Archive: Detroit Zoo Seeks Volunteers Who are Passionate About Penguins

‘Volunteens’ for Zoo Corps and Counselor-in-Training positions also wanted

February 8, 2016

ROYAL OAK, Mich., 

ROYAL OAK, Mich. – As the Detroit Zoo prepares to open the Polk Penguin Conservation Center in April, it is recruiting enthusiastic, friendly and passionate volunteers 18 years and older to lend a hand at the world’s largest penguin facility and elsewhere throughout the 125-acre Zoo.

In addition to the new penguin center, volunteers are needed in the Zoo’s Arctic Ring of Life, Australian Outback Adventure and Wildlife Interpretive Gallery as well as at the Belle Isle Nature Zoo.  No experience is necessary to become a DZS volunteer, and volunteers do not handle or feed the animals.

“Certainly everyone will be talking about the amazing Polk Penguin Conservation Center, but not all volunteers will be working there,” said Volunteer Services Manager Linda Denomme.  “From Bunnyville to Wild Lights, we expect to be busier than ever, and the anticipated increase in attendance this year and beyond makes all volunteer positions equally important.”

The first volunteer orientation session of 2016 will be held on Saturday, March 5, 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Detroit Zoo’s Ford Education Center; advance registration is required.  Additional sessions are scheduled monthly through June.

The DZS is also inviting teens with good communication skills who enjoy biology, environmental sciences or life sciences to participate in its “Volunteen” program at the Detroit Zoo.  Teens ages 15 to 17 can apply to become a member of the Zoo Corps to engage visitors in hands-on activities designed to enhance their understanding of wildlife and wild places.

In addition, teens ages 16 and 17 are eligible to apply for the Counselor-in-Training program to volunteer June 20 to August 12 in Summer Safari camps, a program that allows students K-8 to discover the wonders of nature and wildlife at the Detroit Zoo.  Counselors will interact with young campers while assisting with camp activities, games, crafts and tours.

“The Volunteen program is beneficial to teens who want to earn community service hours while working with a dynamic team from our education department and gain experience and skills that will allow them to thrive in a professional environment,” said Denomme.

Volunteen candidates have until April 1 to submit an application for Zoo Corps and Counselor-in-Training positions.  An interview process will follow, and teens selected for either program will be required to attend a three-hour training session.  Zoo Corps Volunteens must devote a minimum of 20 hours of service from June through October, and teens in the Counselor-in-Training program must volunteer for a minimum of two week-long Summer Safari camp sessions.

Visit and click on the “Volunteer” link under “Support” for descriptions of Volunteer and Volunteen positions, orientation dates and details, and to download an application.  For further information, call (248) 541-5717 ext. 3802 or email