  

1. Complete a Zoo Team Teen Volunteer Application
2. A typed 100-word essay on why he/she wants to be a member of Zoo Team.
3. A typed (not hand written) letter of recommendation from two teachers.
(Home school students may use a letter from someone other than a family member.)
4.*Candidates must be fourteen years old by the application deadline.

Submit to:
Zoo Team Coordinator
1000 W. California St.
Gainesville, TX 76240
(940) 668-4539 or (940) 284-6704