Skip to Content

In Get Involved

Zoo Volunteers

Current Zoo Volunteers

Online Volunteer Portal

Here’s how to get involved:

Adult Volunteer Program

Interested in joining the Virginia Zoo team as a volunteer? Registration for new volunteers (18+) will open on March 1, 2015 for April 2015 intake.

Group Volunteers

Do you have a corporate, civic, military, or other group that would like to volunteer at the Zoo? Please fill out and submit this application!

Conservation Youth Team (CYT)

Information Sessions for this program will be held at the Zoo on 1/24, 2/5, and 2/15

High School

Conservation Youth Team (CYT) provide an important volunteer service to the Zoo, our guests and our communities. During a fun and intensive two-week training at the beginning of summer, CYTs learn basic zoology and conservation. Upon completion, CYTs provide exhibit interpretation for our guests or support our summer camp programs. As CYTs, students develop important job and life skills, build self-confidence and earn community service hours. Regular conservation experiences connect students with opportunities to better understand science and conservation in the local community.

CYT offers two “tracks” to applicants—Guide Track and Camp Track:

Guide Track

Students in this track hone their interpretation skills and provide enriching guest experiences. Guide Track CYTs will become intimately familiar with Zoo stories and animals while sharing their passion for conservation with Zoo guests. Applicants should have an interest in actively communicating with visitors of all ages and backgrounds.

Time commitment:

  • Two-week training: Monday–Friday, June 22-26, and Monday–Thursday, June 29-July 2, 2015, between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
  • Shifts: Three consecutive eight-hour days each week (8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.) July 9–September 1, 2015. Students select one of the following day groups: Sunday/Monday/Tuesday, or Thursday/Friday/Saturday. (No Guide Track on Wednesdays.)
  • Conservation events: July 15, August 5, and August 26, 2015.
  • End of Summer Celebration & Awards Ceremony: September 5, 2015

Camp Track

Students in this track will mentor and assist our instructors with our Summer Camp Programs. CYT volunteers will learn how to lead games and manage groups while assisting in activities such as learning labs, zoo tours, behind-the-scenes experiences, and animal encounters. Applicants should have an interest in mentoring younger students and teaching experience.

Time commitment:

  • Two-week training: June 22-26, and Monday–Thursday, June 29-July2, 2015, between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
  • Camps: five consecutive days of eight-hour shifts every other week. Students select one of the following Camps groups. Camp Track 1 with starting days: July 6, July 20, August 3, August 17 or Camp Track 2 with starting days: July 13, July 27, August 10, August 24.
  • Conservation events: July 15, August 5, and August 26, 2015.
  • End of Summer Celebration & Awards Ceremony: September 5, 2015

Student volunteers applying should:

  • Indicate a track preference on their applications
  • Be currently enrolled in high school or entering high school next fall and be at least 14 years old
  • Demonstrate an eagerness to learn and to work with people of all ages and backgrounds
  • Be proficient in English and comfortable with science vocabulary
  • Be willing and available to attend all important program dates listed below
  • Volunteer for eight-hour days (8 a.m.–4:30 p.m.) as assigned (approximately 100 hours)

Important dates:

  • Information meeting: Saturday January 24th at 10am; Thursday February 5th at 6pm; and Saturday January 15th at 1pm. (Those interested only need to attend one meeting)
  • Application and Recommendation Form (PDF) due: February 28, 2015
  • Potential interviews: March 11, March 14, or March 15, 2015 (if selected, applicants will need to attend one interview session in person)
  • Summer orientation: May 2015 (dates, times and locations to be determined)
  • Required two-week training: Monday–Friday, June 22–26, and Monday–Thursday, June 29-July2, 2015; 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
  • CYT-specific summer events: July 15, August 5, August 26, and September 5, 2015

Registration Fee:

  • If you are selected to participate in the Conservation Youth Team there is a required $50.00 registration fee. This amount covers your Zoo uniform shirt, nametag, and additional program materials.

Applications for summer 2015 are now available online through February 28, 2015.

Apply now

Download the Recommendation Form (PDF)

Additional opportunities are available to CYTs who have time to volunteer during the school year and subsequent summers. Students can assist in special events at the Zoo, support a variety of education programs or interpret exhibits for guests. CYTs cultivate lasting relationships with their peers, adult volunteers and Zoo staff. No matter which of these adventures students choose, they’ll take home memories of a lifetime!

Information Sessions for this program will be held at the Zoo on 1/24, 2/5, and 2/15

For more information about the Conservation Youth team email the Education Department vazoo.education@norfolk.gov

 

 

 

Back to top