skip to Main Content

Volunteer

Join us!

GET INVOLVED

Volunteer With Us

WHAT VOLUNTEERS DO AT THE ZOO

Volunteers aid zoo efforts in a number of capacities and help support the zoo through their gifts of time and talent. Volunteers will help guests get the most out of their visit to the zoo, help educate zoo visitors about animals and the importance of protecting them in their native habitats and contribute to the success of on-grounds and event fundraising.

Guest Services volunteers help zoo guests get the most out of their visit. Volunteers offer friendly greetings, answer questions, provide directions, respond to guest concerns, and invite visitors to support the zoo through on-grounds purchases, donations, or memberships. Guest Services volunteers may be stationed at information booths, run the train and carousel, be our Henry the Lion zoo mascot, or provide change at the goat yard. Most roles require volunteers to be at least 14 years old to volunteer solo or 10 years old if accompanied by an adult 18 years or older. Train and carousel volunteers must be 18 years old.

Conservation Education volunteers give their time in a variety of ways to educate our guests about our animals, their challenges, and how we can support them. We have several opportunities to educate guests, including discovery docents, program assistants, and animal handling docents. The zoo offers limited opportunities to work directly with the education animals (primarily reptiles, invertebrates, and small mammals). These animal handling docents must be at least 18 years old, able to volunteer weekly for at least one year, and willing to complete extended training. Our professional zookeeping staff is responsible for all animal care, including animal enrichment and the cleaning of enclosures.

Events Crew Looking to get involved with the Henry Vilas Zoo and Zoological Society but don’t have enough time for the monthly commitment? This is a great opportunity for individuals with full-time jobs or groups, as most events are held in the evening or on the weekend! Events Crew is a great way to get involved and assist at events that we offer throughout the year! Events include: Membership Appreciation, Conservation Awareness Days, Taste of the Wild, Zoo Run Run, Halloween at the Zoo, Brew Lights, Zoo Lights, and many more. There are several ways to get involved as we offer a variety of jobs for each event. Requirements include: 18 years or older, a minimum of 3 events per year and completion of a short training about the different roles involved.

Group Volunteer Opportunities includes helping throughout the year with landscaping, painting, gardening, cleaning, and crafting projects.

Please contact the volunteer department at volunteer@vilaszoo.org or 608-258-9490 or complete the Volunteer Inquiry Form to get started.

VOLUNTEER POSITION DESCRIPTIONS

Position title: Face of the Zoo (Information Booth)

Reports to: Henry Vilas Zoological Society Volunteer Department

Shift times: 10am – 1pm; 1 – 4pm

Overview of position: Be a resource for guests to ensure that they have a positive experience at the Zoo. Able to share information about the different aspects of the zoo and walk with guests as needed.

Specific tasks:

1. Staff the information booth located at the center of the Zoo (near the Main Tent)
2. Happily interact with Zoo guests and answer any questions they may have
3. Invite guests to support the Zoo through a donation, membership, or on-grounds purchase
4. Direct guests to various areas throughout the Zoo and walk with them (as appropriate), providing information about specific aspects
5. Be prepared to handle emergency situations including weather, safety and injuries.

Time required: A minimum of a twice monthly commitment is required. Minimum season-long commitment is 25 hours.

Minimum Qualifications:

• Able to stand/sit for 2-3 hours at a time and move throughout the Zoo
• Able to work outside in all weather spring-fall
(except in hazardous or overly-cold situations)
• Friendly and engaging personality
• Excellent customer service skills
• Able to be understood over Zoo radio
• Able to provide clear directions throughout Zoo
• Able to stay calm in an emergency situation
• Willing/able to request donation/membership support
• Patient
• Self-confident

Age requirements: 16+ (10+ with an adult). In order to be alone at a booth, volunteer must be fully able to perform all responsibilities of the position.

Training: General orientation, Face of the Zoo training and mentored shift.

Benefits to the volunteer: Volunteer outside at the Zoo, meet new friends, help create lasting memories for Zoo guests, volunteer t-shirt, volunteer nametag, recognition event(s).

Please contact a member of the Volunteer Department at volunteer@vilaszoo.org or 608-258-9490.

