Discovery Guide Volunteer Program

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Photo Credit: Julie Larsen Maher ©WCS

Based in our Education Department at the Bronx Zoo, Discovery Guides are seasonal volunteers (16 and older) who receive training in customer service and basic interpretation. Discovery Guides focus on a select group of visitor experiences and, in turn, gain experience with teaching, leadership, public speaking, and learn about animals and the wild places they inhabit!

Discovery Guides who successfully complete the program will be eligible to join the Friends of the Zoo, the docent organization of the Bronx Zoo.

What are some of the responsibilities?

  • Interact with children, families, and general visitors at select exhibits and educational activities around the zoo
  • Assist with birthday parties and summer camps
  • Answer questions and provide information at the Zoo's Visitor Center
  • Lead summer offerings like storytelling, games, and art activities

Why volunteer?

  • Make a difference
  • Meet like-minded volunteers and make new friends
  • Earn school community service hours
  • Increase animal knowledge
  • Gain work experience and build your college resume
  • Get an insight into the Friends of the Zoo program
  • Receive a discount on food and retail items at the Bronx Zoo

What is the commitment?

  • Attend the full training for the program
  • Volunteer at least 70 hours (1 day a week) from June 27-September 1, 2015
  • Pay program cost of $35 for uniform shirt, seasonal ID, and training materials

Take the Next Step

We will begin accepting applications for Summer 2015 in early Spring.

Training will be conducted on four consecutive days, Saturday, June 27; Sunday, June 28; Monday, June 29; Tuesday, June 30th.

Please send the completed application by email to, by mail to Coordinator of Volunteers, Bronx Zoo, 2300 Southern Blvd, Bronx NY 10460, or by fax to (718) 365-3300, by Saturday, May 1. Participants must be 16 years old as of June 1, 2014, to participate, and, in addition to the application, all high school students must have a teacher submit a letter of recommendation.

If we think you'd be a good fit for the program, you'll be invited to a group interview, and you will be required to attend a full training before beginning your volunteer duties.

Discovery Guide Application Form

Discovery Guide Recommendation Form

For more information, please email