We are not currently accepting applications for the Junior Ambassador program.
This opportunity is for highly independent, outgoing, high school aged students that enjoy interacting with guest and have a passion for animals and conservation, Junior Ambassadors lead organized activities and informal conversations to share the Zoo's mission of conservation with our guest. Volunteers commit to two 8 hour shifts per month during the school year, and one 8 hour shift per week in the summer.
JUNIOR AMBASSADOR, STAGE I
Zoo-wide Interpretation – Junior Ambassadors staff “Exploration Stations” strategically located throughout the Zoo. Each station is equipped with interactive activities or biofacts (hair, teeth, feathers, etc.) relating to a specific animal and its conservation. Junior Ambassadors encourage visitors to participate, interact, and ask questions that will increase their knowledge of the animals in the Zoo. Junior Ambassadors also play a major role in helping to deliver each year’s seasonal theme.
Focus Plant or Animal – Junior Ambassadors will choose a plant or animal to study that the Zoo has in its collection. They will learn as much as they can about the organism they have chosen and interpret at the organism’s location.
JUNIOR AMBASSADOR, STAGE II
Junior Ambassadors will have to opportunity to advance to higher stages. After fulfilling all requirements and being in good standing, Junior Ambassadors will continue with the above activities, but may also add:
Interpretive Projects – Junior Ambassadors will be able to create a project about a conservation topic the Zoo supports. The project should be educational for guests and easily demonstrated on the path.
Reptile Exercise Yard & Lorikeets - After completing eight months, a Junior Ambassador in good standing is eligible to advance to assisting Public Programs staff and/or interns in the Reptile Exercise Yard. This will include engaging guests in conversations about the reptile in the yard and as available, training to handle selected reptiles in the yard.
JUNIOR AMBASSADOR, STAGE III
Behavior Studies – Junior Ambassadors at the stage will be able to do a behavior study on an animal(s) of their choice. Junior Ambassadors will learn how to create an ethogram and time based study.
JUNIOR AMBASSADOR, STAGE IV
Junior Ambassador Trainee Mentoring – Junior Ambassadors will assist the Public Programs Manager in preparing the new class of Junior Ambassadors for their duties. They will demonstrate different ways of engaging the public, pass on knowledge about Junior Ambassador stations and activities, and encourage growth. As each new class begins, interpretation techniques will be passed down from session to session and year to year.
Schedule – Junior Ambassadors must commit to one year of service and be available from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. for a minimum of 4 days a month during July and August and 2 days a month during the school year. Junior Ambassadors will also take part in an additional training day once a month.
Eligibility - New Junior Ambassador training season will start in December. Interviews are conducted by a group audition and candidates will be evaluated on presentation skills, group interactions, and adaptability. Applicants must attend the group audition to be eligible for the program; no exceptions will be made. Please note that all volunteers must be at least 14 years old. Applicants accepted into the program will be asked to submit a cleared PA Criminal Background Check and PA Child Abuse History Clearance before they can begin their volunteer service.
Applications are accepted online from September 1 – October 31. Applicants will be asked to bring a copy of their latest report card and two letters of recommendation to the audition, held in November. In lieu of letters of recommendation, applicants can submit completed Recommendation Form. Click here to download.
The program is currently full, so we are unable to accept new applications in 2013. Instead, please consider applying to our Conservation Stewards program this spring.