Zoo Teens

Zoo Teens is a Hutchinson Zoo program for students in high school. This program is a great opportunity for participants to begin building their own resume fit for the zoology field. This page goes over the basic information regarding our types of Zoo Teens and the expectations that go with them.

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Types of Zoo Teens-

Jr. Counselor

150-hour commitment June 12th-July 21stth (20-30 hours a week during camp sessions)

Price: $100

Positions Available: 4

Inspire the future generations of conservationists as you join our summer camp teachers to guide campers’ learning through zoo tours, crafts, and animal/biofact encounters. You will learn how to handle and care for ambassador animals both for the campers and for the public. If you love to talk to people as much as you love animals, this is the program for you!

Application Requirement:

  • Completed Application
  • Recommendation Letter from two unrelated adults


  • Home-based animal research before training week
  • Zoo Teen training week

Jr. Keeper

100 Hour commitment June 1st-July 31st (12 hours a week)

Price: $100

Positions Available: 2 (rehabilitation and mini-farm)

Work with the animal care staff behind the scenes as you create diets, clean exhibits, feed animals, and discover the daily life of a zookeeper. Jr. Keepers will work closely with the animals, but there will be little to no contact.

Application Requirement:

  • Completed Application
  • Recommendation Letter from two unrelated adults


  • Zoo Teen training week

General Expectations-

All Zoo Teens will be expected to interpret to guests and assist with some level of animal care. Both of our programs include some aspects of each.


  • Interpretation involves engaging with and educating guests of all ages. For example: welcoming guests at our farms area and other exhibits on zoo grounds.
  • However, interpretation doesn’t just happen at keeper talks. They can also be spontaneous questions any guest could ask you on zoo grounds.
  • It is important to us that all guests feel welcomed when they walk through our gates.

Animal Care

  • Animal care involves assisting keepers with daily cleaning in animal exhibits, diet prep, and general exhibit maintenance.
  • Some Zoo Teens will also get the opportunity to handle education animals.
  • Since we are accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, we are held to a high standard for animal care, our Zoo Teen program helps us maintain that great care.
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How To Apply-

Click the link below to download the application for our Zoo Teen program. Once your application is complete, you can email your application and two references to our Education Coordinator at sierra.wood@hutchgov.com .

If you are selected as an applicant for our Zoo Teen program, you will be contacted about an in-person interview with zoo staff. This interview will include a 2-3 minute presentation on a topic we choose.

Zoo Teen Application

Frequently Asked Questions-

I only want to work with the zoo animals. Which program should I choose?

  • The Zoo Teen Jr. Keeper program would be your best choice; however, Jr. Counselors also get the opportunity to work with our animal ambassadors.

How will I know if you got my application materials?

  • You should receive a confirmation email from our Education Coordinator after they receive your application.

If I receive an interview does that mean I made it into the program?

  • No. Our application process strives to give students real world experience in a job like application process.

When is Zoo Teen training week?

  • May 31st-June 2ndfrom 9am-12pm
    1. The first day, both Zoo Teen groups will receive an orientation training going over their expectations and will get a behind-the-scenes tour of zoo grounds.
    2. Jr Counselors will work with our education team to learn techniques for interpreting to guests as well as the content for our summer camps.
    3. Jr Zookeepers will shadow our keepers to learn their routines.

Who can I contact if I have any additional questions?

  • Sierra.wood@hutchgov.com Sierra Wood is our Education Coordinator and is happy to help you with any questions you may have.