Position title: Henry the Lion (mascot)

Reports to: Henry Vilas Zoological Society Volunteer Department

Shift times: 10am – Noon daily. Also other times as requested that may include special on-grounds and community events.

Overview of position: Wear mascot costume, working with Assistant to greet Zoo guests and provide them with a fun and engaging experience at the zoo

Specific tasks:

1. Happily engage with Zoo guests by waving and interacting with them
2. Walk throughout the zoo (except the giraffe, capybara, and lion areas) and remain visible for guests
3. Pose for pictures
4. Dance and move around engaging guests
5. Provide high fives

Time required: A minimum of a twice monthly commitment is required. Minimum season-long commitment is 25 hours.

Qualifications:

• Able to stand for 2 hours at a time
• Must be in good shape and able to deal with extreme heat as this position can be physically demanding
• Able to work outside in all weather spring-fall (except in hazardous or overly-cold situations).
• Ability to have fun and be physically animated
• Friendly and engaging personality
• Able to stay calm in an emergency situation

Age requirements: Minimum age 14

Training: General orientation & specific training

Benefits to the volunteer: Volunteer outside at the Zoo, meet new friends, help create lasting memories for Zoo guests, volunteer t-shirt, volunteer nametag, recognition event(s).

Please contact a member of the Volunteer Department at volunteer@vilaszoo.org or 608-258-9490.

Position title: Henry the Lion’s Assistant

Reports to: Henry Vilas Zoological Society Volunteer Department

Shift times: 10am – Noon daily. Also other times as requested that may include special on-grounds and community events.

Overview of position: Assist the mascot around the zoo acting as their eyes and ears. Work with Henry to greet Zoo guests and provide them with a fun and engaging experience at the zoo

Specific tasks:

1. Happily engage with Zoo guests by guiding Henry around the Zoo
2. Provide verbal communication to Henry telling him where people are coming from since he can’t see well.
3. Encourage the guests to approach Henry, give high-fives, dance with Henry or take pictures as Henry is unable to talk.
4. Repeat conversation and questions to Henry as it’s hard to hear while in the costume.
5. Hand out stickers to guests after their visit with Henry

Time required: A minimum of a twice monthly commitment is required. Minimum season-long commitment is 25 hours.

Qualifications:

• Able to stand for 2 hours at a time
• Able to work outside in all weather spring-fall (except in hazardous or overly-cold situations).
• Able to provide direction to Henry both in navigation and communication
• Ability to have fun
• Friendly and engaging personality
• Able to stay calm in an emergency situation

Age requirements: Minimum age 14

Training: General orientation, specific training and mentored shift.

Benefits to the volunteer: Volunteer outside at the Zoo, meet new friends, help create lasting memories for Zoo guests, volunteer t-shirt, volunteer nametag, recognition event(s).

Please contact a member of the Volunteer Department at volunteer@vilaszoo.org or 608-258-9490.

Position title: Gate Greeter

Reports to: Henry Vilas Zoological Society Volunteer Department

Shift times: 10am – 12pm; 12 – 2pm; 2 – 4pm

Overview of position: Provide a warm, friendly welcome for guests and help make sure that they have a positive experience at the Zoo.

Specific tasks:

1. Staff the gate located at the Zoo’s entrances
2. Happily greet and welcome Zoo guests and thank them for coming
3. Invite guests to support the Zoo through a donation, membership, or on-grounds purchase
4. Answer Zoo guests’ Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)
5. Direct guests to their favorite animals and other important areas of the Zoo (e.g., restrooms, concession stands, train, carousel)
6. Provide hand stamps to guests

Time required: A minimum of a twice monthly commitment is required. Minimum season-long commitment is 25 hours.

Minimum Qualifications:

• Able to stand or sit for 2 hours at a time
• Able to work outside in all weather spring-fall (except in hazardous or overly-cold situations)
• Friendly and engaging personality
• Excellent customer service skills
• Able to be understood over Zoo radio
• Able to provide clear directions throughout Zoo
• Able to stay calm in an emergency situation
• Willing/able to request donation/membership support
• Patient
• Self-confident

Age requirements: 16+ (10+ with an adult).

Training: General orientation, specific training and mentored shift will be provided

Benefits to the volunteer: Volunteer outside at the Zoo, meet new friends, help create lasting memories for Zoo guests, volunteer t-shirt, volunteer nametag, recognition event(s).

