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ZooTeen (Paid)

Since its inception in 1999, our ZooTeen program has engaged Boston youth with work experiences that allow them to develop professionally, build a strong sense of self, and strengthen their knowledge and preparedness for future endeavors.

The ZooTeen Program is a summer opportunity for youth, ages 15 to 18, that combines a meaningful work experience at Franklin Park Zoo with professional development, life-skill training and community building. Many ZooTeens have gone on to become Teen Ambassadors, interns and zookeepers at Zoo New England.

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Ages: 14-18 years old
Program Duration: Summer - July to August
Program Commitment: 25 hours per week

Program Overview

Here’s an overview of assignments in various departments throughout the Zoo:

  • Animal Care: ZooTeens assigned to animal care work in one of four departments: Bird's World, Children's Zoo, Commissary and Little Critters. Here, they are exposed to modern animal husbandry techniques, including diet preparation, servicing animal enclosures, record-keeping, basic animal enrichment, and insight into animal training.
  • Education: ZooTeens in Education act as interpreters or “explainers” and goodwill guides to zoo guests. They learn to facilitate activities throughout zoo grounds, lead animal encounters for guests, and develop new activities that they design.
  • Horticulture Aide: Teens working in Horticulture will assist in the planting and maintenance of new and existing gardens both in and out of exhibits at both Franklin Park Zoo including planting, weeding, and pruning. They will also learn plant identification and husbandry, permaculture, and horticultural principles and design while working in both exhibits and in the landscape.
  • Marketing Aide: The Marketing Aide will work within the Marketing and Communications office to support efforts to increase visitation, and highlight stories about conservation and animal care. This role will include taking and editing pictures and videos, interviewing staff, gathering information, and working closely with the Social Media Specialist to craft posts.
  • ZooCamp: Junior Camp Counselors in ZooCamp act as support staff for Camp Counselors. They prepare activity materials, help facilitate activities, and support behavioral management for campers ages 6 – 13.