Junior Zookeeper Program

The Junior Zookeeper Program allows children aged 11 to 17 a wonderful opportunity to learn about a variety of animals at the Zoo, and to share their knowledge with the public. We have expanded our program to provide even more opportunities for teens to broaden their experiences. The program is now three-tiered, divided up according to years of experience at the zoo and individual abilities. The Junior Zookeeper Leadership Program has proven to be a great way for kids to learn responsibility, build leadership and time management skills, gain self confidence, and get some quality time observing and learning about wildlife.

1st year - Junior Zoo Crew

Members of the Junior Zoo Crew will learn how to care for the animals within the Children's Zoo Farm, keep the area clean, and interact with the public, answering questions about the animals. Junior Zoo Crew members will learn about urban gardening and will assist in maintaining the areas various garden features. Junior Zoo Crew Members will assist 2nd year Zoo Crew Assistant Leads with the Edu-Carts, and help with summer camps and participate in Show and Tails.

2nd year - Zoo Crew Assistant Leads

Zoo Crew Leads are returning Junior Zookeeper Leadership Program participants with at least one year previous experience. Zoo Crew Assistant Leads will have a higher level of responsibility and will be trained as Junior Docents. They will supervise members of the Junior Zoo Crew, help oversee the Children's Zoo Farm, and help with animal diet preparation. Zoo Crew Assistant Leads may assist with the live animal components of the Edu-carts as well as help the 3rd year Zoo Crew Leads create and present educational activities for the public. They will also help with summer camps and participate in Show and Tails.

3rd year and up - Zoo Crew Leads

Zoo Crew Leads must have at least 2 years previous experience in the Junior Zookeeper Leadership Program. Demonstrated maturity and the ability to accept increasing levels of responsibility are required for Zoo Crew Leads. Not only will they be leading their own activities, they will also be supervising the Junior Zoo Crew and Assistants, as well as working with the older Wildlife Explorers and Zookeepers. They also help coordinate enrichment activities with the zookeepers and conduct animal observation for the zookeepers. Zoo Crew Leads also assist with summer camps and participate in Show and Tails.

*All teens can expect to assist with the zoo's special events by running activity centers or leading interpretive stations*

Program guidelines

  • Children must be 11 to 17 years old by May 1, 2014
  • A schedule of availability must be provided and Junior Zookeepers must commit to a minimum of two or more 4 hour shifts per week. Shifts are 9:00-1:00pm and 1:00-5:00pm, 7 days a week.
  • 2014 sessions are June, July, August, September (weekends only) and October (weekends only). Children may register for one or more sessions.
  • Children must be a member of the Red River Zoological Society.
  • Program fee is $150 per session with subsequent sessions are offered at a discounted price of $100. Weekend-only sessions in September and October are offered at $75 per session.

To enroll your child in the Junior Zookeeper Program, please complete the Application and mail it to:
Red River Zoo
4255 23rd Ave S
Fargo, ND 58104

Deadline for applications is May 15, 2014. This popular program fills up quickly, so please send in your application as soon as possible. Call 701-277-9240 or email education@redriverzoo.org with any questions.

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