Please contact a member of the Volunteer Department at volunteer@vilaszoo.org or 608-258-9490.

Position title: Train & Carousel Volunteer

Reports to: Henry Vilas Zoological Society Volunteer Department and Daily Supervisor

Shift times:
9:30 am – 1:00 pm (4) Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday
1:00 pm – 4:30 pm (4) Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday
(Breaks will be coordinated by the Supervisor on duty.)

Overview of position: Operate Train and Carousel, as directed by the daily supervisor on duty, to ensure a safe and fun guest experience. Unless otherwise approved by Volunteer Department volunteers must be willing/able to perform responsibilities of all positions.

General Tasks:

1. Happily greet & welcome Zoo guests
2. Always be pleasant to guests; smiles go a long way!
3. Know the rules of the rides forward and backward; maintaining a focus on safety.
4. Assist with ride set up, cleanup and maintenance before, during or after shift
5. Volunteers are expected to be available for all four volunteer roles
6. Communicate with Supervisor on duty as needed in emergency, in case of maintenance needs, etc.
7. Maintain focus on Henry Vilas Zoo customer service standards

General Responsibilities (Operations Procedures outline details):

All Positions
Assist with clean-up procedures before, during or after shifts.

Train Engineer
• Drive Train
• Assist in Loading of Passengers
• Communicate Required Safety Messages

Train Conductor
• Greet Waiting Guests
• Take Tokens
• Help Load Train

Carousel Operator
• Operate Carousel
• Remain Within Reach of Emergency Shut-off Button During Ride Operation
• Take Tokens
• Greet Guests at Entrance and Exit of Ride

Cashier
• Sell tokens & 6-ride passes using Square
• As time allows, share details about Henry Vilas Zoological Society membership

Time Required: A minimum of a twice monthly commitment is required. Minimum season-long commitment is 25 hours. Must be available for the entire shift.

Minimum Qualifications:
• Friendly & conscientious
• Ability to closely follow established guidelines
• Outgoing, patient & self-confident
• Enjoys children

Physical/Age requirements: Must be 18 years of age or older. Must be able to stand for mid-length periods and walk short distances throughout a 3.5 hour shift. Train volunteers must be able to tolerate warm, sunny weather and cool weather. (train doesn’t operate in rainy weather).

Training Required: General orientation and specific training with daily supervisor. Will need to be signed off on the checklist of responsibilities. Additional training may be provided by supervisor on-duty as-needed.

Benefits to the volunteer: Volunteer outside at the Zoo, meet new friends, help create lasting memories for Zoo guests, experience in operating amusement rides, joy of “thrilling” volunteer t-shirt, volunteer nametag, recognition event(s).

Please contact a member of the Volunteer Department at volunteer@vilaszoo.org or 608-258-9490.

Position title: Visitor Center Assistant

Reports to: Henry Vilas Zoological Society Volunteer Department

Shift times: Saturdays and Sundays from 10am – 1pm, 1 – 4pm

Overview of position: Provide a warm, friendly welcome at the Visitor Center for guests, help answer their questions, provide helpful information and help make sure that they have a positive experience at the Zoo.

Specific tasks:

1. Happily welcome Zoo guests and thank them for coming
2. Invite guests to support the Zoo through a donation, membership, or on-grounds purchase
3. Answer Zoo guests’ Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)
4. Direct guests to their favorite animals and other important areas of the Zoo (e.g., restrooms, concession stands, train, carousel)
5. Interact with guest by providing information as requested
6. To answer the telephone, responding to caller’s requests/questions. Forward incoming staff calls to the appropriate staff member’s phone and if unavailable, to their voice mail.
7. To be willing to work on light clerical tasks from the Society as appropriate.

Time required: A minimum of a twice monthly commitment is required (4 hours/month). Minimum yearly commitment is 25 hours.

Qualifications:

• Friendly and engaging personality
• Excellent customer service skills
• Able to be understood over Zoo radio
• Able to provide clear directions throughout Zoo
• Able to stay calm in an emergency situation
• Willing/able to request donation/membership support
• Patience
• A desire to assist Zoo visitors
• Volunteers must be good with basic phone and computer functions, including familiarity with MS Office and able to learn basic data entry

Age requirements: 16+ (10+ with an adult). In order to be alone at the Visitor Center, volunteer must be fully able to perform all responsibilities of the position.

