Bronx Zoo Volunteer Program
Bronx Zoo Education Docents
Become a member of the Friends of the Zoo, the docent organization based in the Education Department at the Bronx Zoo. Enthusiastic adults 18 or older, who can serve weekdays or weekends for a minimum period of two years, are prime candidates for the program. Weekday docents serve one day per week; weekend docents serve one day every other weekend. Docents enjoy free admission to the Wildlife Conservation Society’s four zoos and aquarium in New York. They receive continuing education courses on wildlife and biology, and discounts at WCS gift shops.
As part of the Education department, docents:
- Offer guided tours of zoo exhibits to schoolchildren, organized groups, and families.
- Work as exhibit interpreters in the Children’s Zoo, Africa Plaza, Wild Asia Plaza, and more.
- Deliver interpretive talks about specific exhibits and provide visitors with valuable lessons that promote wildlife conservation.
- Assist the Education Dept. with their environmental education programs.
- Assist at special events.
To become a Friend of the Zoo, candidates need to pass an interview and successfully complete a 3 month training course.
The Training Program
The staff of the Education Department and the members of the Friends of the Zoo will mentor trainees. Trainees will also attend 7 days of classes and exhibit tours led by Education Department staff and veteran docents. The goals of the 3 month training program are:
- To acquaint the trainee with the mission of the Wildlife Conservation Society and the Friends of the Zoo.
- To orient the trainee to the facilities and policies of the Bronx Zoo.
- To help the trainee learn about the animals and exhibits.
- To allow the trainee to feel comfortable as a member of the volunteer organization.
- To provide the skills necessary for interacting with the visitors to the Zoo.
Training Program Schedule
The Friends of the Zoo will provide the components of the training program, including opportunities for observation, exhibit visits, classes, and mentoring, according to the following schedule:
All class days for both weekday and weekend trainees will be on Sundays from 9:45 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. There will be 7 class days between February and April.
Immediately following the completion of classes’ trainees will participate in a service day schedule. With input from the trainee, the Coordinator will assign each trainee to a service day. For six weeks the trainee will work on a probationary basis. Full status will be awarded after successful completion of this period.
Volunteer Application Form
For further information contact the docent office at the Bronx Zoo at (718) 220-5141 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bronx Zoo Volunteer Ambassadors
The Bronx Zoo is now accepting applications for Volunteer Ambassadors. Ambassadors are members of the Guest Relations Department, which is responsible for providing the best possible guest experience and service to our visitors. Ambassadors perform a variety of jobs, including the following:
- Acting as an information resource for guests by providing directions, answering questions, and aiding in complaint resolution at key positions throughout the Zoo
- Aiding in the efficient entrance of school groups on days of high group attendance
- Offering paid non-educational tours via golf cart for guests requiring mobility assistance
- Assisting with administrative office functions for all areas of the Guest Relations Department
Volunteers must work one day per week from April–October. Volunteer opportunities will also be available during the winter months for those who wish to commit to additional time.
Applicants to our program must be 18 years of age or older. An enthusiastic, friendly attitude and the ability to work well with a diverse audience are also required. All applicants must be cleared by a background check before they begin training.
Additionally, we are looking for applicants with some of the following skills for specific assignments:
- Valid driver’s license
- Ability to work in a busy, fast-paced, outdoor environment in a variety of weather conditions and to stand/walk for long periods of time (2 hrs.+)
- Experience working in an administrative or office environment
Training and Application Process
Volunteer Ambassador applicants must successfully complete a five-day training program. To apply, please email a statement of interest and your resume to SeasonalRecruitment@wcs.org with “Volunteer Ambassador” in the subject line.
For more information, please call (718) 220-5103.