Zoo Teen program seeks new members

During+Spirit+Week%27s+Zoo+Day%2C+junior+Victoria+Hernandez+shows+off+her+Zoo+Team+uniform.

Dana Brown

During Spirit Week’s Zoo Day, junior Victoria Hernandez shows off her Zoo Team uniform.

Attention all animal lovers! The Brevard Zoo Teen Program is looking for new volunteers.  Teens (ages 13-16) can work alongside staff members to create a memorable experience for Zoo visitors. Teens perform a variety of tasks at the Zoo, such as animal handling, public education, and kayaking. Volunteers are committed for one year of service after being selected and volunteer a minimum of one Saturday per month and 15 hours for Zoo Camp.

Zoo Teen Coordinator Meg Lieth encourages teens to join the program because they get benefits, service hours, and career experience. In the program, teens can learn the value of service and appreciation for wildlife.

“We’ve had a very popular program. This year, we had 120 teens in the program,” Lieth said. Recently, it’s been a bit competitive to get in.

Junior Erna Roth will be starting her fourth year in Zoo Teens in January and explains how fun the program is.

“I’ve learned a lot about responsibility,” Roth said. “You actually take care of the animals, feed them, clean them, help train them.”

Zip lining has been the newest addition to the Zoo Teen Program.

“You teach people the rules of the zipline,” Roth said, talking about how ziplining has become one of her favorite things to do in the program. Students also enjoy the program because of the variety of experience it provides.

“I remember the first time I started working in animal care, I had to clean Roman the Hedgehog’s [plastic playing] ball,” Roth said. “Of course me being a newbie, no one told me that the ball was always filthy. That is one of my favorite experiences because it began a new initiation process in animal care.”

Applications are available at www.brevardzoo.org/volunteer/zooteens, and the deadline is November 1, 2013.