Training: General Orientation, Specific Training and Mentored Shift

Benefits to the volunteer: Volunteer outside at the Zoo, meet new friends, help create lasting memories for Zoo guests, volunteer t-shirt, volunteer nametag, recognition event(s).

Please contact a member of the Volunteer Department at volunteer@vilaszoo.org or 608-258-9490.

Position titleAnimal Handling Docent

Reports to: Henry Vilas Zoological Society Volunteer Department and Henry Vilas Zoo Education Curator

Shift times: Shifts vary. Position requires regular weekday availability – preferably one weekday each week 9:30-1:30 (can shift from semester to semester with notification to the Education Curator).

Overview of position: Animal Handling Docents serve many functions within the Zoo’s Education Department, most notably handling animals and teaching guests on-grounds and in the community. They are committed to educating school children and the general public about our natural world and the need for conservation. They serve many functions within the department, most notably handling Ambassador Animals and teaching guests in presentations. Presentations are done on-grounds or out in the community through the “Bleacher” and “Zoo to You” and “Meet and Greet” programs.

Specific tasks:

1. Present educational programs to Zoo visitors, visiting school groups, and in the community at a variety of events hosted by schools and other community organizations.

2. Handle Zoo education animals according to policies and procedures set by the Henry Vilas Zoo Education Department.

3. Maintain the safety of our education animals, members of the public, yourself and other volunteers.

4. Help in other areas as assigned.

5. Be a friendly and engaging representative of Henry Vilas Zoo through on- and off-grounds engagements.

Time required: A minimum weekly commitment is required for one year. Must complete training (including animal handling check-off process and attending some presentations) by the end of March and be available to participate in public presentations throughout our spring/summer busy season (especially April to mid-June).

Minimum Qualifications:
Friendly and engaging personality
Minimum one-year availability
Available minimum of one consistent weekday (limited need also for weekend volunteers)
Ability to follow animal-handling policies and procedures as set by the Henry Vilas Zoo Education Department. You will receive training and mentoring for this and will need to “test out” to show your abilities.
Ability to handle animals appropriately (this requires multi-tasking)
Ability to confidently present relevant/approved animal information to large groups (up to 100 people) and one-on-one
Ability (with training) to maintain the safety of education animals and guests, even if that means potentially disappointing someone.
Dependability is critical. As the department is self-funded through public programs, we depend on our volunteers to be present and ready. When you are scheduled for a presentation, we are counting on you to be there.

Age requirements: Must be 18 years or older, be available one morning each week particularly during the April – June field trip season, be able to demonstrate proper animal handling techniques, multitasking abilities, and interpretive skills.

Training: General orientation (2 hours), Animal Handling Docent training (3 hours), assist with scheduled presentations (30-60 minutes each), make arrangements for follow-up mentoring sessions and two additional animal handling check-offs (up to 60 minutes each) before qualified to handle animals and work as part of presentation team.

Animal Handling Docents must complete a review of their animal handling, presentation, and knowledge skills with the Conservation Education Curator annually. They must remain in active status and must regularly volunteer and practice animal handling to maintain skills; a lapse of three months or more requires them to pass an animal handling review with the Conservation Education Curator in order to resume volunteering. Docent and Education Program Assistants skills are monitored and assessed by the Conservation Education Curator, Day Captains, and Mentor Docents throughout the year.

Benefits to the volunteer: Meet people with similar interests, build Zoo, animal, and volunteer experience on your resume, gain presentation experience, work directly with Zoo education animals, network with the community; help create lasting memories for Zoo guests, volunteer nametag and t-shirt, regular educational volunteer meetings, and recognition events

Please contact a member of the Volunteer Department at volunteer@vilaszoo.org or 608-258-9490.

Position titleDay Camp Assistant

Reports to: Henry Vilas Zoological Society Volunteer Department and Henry Vilas Zoo Education Curator

Shift times: Shifts vary.

Overview of position: Education Program Assistants help children develop a love for all animals and support the vision of Henry Vilas Zoo. They assist the Education Staff with logistics and management of the Zoo’s popular Summer Camp program.

