Docents / Volunteers
About the Docent Program
Essex County Turtle Back Zoo has a wonderful Docent program. Docents are specially trained volunteers who give educational talks, act as guides, and are stationed throughout the Zoo to provide information to visitors about the Zoo and its animal collection. Being a TBZ docent is an enriching, rewarding, and social experience. These are highly selective and prestigious positions. Training is offered once a year.
Being a docent requires you to:
- be at least 18 years old
- download, complete, and submit a Docent Application
- complete an in-person interview
- complete a specialized 7-day training course; instruction provided by experienced TBZ staff.
- pay a one-time fee of $30 to cover training materials
- commit to volunteer a designated number of hours/events. Hours are gained from attending a set day (e.g. 1st and 3rd or 2nd and 4th Saturdays) each month throughout the year. Docents are also expected to staff special events, such as Safe Howl-o-ween, as they occur throughout the year.
- wear the docent uniform when working with the public (blue docent shirt & khaki pants or blue jeans and appropriate footwear)
- be a good representative and guide/educator to the visiting public
We are no longer accepting applications for 2020. Please check this page in November, 2020 for information about recruitment for the 2021 Docent Class.
For more information, please contact the Zoo’s Volunteer Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Turtle Back Zoo VolunTEEN Program
About the VolunTEEN Program
VolunTEEN program participants assist Camp Counselor staff with the Zoo’s Summer Camp program. They help prepare for the daily camp sessions, assist campers with crafts and activities, and help keep campers together and safe while on Zoo grounds. Working as a VolunTEEN is a great way to learn about animals at the zoo and share your love and enthusiasm for wildlife with younger peers. Not only is it a fun way to spend part of the summer, you will earn those much needed volunteer hours for upcoming college applications.
Our summer VolunTEEN program is open to teens from 14-17 years of age. This program has very limited space with the ability to accommodate a maximum of 20 teens each year. Because of the limited space, this program is in high demand and will fill up quickly. The application for the program is available online and must be submitted electronically.
To be a VolunTEEN: You must be 14 (or entering 9th grade in the fall of 2020) to 17 years old, and able to volunteer a full week at a time, Monday through Friday. You may be able to work more than 2 weeks if space is available, but a minimum of 2 weeks is required (weeks do not need to be consecutive). VolunTEENS are required to report by 8:30am and will leave by 4:30pm (8 hours). Our summer camp sessions run from late June through late August each year. VolunTEENS work with our summer Zoo Camps ONLY. Teens will not be working with keepers or animals.
For 2020 Applicants
The application deadline of March 21, 2020 is now passed. No additional applications are being accepted. Check back in November/December 2020 for updates about recruitment for 2021 VolunTEENS.
For questions about the Turtle Back Zoo VolunTEEN Program, contact:
Randy Laxer, Volunteer Coordinator