Current Volunteers - Click Here to Log-in to the Volunteer Information Center
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The Zoo Needs You!
Volunteers from an area company help out as Henry the Zoo mascot and Face of the Zoo during an Adopt-A-Day volunteer outing at the Zoo.
Thank you for your interest in volunteering with the Henry Vilas Zoo. While volunteers support the mission of the Zoo and Friends of Henry Vilas Zoo in many diverse ways, there are three main ways for volunteers to get started in supporting the Zoo through their gifts of time and talent. For more details and job descriptions for many of the roles, click here.
Guest services volunteers drive the Zoo train, greet guests, staff the goat yard, or dress up as our Zoo mascot Henry the Lion. A variety of schedules are available and minimum volunteer age varies depending on the specific volunteer role.
Education volunteers present education information to large groups, help guests explore animal artifacts and environmental information through our Exploration Stations, or assist with summer Zoo School. Exploration Station volunteers can be as young as 13. Animal Ambassadors must be 18 and able to make a weekly commitment for at least one year.
Individual volunteers, corporate groups and service clubs are all invited to volunteer for Henry Vilas Zoo's signature events - Zoo Run Run in September and Halloween at the Zoo in October - and additional events throughout the year.
What volunteers have to say:
- "My experience volunteering at the Henry Vilas Zoo has been great. Seeing the children's smiles when they come into the zoo makes the time I spend here worthwhile. It's a great way to help out in the community!"
- "Being a volunteer brings pleasure, friends and joy in a person's life."
- "Seeing the happiness and the smiles on the faces of the little kids on the carousel is what kept me coming back week after week this season."
- "Henry Vilas Zoo, of course," is my favorite place to volunteer, "because it really does make a difference and it's great fun"
- "It is a great way to volunteer together"
Why do Volunteers Choose the Zoo?
Getting Started as a Volunteer
- To "give back" to the Zoo and the wider community
- To help guests get the most out of their Zoo visit
- To get to know new people
- To be a part of the Zoo team
- Because it is a great excuse to spend time at the Zoo
- To be around happy people
- To have a chance to work outside
- To work alongside friends and family
- To provide structure to the day
- To build skills and a resume
- To learn more about the Zoo, exotic animals, and conservation
Plan to attend a Volunteer Orientation session.
All volunteers at the Henry Vilas Zoo need to attend an orientation and a Guest Services Training before getting started. Sessions begin in January to prepare volunteers for the start of our busy season in the Spring. Volunteers then learn their role either in a group setting or on-the-job with an experienced volunteer.
Henry Vilas Zoo has a one-Zoo one-team philosophy. It is important for volunteers to know about the Zoo and the different ways people can support the Zoo: Membership, fundraising programs and special events. Many a new member donor has been made through a friendly invitation from one of our friendly volunteers!
Register for more information:
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or complete the volunteer information form at the bottom of this page to learn the date of the next sessions and to register. In the meantime, consider joining our E-mail list (link below) and becoming a Henry Vilas Zoo Facebook fan at www.facebook.com/HenryVilasZoo to receive up-to-date Zoo information.
The Zoo offers limited opportunities to work directly with the educational animals (primarily reptiles and insects). These Animal Ambassadors must be willing/able to make a weekly commitment for at least a year, be at least 18 years old, and complete extended training. Our professional staff of zookeepers are responsible for all animal care including animal enrichment and cleaning of enclosures.
Volunteer Inquiry Form
Please fill out the form below and it will be emailed to the Volunteer Coordinator.
Please complete all required fields.