Specific tasks:

1. Greet campers and help hand out name tags

2. Set up and clean up the classrooms and eating areas

3. Assist with crafts, activities, and lunch

4. Help to keep the groups together while traveling around zoo grounds

5. Assist with camp check-out procedures.

Time required: Must volunteer a minimum of 2 shifts per month

Minimum Qualifications:
Should be comfortable around all types of animals.
Should be dependable.
Should be comfortable around children

Age requirements: Must be 18 years or older

Training: General orientation, short additional training to gain familiarity and comfort with the role.

Benefits to the volunteer: Meet people with similar interests, build Zoo, animal, and volunteer experience on your resume, gain presentation experience, participate in out of the ordinary animal encounters and experiences network with the community; help create lasting memories for Zoo guests, volunteer nametag and t-shirt, regular educational volunteer meetings, and recognition events.

Please contact a member of the Volunteer Department at volunteer@vilaszoo.org or 608-258-9490.

Position titleDiscovery Docent

Reports to: Henry Vilas Zoological Society Volunteer Department and Henry Vilas Zoo Education Curator

Shift times: 10am – 12pm, 12 – 2pm and 2 – 4pm

Overview of position: Using artifact carts to share animal, habitat, and conservation information with guests on grounds during the course of the day, for on-grounds events, and occasionally at off-grounds community events.

Specific tasks:

1. Present information relevant to the active carts, utilizing the information available on the cart or information found via approved sources.

2. Be a friendly and engaging representative of Henry Vilas Zoo through on- and off-grounds engagements.

Time required: A minimum of a twice monthly commitment is required. Minimum season-long commitment is 25 hours.

Minimum Qualifications:
Ability to be open and engaging with guests
Ability (or ability to learn) to present approved animal, habitat, and conservation information one-on-one and in small group settings. You will receive general training and links to additional information for this.

Age requirements: Must be at least 13 years old by the end of the training.

Training: General orientation, Docent training, and mentored shift.

Benefits to the volunteer: Meet people with similar interests, build Zoo, animal, and volunteer experience on your resume, and network with the community; help create lasting memories for Zoo guests, volunteer nametag and t-shirt, regular educational volunteer meetings, and recognition events

Please contact a member of the Volunteer Department at volunteer@vilaszoo.org or 608-258-9490.

Position title: Goat Yard Assistant

Reports to: Henry Vilas Zoological Society Volunteer Department

Shift times: 10am – 1pm, 1pm – 4pm

Dates: Spring – Fall

Overview of position: Provide a warm, friendly greeting for goat yard guests. Provide information about our goats and use the resources to engage guests to learn more about our goats

Specific tasks:

1. Happily greet and welcome Zoo guests
2. Communicate with Zoo staff if safety concerns arise
3. Offer to have guests help brush the goats and show them the various items related to these animals to help them gain information about them
4. Answer Zoo guests’ Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS) about the goats
5. Raise awareness of how goat feeding support Zoo operations and other ways that guests that provide needed support the Zoo, including Friends of the Zoo membership

Time required: A minimum of a twice monthly commitment is required. Minimum season-long commitment is 25 hours.

Minimum Qualifications:

• Ability to be open and engaging with guests
• Ability (or ability to learn) to present approved animal, habitat, and conservation information.
• Ability to volunteer in all weather conditions
• Able to convey clear directions and information to visitors

Age requirements: Must be at least 16 (with parental permission if under 18). 10+ when working with an adult.

Training: General orientation, Goat Yard training, and mentored shift.

Benefits to the volunteer: Volunteer outside at the Zoo, meet new friends, help create lasting memories for Zoo guests, volunteer t-shirt, volunteer nametag, recognition event(s).

Please contact a member of the Volunteer Department at volunteer@vilaszoo.org or 608-258-9490.

Position titleSleepover Assistant

Reports to: Henry Vilas Zoological Society Volunteer Department and Henry Vilas Zoo Conservation Education Curator

Shift times:
Saturday and Sunday mornings 7 am – 10 am or 5:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Spring (March, April & May) and Fall (September & October)

Overview of position: Sleepover volunteers help children and families develop a love for all animals and support the vision of Henry Vilas Zoo. They assist the Education Staff with carrying out the evening snack/morning breakfast and the activities that accompany the particular theme.

