Open Daily
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM

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



The Zoo Teen program provides a way for youth to serve their community in pursuit of environmental awareness and career exploration. Teens are offered a variety of opportunities throughout the year with our year-long Zoo Teen Program and the Summer VolunTEEN Program.

Each year, Zoo Teens work alongside staff to create a positive and memorable experience for Zoo visitors. Teens perform a variety of tasks at the Zoo that include animal handling, kayaking and public education. Zoo Teens also volunteer their time for Zoo Camp, fundraisers and special events.

There are numerous benefits to joining the Zoo Teen program. Students can use their volunteer experience to meet community service requirements for Florida Bright Futures Scholarships. Teens also have the opportunity to work directly with animals and the public, gaining valuable skills for a variety of careers. Most importantly, Zoo Teens gain an appreciation for the value of volunteer work and community involvement.



Zoo Teens volunteer once a month on their assigned Saturday or Sunday. Teens select their assignment from a list of available positions. The day is divided in half, with one opportunity in the morning before a lunch period and one in the afternoon. Normal times are 9 am – 3 pm. Some of the activities teens help with are listed below:

  • Educate the public with Discovery Carts and live animals
  • Assist staff in the Petting Zone and Touch Tank
  • Help with care of the educational animal collection
  • Raise funds for conservation and educational programs
  • Assist staff with summer and winter camps
  • Assist with special events and seasonal functions

We welcome teens to volunteer more than once a month if they are available. In June and July, Saturday and Sunday volunteer days are not required. Volunteers 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.


The program is for teens between the ages of 13 and 16 who are interested in animals and working with the public. Applicants must be 13 years old by January 1 to apply for that year’s program. Applicants do not need a vast knowledge of animals or zoos. The program seeks applicants that have:

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


Once accepted, Zoo Teens commit to one year of service following their training period.

  • Teens must participate in a training program (see tentative schedule). All teens must receive a TB test annually. Teens must pass a final exam with an 80% or greater.
  • Teens must pay dues of $35.00 to join the program. This covers the costs of a teen manual, teen shirt, nametag, and various supplies (financial assistance is available).
  • Teens must attend 7 out of 10 assigned Saturday or Sunday volunteer days (weekend volunteer days are not held in June and July).
  • Teens must provide a minimum of 25 volunteer hours during the summer months of June and July, and participate in “Boo at the Zoo.”
  • Teens must attend at least one conservation event held throughout the year.


There are numerous benefits to 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 the guidance department of your school on how to do so.) Depending on their school, students may receive credit for their volunteer hours. Volunteers 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!


For consideration into the Zoo Teen program, teens must complete and submit an application. The 2020 Zoo Teen Program applications will be available Wednesday, August 15 and are due Sunday, October 14 by 5 p.m.  Incomplete application packets will not be reviewed. Completed applications and questions are scored equally using a rubric. A rubric is a tool that allows the applicants to know how each answer will be scored. Teens are encouraged to use the rubric to guide 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.

Summer VolunTEEN Program

The Summer VolunTEEN Program is a 10-week, 10-day minimum opportunity that runs from June 3 through early August. VolunTEENs must apply to the program. Once selected, they undergo two days of training on Sunday, May 26 and Sunday, June 2. Presence at training is required; inability to meet this requirement will exclude the applicant from consideration. VolunTEENs do a variety of jobs including engaging Zoo guests, assisting with summer camp, working with current Zoo Teen volunteers and making new friends. Click here to download the application.