Youth Volunteer Program

Zoo Crew member holding and taking care of a hedgehog.

Zoo Crew Highlights

Go behind-the-scenes at Lincoln Children's Zoo by participating in Zoo Crew!

Zoo Crew is one of the most successful and unique youth volunteer programs in Nebraska. Each year, 400 students entering grades 7 through 12, gain important life and job skills through this volunteer program.

Perform Hands-On Animal Work
Administer health checks, prepare animal feedings, create animal enrichment, perform wellness exercises, complete animal evaluations and more!

Engage with Zoo Guests
Give Zoo guests up close animal experiences by
showing animals 
in The Hive and Critter Outpost.​

Learn from Animal Professionals
Attend classes led by animal professionals including President & CEO, John Chapo, Lincoln Children's Zoo Zookeepers and more. 


2017 Registration

Zoo Crew registration includes official Zoo Crew t-shirt and Animal Education Classes.

Please note that all Zoo Crew participants start at Level 1. Once a student completes Level 1, they may have the opportunity to move to Level 2, 3, 4 and 5.

Level 1
Price Register
Session One March 11 - June 30 $120 Register
Session Two July 1 - October 22 $120 Register
Levels 2, 3, 4 & 5
Students who have been invited to participate in Level 2, 3, 4 and 5 will receive an email invitation. Please contact Alyssa Hodes at 402.475.6741 ext. 133 or email with questions regarding registration of Levels 2, 3, 4 and 5.

Zoo Crew Contact:

Alyssa Hodes
Education Coordinator
Zoo Crew Inquiries
402.475.6741 ext. 133 | Email

Frequently Asked Questions

How old do I need to be?
Students entering 7th grade are eligible to join Zoo Crew.

When is the required training?
Session One: Feb. 11, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Session Two: May 25, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Full Session: Feb. 11, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

What is the weekly time commitment?
Levels 1 - 3 Session One (March - June)
Can expect to be scheduled seven weekend days (one Saturday or Sunday) and seven weekdays during the summer.

Levels 1 - 3 Session Two (July - October)
Can expect to be scheduled seven weekend days (one Saturday or Sunday) and six weekdays during the summer.

Levels 4 - 5 (March - Oct)
Can expect to be scheduled 14 weekend days (one Saturday or Sunday) and 14 weekdays during the summer.

What happens when school is still in session?
Zoo Crew members will only work scheduled weekend days while school is in session as well as Wild Wednesdays in August.

What times does Zoo Crew work?
All levels work 8 a.m. to 5 p.m..

What do Zoo Crew do for lunch?
Zoo Crew are welcome to bring a sack lunch each day or purchase lunch at the Safari Café at a 10% discount. It is recommended to bring a water bottle each day.

What if I miss a scheduled day?
It is not a problem if a Zoo Crew member is unable to work a scheduled day, however it is the individual's responsibility to find a substitute and communicate that with Alyssa, the Education Coordinator who oversees Zoo Crew.

I would like to work more often, is that possible?
Yes, there are many opportunities to be scheduled extra hours.

Can I work the same timed shifts as my friend?
We will do our best to accommodate these requests. Arrangements to work the same shift may be arranged, although we cannot guarantee working the same job as your friend that day. We recommend that signing up on the same date as your friend in order to increase your chance of availability.

What are some of the things Zoo Crew gets to do?
Zoo Crew will take part in many activities at the Zoo. They will lead and care for horses, share facts about Zoo animals with guests, care for animals in The Hive and Critter Outpost, lead goats and more. Level 5 Zoo Crew also assist zookeepers.

What is the dress policy?
Zoo Crew members are required to wear a Zoo provided t-shirt, khaki shorts/pants, brown or black belt, closed toed tennis shoes or work boots (helpful in pony/goat areas) and a name tag. When it is cold you are required to wear Zoo Crew hooded sweatshirts. You may also wear Zoo Crew hats. (Hooded sweatshirts and additional items will be available for purchased)

Can I earn volunteer credit for school?
Yes, Zoo Crew can be used as volunteer hours. Zoo Crew are responsible for providing the proper paperwork required per the school's individual requirements.