Youth Programs

The Chattanooga Zoo believes strongly in the idea that the youth of today are the leaders of tomorrow. As such, we feel it is imperative that they are exposed and educated regarding the care for and conservation of animals. 

The Chattanooga Zoo offers a variety of youth opportunities. See the options below to discover what would be the best fit for your teen. 

Zoo Club

For any teenager interested in volunteering and learning more about animals, zoos, and the wild world around us, then Zoo Club is the perfect club. Club meetings are held once a month and are interactive, animal focused, and volunteer based. The Zoo Club Coordinator ensures that no meeting is the same and that there are surprises around every corner.

Any teen interested in volunteering at the zoo on a regular basis, must complete at least one year of Zoo Club and be recommended by the Zoo Club Coordinator to be able to apply as a regular zoo volunteer. 

Fall 2015 Zoo Club Meeting Dates:

August 22nd 9:00am-2:00pm

September 19th 9:00am-2:00pm

October 17th, 24th, & 31st 5:00pm-9:00pm (Boo in the Zoo) 

November 21st 9:00am-2:00pm

December 12th & 19th 5:00pm-9:00pm (Holiday Lights)

Age: 12-17 years old 

*Zoo Club graduates with at least one year of participation can become a zoo volunteer at age 16.

When: Club meetings are held the 3rd Saturday of each month. 

Time: 9:00am-2:00pm 

Fee: $50 per semester (Aug-Dec & Jan-Apr)

How: To apply, please submit your completed Zoo Club Application, to Britlee Gaines, via email, mail, or drop off your documents in the Zoo Gift Shop during normal operating hours. 

*Scholarships and financial assistance is available

For more information about Zoo Club, contact Britlee Gaines, at 423-697-1322 ext: 5711.

Zoo Club Application

School Community Service Hours

Does your school encourage you to give back to your community by volunteering? If you answered yes, then the Chattanooga Zoo would be a great place to help you complete your hours all while helping an organization that is dedicated to the care and conservation of animals all around the world. 


  • Minimum of 1 week notice before volunteer date
  • Bring signed Volunteer Agreement, Photo Release Form, and Liability Form
  • Abide by the dress code as stated in the Volunteer Agreement. 

To apply:

Counselor in Training (C.i.T)

Counselors in Training play an important role in all aspects of the Zoo's Summer Camp. They will work under the direct supervision of the summer camp staff by assisting with games, child management, crafts, and more. 

Camp runs for 9 contiguous weeks starting in June.


  • Must have a friendly attitude
  • Enjoy working with children 
  • Ability to play active games
  • Ability to work unsupervised, follow multi-step directions, and accomplish tasks in a timely manner
  • Ability to work outdoors in various temperatures
  • Attend required C.i.T. training sessions
  • Age: 15 & up

Application Deadline:
April 19, 2015

For more information, contact Britlee Gaines, at 423-697-1322 ext: 5711.

C.i.T. Application

Chattanooga Zoo Job Shadow 

Are you a high school or college student looking to gain experience about the vast animal kingdom? Does your school encourage you to spend some time learning about potential careers? If you answered yes, then the Chattanooga Zoo has the perfect opportunity for you!

The Chattanooga Zoo is providing opportunities for high school & college students to experience what it is like working at the Zoo. Valuable lessons will be learned during the day and students will gain insight on a potential career field. 

What is a Job Shadow?

The opportunity to observe a Zoo employee in one of the following departments: Animal Care, Education, Vet Tech, or Marketing. 

When are Job Shadows available?

Job Shadows are offered during the school season from 9:00am-12:00pm. Space is limited. 


  • Must be a high school or college student
  • Completed application submitted no later than 2 weeks prior to your requested job shadow day 
*Participants will be processed and notified of approval after review
  • A minimum 1 page MLA Format essay to be submitted with your application explaining "Why you want to job shadow at the Chattanooga Zoo"
  • Documentation on your school's letterhead stating that job shadowing is a requirement
  • Abide by the dress code stated within the the job shadow agreement-attached to application

What do I need to Bring?
  • Signed necessary waivers and documents 
  • A smile and a good attitude are required, especially when job shadowing 
  • It also would be a good idea to bring a list of questions to ask the staff throughout the day

Is there a cost?
  • There is no fee for this opportunity

For more information, contact Britlee Gaines, at 423-697-1322 ext: 5711.

**All youth programs require participants to provide a signed Photo Release form and General Release and Hold Harmless Agreement before participation of any program.


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