Young female Zoo Teen
Zoo Teen Programs


Coordinator: Jen Katona
Phone: 321.254.9453 x375
Fax: 321.259.5966
Mail: Brevard Zoo
8225 N. Wickham Rd.
Melbourne, FL 32940

2022 Zoo Teen Application

Applicants must be 13 by January 1, 2022. Fully completed applications are due by 5 PM Sunday, October 10, 2021. Partial applications will not be considered.  Click HERE for application.


Zoo Teens volunteer once a month on their assigned Saturday or Sunday, typically from 9 am to 3 pm. The day is divided in half, with one opportunity in the morning before lunch and another opportunity in the afternoon. Assignments include:

  • educational outreach with Discovery Carts and live animals
  • raising funds for conservation and educational programs
  • helping care for educational animal collection
  • assisting staff in the Petting Zone and Touch Tank
  • assisting staff with summer and winter camps
  • Assisting staff with special events and seasonal functions

We welcome Zoo Teens to volunteer more than once per month if they are available. In June and July, Saturday and Sunday volunteer days are not required; Teens instead sign up for hours that fit their schedule any day of the week (a 25-hour minimum is required). Teens can take advantage of leadership and career exploration opportunities by participating in special projects and attending talks by speakers from a variety of career backgrounds.


All Zoo Teens must:

  • be between the ages of 13 and 16 on January 1 of the year of their program
  • have an interest in animals and working with guests

We seek applicants with:

  • the desire to try new and exciting things
  • a willingness to be responsible and polite while working hard
  • immense parental support for transportation to and from the Zoo
  • the maturity required to represent the Zoo in a responsible manner and effectively engage with guests of all ages


Once accepted, Zoo Teens must:

  • commit to one year of service following their training period.
  • complete the initial training program (see tentative schedule)
  • pass a final exam with a minimum score of 80%
  • New Brevard Zoo policy requires all staff and volunteers to provide proof of complete vaccination OR undergo testing within the week prior to volunteering to demonstrate they have tested negative for the COVID-19 virus
  • provide proof of a negative TB test
  • pay an enrollment fee of $40 (to cover the cost of Zoo Teen manual, polo, nametag and other supplies; financial assistance is available)
  • attend 7 out of 10 assigned Saturday or Sunday volunteer days (weekend volunteer days are not offered in June and July)
  • work a minimum of 25 hours during the summer months of June and July
  • participate in Boo at the Zoo
  • attend at least one conservation event per year
  • assist with at least one special event per year
  • participate in an annual training session if re-enrolled


There are numerous benefits to participating the Zoo Teen program. Many students are able to use their volunteer experience to meet the community service requirement for the Florida Bright Futures Scholarships (please speak with your guidance counselor to learn how to do so). Depending on their school, students may receive credit for their volunteer hours. Zoo teens have the opportunity to work with education department animals and the public, gaining valuable skills for a variety of careers. Making new friends, earning potential employment references, gaining lots of experience and a sense of accomplishment are just a few more reasons to apply!


Prospective Zoo Teens must complete and submit an application. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed. Applications are scored equally using a rubric; this is a tool that allows the applicants to know how each answer will be scored, and teens are encouraged to consult the rubric while formulating their responses. The top 35 – 40 applicants are interviewed in November; of these, approximately 25 teens are invited to join the Zoo Teen program. All applicants are contacted in December regarding their application status.


The Summer VolunTEEN Program is a 10-week-, 10-day-minimum opportunity that runs from June through early August.  VolunTEENs fill a variety of roles, such as engaging Zoo guests, assisting with summer camps and working alongside Zoo Teen volunteers. Applicants must be 13 by April 1, and applications are due by 4:30 p.m. on April 3, 2022.  Application will be posted in February 2022.