Join Our Zoo Team - Teen Volunteer Program!

Zoo Team Flyer with Pictures of Zoo Team Activities

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 10-20 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.

Zoo Team members volunteer from 9-4 on assigned days. Zoo Team members must complete 75 hours of volunteering throughout the summer, though many Zoo Team members hit well over 100 hours after signing up for more volunteer days!

*Zoo Team members must be current 8th graders-12th graders/incoming 9th graders-college freshmen.

A $100 activity fee is required for this program and includes a t-shirt, training manual, certificate, and so much more. This is a great addition to any college application!

For summer 2021, we will attempt to take a field trip to an area wildlife facility. However, it may be required for volunteers to drive themselves (or get a ride from a trusted family member) to any field trip. If family members would also like to participate in field trips, they will need to pay regular admission to facilities. Behind-the-scenes tour spots will be allocated for Zoo Team only. 

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 closed for Summer 2021. Check back in January 2022 for applications for Summer 2022.

Learning about Animal Handling


Zoo Team steps:

1. Fill out the application at the link below.

2. Schedule an interview with the education coordinator.

3. Have two adults (not family members) send letters of recommendation directly to the education department: or Jamie Green, 1000 W. California St., Gainesville, TX 76240.

4. You will receive an email with instructions for your interview.

5. Wait for Zoo Team decisions to come out in April or May.

If you are selected for Zoo Team,

6. You will be required to pay the $100 program fee.

7. May 29th will be mandatory orientation for Zoo Team. June 1st will be a mandatory teambuilding event for Zoo Team.

8. Zoo Team starts June 2nd!