Zoo Crew

For those that are not quite ready to be zoo Docents, we have our Jr. Zoo Crew and Zoo Crew programs. Read the descriptions below for more information:

Jr. Zoo Crew

Monday, August 8th - Friday, August 12th / 9:00 am to 3:00 pm

Our Jr. Zoo Crew course is designed just like our regular zoo camps but will explore the zoo, its animals, and critical conservation issues in greater detail. It is held over a period of four consecutive days, with each day focusing on a different zoo topic. Those that attend the Jr. Zoo Crew course will receive vital information that will be helpful when they go on to join the Zoo Crew volunteer program. Completion of the Jr. Zoo Crew training course also qualifies those that successfully attended to shadow some of the Utica Zoo’s educational programs throughout the year.

The fee for this course is $175 for members and $200 for non-members

Jr. Zoo Crew FAQ

Unfortunately, we can only accept children that are at least 12 years of age or turning 12 years of age
by or before the end of the current year. For example: a child that is 11 years old and will be turning
12 years old in the month of September (following the training) will be able to attend.

If you (and/or your child) feel as though he/she is ready to become an independent education
volunteer, he/she may take part in the Zoo Crew training rather than the Jr. Zoo Crew training. If
your child is under 16 and becomes a part of the Zoo Crew program, they will be monitored by a staff
member or docent at all times while on zoo grounds – see question #6 for more information.

Jr. Zoo Crew members are considered to be a part of our shadow program once finishing the training
course. This means that your child will be able to shadow many of the programs that we offer to the
public, so that he/she can get a feel for what it might be like to become an education volunteer in the
future. Once your child attends the Zoo Crew training course (for those 15-17 years old), he/she will
become an official zoo volunteer.

Once your child goes through the Jr. Zoo Crew training, you will begin to receive a monthly calendar
(via email) that will include programs that your child will be able to sign up for. Your child may sign
up for any of the available programs on that calendar, with approval of the Education Volunteer

Your child will get to shadow many of the on-grounds programs that we offer here at the zoo; this
might include programs like: zoo camp, school break programs, weekend programs that are free to
the visiting public, and even zoo events. While your child is shadowing, he/she will be able to observe
how education staff or docents run an educational program or event, as well as learn about the zoo’s
education and exhibit animals, which will help them get to know the zoo even better before becoming
a Zoo Crew member.

It is not a requirement that you stay with your child while they are shadowing, however, it is zoo
policy that any child under the age of 16 must be monitored by an adult at all times while on zoo
grounds. Jr. Zoo Crew members will always be with a zoo education staff member or zoo docent while
they are shadowing a program. We require parents/guardians to drop their child off to the
appropriate location within the zoo, to assure that their child is with a staff member or zoo docent
once they arrive to shadow (this also includes the training course as well).

It is not a requirement that your child shadow any programs following the completion of the training.
You are welcome to opt out of receiving emails each month. We designed the Jr. Zoo Crew training
just like our regular zoo camps; they are meant to be fun, engaging, and educational for this age
group, but also allows them to get the know the zoo a little bit more than our younger zoo campers.

Yes! Your child can attend the course as many times as he/she wishes. Although, the material covered
from year-to-year does not tend to change, so your child might encounter similar topics and activities
if he/she attends more than once.

Zoo Crew

Monday, June 27th - Friday, July 1st / 9:00 am to 1:00 pm

Have you always wanted to work in a zoo? The Zoo Crew Program at the Utica Zoo is an exciting way for high school students ages 14 to 17 to explore career opportunities, meet new friends, gain customer service skills, and much more!

We seek responsible, reliable, enthusiastic students who are interested in learning about animals can interact with Zoo guests, and can be role models for their peers. Students of all academic levels will be considered for the program. (Candidates must be 14 years old by the start of the program.)

The Zoo Crew Program can further students’ interests, help them to explore career goals, and develop interaction skills in a professional zoological environment. These skills will also apply to any other work environment. This is a unique opportunity for students to work in the unmatched setting of the incredible Utica Zoo.


The fee for this course is $100 for non-members and $90 for members

Our Zoo Crew members are valuable vonulteers who help educate the public about the zoo and its efforts. The Zoo Crew training course is designed to train your child to become an effective and independent zoo volunteer that is capable of interpreting his/her environment successfully. 

This course is held over a period of five consecutive days and will cover a different zoo topic each day.

The fees for each program will cover any/all materials that will be handed out during or after the course is completed, a t-shirt, name badge, plus many other fun activities that the kids get to enjoy during the course!

Any Questions? Email Kathleen.McGill@uticazoo.org