Youth Volunteer Opportunities

Zoo 4-H Club

This is a coed club for youth between the ages of 7 and 18 who are interested in learning more about the animals at Connecticut's Beardsley Zoo. Meetings are held in the mornings at the Zoo on the 2nd and 4th Sundays of the month from September to the end of June. The first meeting is a business meeting run by Club members with the guidance of the Club Leaders. Future activities such as public speaking, Zoo events, Club trips and animal facts are discussed and planned. The second meeting takes place in the Zoo's New England Farmyard. This is a working meeting where the members work alongside Animal Care staff cleaning and maintaining the Farmyard animals. Due to the age of the members, their activities are centered around the Farmyard. All new members must be signed up by the end of May. Call (203) 332-4249 Sunday - Thursday for more information. 

The Conservation Discovery Corps

PLEASE NOTE: the deadline for applications has changed to January 15th
Download Application Here

Conservation Discovery Corps Mission Statement: To introduce qualified young adults to the dynamic fields of Conservation Biology and Education through their multi-faceted service roles as Wildlife Stewards, Field Conservationists, and Public Educators. 

Conservation Discovery Corps (CDC) offers teens in high school the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in conservation related fields. CDC members begin as students and quickly become teachers. Zoo staff teaches CDC members about conservation and environmental issues and how zoos, around the world, act to promote conservation and education efforts. CDC members then use this background and specially designed interpretive satchels to inform and inspire Zoo visitors. CDC members also participate in expeditions in which they will be working alongside field scientists from around the region on conservation projects. 

Conservation Discovery Corps members will have a unique opportunity to gain an inside perspective on the Zoo and its animals; gain experience in environmental education; develop skills in public speaking, leadership, teamwork, work ethic; have fun; and an opportunity to make lasting friendships. 

Students who are interested in CDC must fill out an application and include a letter of interest and letter of reference.  Deadline for applications submission is January 15th. Zoo staff will select up to 40-50 program applicants. A $65 program fee applies to help defray the cost of program materials.

If you have any questions or would like an application please contact Jackie Westlein at  or call (203)-394-6563.
Download Application Here

Explorer Post 80

Teens interested in learning more about Zoos and Zoo careers are welcome to join our Explorer Post. Explorers are young men and women 14-18 years old interested in exploring careers. The Zoo Explorer Post members attend lecture style classes with hands-on activities during their first year with the Post. Second, third and fourth year Explorers take part in special projects, staff shadowing, help at Zoo events, and help to educate the Zoo’s visitors. The program runs year round from January through December. The rolling fee for the Explorers program is $85 for a full year. The Zoo holds an Open House in November for teens to learn more about this program.

For more information please contact Chris Clark at or call (203)-394-6563