Zoo Teens

Have you ever wanted to become a Camp Counselor, ZooKeeper, Veterinarian, or Wildlife Conservationist?

Zoo Teens

The application process for 2023 will open in February 2023. 

Have you ever wanted to become a Camp Counselor, ZooKeeper, Veterinarian, or Wildlife Conservationist?

Our Zoo Teen program will provide experience in problem-solving, time management, guest service experience, wildlife conservation, and wildlife education. With this knowledge and experience, we hope to instill a sense of love and care for the wildlife around them in hopes they become our next wildlife and zoological advocates.

Spots for Zoo teens are limited. Teens must be entering the 8th-grade fall of 2023 to apply to the Zoo teen program.  The application process will begin on February 21st and close on April 3rd. All applicants will need to complete the application, submit two recommendation google forms from unrelated adults (link below), and interview with Zoo education leadership. During the interview, applicants will give a 2-3 minute presentation on the importance of zoos and aquariums.

Program Fee: $100

If selected:

  • Zoo Teens will be able to select their preferred set schedule of weeks.
  • The program fee will be due by May 6th.
  • Parent or guardian will be required to attend parent orientation on May 4th or May 6th.
  • Zoo teens must complete 90% of volunteer hours from May 20th- August 11th to receive an invitation to return the following summer as a Zoo teen. (Remainder of hours, if not completed, can be done throughout the remainder of the year.)
  • Provide us with any time off requests needed for vacation or appointments.
  • Zoo teens must be able to meet all scheduled training.
  • Proof of a negative TB test for Junior keepers ONLY, not required for Counselor teens.
  • Zoo teens will be required to complete self-led animal information training at home.

Jr. Counselor

140 Volunteer Hours

Inspire the future generations of conservationists as you join our summer camp staff to guide campers’ learning through zoo tours, crafts, and animal encounters. Learn how to handle and care for ambassador animals for the campers and the public.

Spots for Zoo teens are limited. The application process will begin on February 21st and close on April 3rd. All applicants will need to complete the application, submit two recommendation google forms (link below) from unrelated adults, and interview with Zoo education leadership. During the interview, applicants will give a 2-3 minute presentation on the importance of zoos and aquariums.

Learn More

Hannah Cannon

Texas Christian University Environmental Science, HARE

My name is Hannah Cannon, and I’m currently a student at Texas Christian University studying Environmental Science with a minor in Human-Animal Relationships. I got on this track after my six years at the Abilene Zoo with the Zoo Teens program. The program was probably the number one deciding factor in what I wanted to do with my life. Not only did it help me with that, but it also helped me with getting into the school of my dreams. Zoo Teens is more than just something to do with your summer, as I first thought it was going to be, when I was thirteen. I made an impact in others’ lives, I made friends that I am still in contact with today, having not seen them in years, and I have made an impact on this earth. Zoo Teens allows you to not only learn about this the animals on this beautiful planet, but also to help make a difference, you get to teach the youth, the future of this world, all about the animals and how they can help – and they really care! The kids at camp love coming, and seeing all the different animals that YOU get to handle, they love touching them, and they love learning about them. They ask questions, and remember what you tell them. The kids that come back camp after camp are proof of that. Zoo Teens gave me a chance to have more than just the typical summer year after year, it gave me the opportunity to make a difference, and figure out where I wanted to be, and what I wanted to do, not just each summer but for the rest of my life.