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Teen Program

The application period for Summer 2020 has now closed.


The Zoo Teen Program at the Henry Vilas Zoo connects teens to the world around them and inspires conservation through a variety of volunteer roles within the zoo – including involvement in the summer zoo camp program, informal educational programming for guests, and more. In addition, teens will engage with guest speakers, learn about local organizations through field trips, and work in teams to create lasting projects around the zoo.
Through these experiences teens will:

  • Gain valuable leadership and public speaking skills
  • Network with local teens and mentors that share a passion for wildlife and conservation
  • Increase their understanding of zoos, wildlife, and conservation, and the careers that support these fields
  • Engage in science and conservation education
  • Connect to the natural world and participate in environmental stewardship
  • Explore guest engagement and exhibit interpretation skills
  • Gain experience in a team-based environment
  • Earn volunteer hours

Who should apply?

The ideal applicant will be comfortable with and interested in public speaking in order to share their passion for conservation, wildlife, and Henry Vilas Zoo’s mission. Teens should have strong leadership skills and a positive attitude. In addition, participants will be required to:

  • Make a commitment to attending the program throughout the summer and clearly communicate when unable to attend
  • Have reliable transportation to and from the zoo
  • Be 14-17 years old at the start of the program

The Details:

The program will run from June 18th – August 29th on Thursdays – Saturdays, 8:30 am to 4:00 pm. No programming will occur the dates of July 2nd – 4th.

The program cost is $200 for the summer, due at the beginning of the program. Need-based scholarships will be available. Please email the Summer Zoo Teen Coordinator at for more information regarding the scholarship application process.

Important Dates

April 15thApplication materials due
April 16thInvitations to interview to be sent to top applicants
April 19th or 30thPhone interviews
May 31stParent/teen orientation and potluck
June 18thSummer program begins

The application period for Summer 2020 has now closed.

Questions about the Summer Zoo Teen Program? Please contact or call (608) 283-1610.