Specific tasks:

1. Help the group stay together
2. Encourage appreciation of all animals
3. Participate in activities
4. Gather/put away supplies
5. Tell the instructor about any issues
6. Try to make sure the adults in the group get their needs met, too
7. Encourage kids to answer and ask questions
8. Always be sure to ask questions if you have any!
9. Help the instructor clean up the classroom space after the program
10. Fill out a feedback form before you leave

Time required: Must volunteer a minimum of 2 shifts per season

Minimum Qualifications:

• Should be comfortable around all types of animals and guests ages 5 and up.
• Should be dependable

Age requirements: Must be 18 years or older

Training: General orientation, short additional training to gain familiarity and comfort with the role.

Benefits to the volunteer: Experience the Zoo before guests arrive, meet people with similar interests, build Zoo and volunteer experience on your resume, participate in out of the ordinary animal encounters and experiences, network with the community; help create lasting memories for Zoo guests, volunteer nametag and t-shirt, and recognition events

Please contact a member of the Volunteer Department at volunteer@vilaszoo.org or 608-258-9490.

Position titleEvent Crew

Reports to: Henry Vilas Zoological Society Volunteer Department

Shift times: Varied, generally evenings and weekends

Overview of position: Event Crew volunteers provide support to our events ensuring that all aspects are carried out. They work with staff and assist with aspects of event preparation and the running of events including, set up, registration, running games/booths, bartending, clean up, prep work, etc.

Specific tasks:

Meet with staff at the start of the event to obtain specific information to their role including:

1. Assist with set-up and clean-up
2. Manage games
3. Registration
4. ID checks
5. Direct guests and vendors
6. Help with line control
7. Bartender

Time required: A minimum of 3 events per year.

Minimum Qualifications:
• Ability to work with others and take direction
• Hard-working and dependable
• Able to work outside in all weather spring-fall (except in hazardous or overly-cold situations)
• Friendly and engaging personality
• Able to lift 25-50 pounds (necessary for some tasks)
• Excellent customer service skills
• Able to be understood over Zoo radio
• Attention to detail
• Ability to make independent decision to aid guests
• Experience with technology and money handling a plus

Age requirements: Must be 16 years or older (18 for certain positions)

Training: Short Orientation

Benefits to the volunteer: Participate in out of the ordinary encounters and experiences, network with the community; help create lasting memories for Zoo guests, and recognition events.

Please contact a member of the Volunteer Department at volunteer@vilaszoo.org or 608-258-9490.

Position titleEvent Lead

Reports to: Henry Vilas Zoological Society Volunteer Department

Shift times: Varied, generally evenings and weekends

Overview of position: Event Lead volunteers provide direction to the volunteers scheduled to work for the Event. They work directly with the Event Staff to ensure all Volunteer roles and aspects of the event are covered.

Specific tasks:

• Meet at Volunteer Central and check volunteers in for their shift and provide them with information specific to their role including:

• Start/end time
• Job duties and any relevant equipment/supplies necessary
• How they can engage guests and any relevant education/conservation messaging
• What to do if they need assistance during their shift
• Communication during the event

• Provide radios to volunteers as necessary
• Check in with each volunteer every 30-45 minutes to offer a bathroom or water break, ensure things are running smoothly and answer any questions they may have
• Help with clean up at the end of the event – check in with Event Staff

Time required: A minimum of a twice monthly commitment is required. Minimum season-long commitment is 25 hours.

Age requirements: Must be 18 years or older

Training: General orientation, specific training to this position to gain familiarity and comfort.

Benefits to the volunteer: Build Zoo, volunteer, and leadership experience on your resume, participate in out of the ordinary encounters and experiences, network with the community; help create lasting memories for Zoo guests, volunteer nametag and t-shirt, and recognition events.

Please contact a member of the Volunteer Department at volunteer@vilaszoo.org or 608-258-9490.

Position title: Gardening/Grounds

Reports to: Henry Vilas Zoological Society Volunteer Department

Shift times: Varied

Overview of position: Help beautify our grounds by regular gardening upkeep to ensure our guests have a positive experience at the Zoo.

Specific tasks:

1. Provide general care and concern for designated garden/grounds area
2. Mulch, weed or water to help maintain the gardens
3. Plant new exhibits or beds as needed
4. Rake leaves and sweep grounds
5. Help with other gardening/grounds projects as available
6. Work with staff to recognize and eradicate invasive species
7. Work with Zookeepers to create and maintain browse areas

Time required: A minimum of a twice monthly commitment is required, weekly preferred. Minimum season-long commitment is 25 hours.

Minimum Qualifications:

• Able to demonstrate a sense of responsibility
• Able to sit, stand, lift easily
• Able to stand or sit for 2 hours at a time
• Able to work outside in all weather spring-fall (except in hazardous or overly-cold situations)
• Has an interest in and some experience with plants

Age requirements: 16+

Training: General orientation, specific training will be provided

Benefits to the volunteer: Volunteer outside at the Zoo, meet new friends, help create lasting memories for Zoo guests, volunteer t-shirt, volunteer nametag, recognition event(s).

Please contact a member of the Volunteer Department at volunteer@vilaszoo.org or 608-258-9490.

GROUP VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

Thank you for your interest in volunteering with the Henry Vilas Zoo and Zoological Society. Upon
submission of this form, a member of the Volunteer Department will reach out to you regarding the
opportunities available.

For Questions contact volunteer@vilaszoo.org or (608) 258-9490

Group Volunteer Policy
Please confirm that you understand each of the following:

  • The Henry Vilas Zoological Society does not allow group to work directly with the animals
  • The Henry Vilas Zoological Society cannot guarantee volunteer placement as the opportunities are based on current Zoo and Zoological needs.
  • The Henry Vilas Zoological Society can accommodate group up to 30 people in size
  • The Henry Vilas Zoological Society will attempt to reschedule due to inclement weather
  • The Henry Vilas Zoological Society reserves the right to reject a volunteer for any reason when affecting the best interests of the Zoo and Zoological Society

Attending, Day of Contact
Your group is required to have a predetermined Group Coordinator or Attending Point of Contact. This
person is responsible for the safety and well being of the group members while at the Henry Vilas Zoo.

This point person will:

  • Provide coordination and supervision for the group while volunteering
  • Ensure that all members adhere to the Zoo rules and procedures
  • Obtain a signed parental consent form for the group members under the age of 18, which must be turned into the Volunteer Department on or prior to the first date of service
  • Hold emergency contact information for each participant, which must be on file with the Group Coordinator while at the Henry Vilas Zoo
  • Call ahead if you are not able to make your volunteer shift or if you will be late
  • Ensure volunteers are punctual, conscientious and courteous. Please arrive at your assigned time, dressed appropriately and ready to work. Arrangements will be made with the Volunteer Department to communicate parking, any pertinent supplies, etc.
  • The group understands that they will not receive any compensation for their volunteer service

GROUP VOLUNTEER FORM

Requested Start Date of Service

Requested End Date of Service

Describe your Group and any specific needs associated with its members
(Please note that for volunteers under the age of 18, the group must provide one adult chaperone to every 6 youth)

How did you hear about us?
Friend/acquaintanceVisit to the zooSocial mediaHenry Vilas Zoo Website, Zoo E Blast or Zoo NewsletterOther (please list in comment section)

VOLUNTEER FAQs

How do I become a volunteer?

  • You complete a volunteer inquiry form (link to form here). You will receive a confirmation email that we received it.
  • Selected applicants will be invited to attend a volunteer information meeting and/or general orientation session.
  • You complete an online background check prior to the general orientation session.
  • Applicants who clear background screening will be invited to attend a general orientation class, specific training and mentored shift (as necessary).
  • Volunteer program staff will communicate with you via e-mail or telephone to keep you informed as you move through the application and training process.

Other Considerations:

  • Secure all necessary means of transportation before applying.
  • You will receive a t-shirt and nametag that will be required to wear during your volunteer shift.
  • Confirm that you are able to complete 2 shifts per month (4 hours/month) for 6 consecutive months with a minimum of 25 hours annually. *Event crew minimum number of shifts does not apply.
  • Under that volunteer positions are based on the interests and skills and the zoological society does its best to match volunteers with appropriate roles. You may be asked to try other positions if one is deemed to not be a best fit.
  • Please note that volunteers are not permitted to work with any of our animals outside of the education department. This decision is for the safety of our guests, volunteers, and animals.
Back To Top
X