Camp Teen Volunteer Program

Camp Teen Volunteer Program

*Monday–Friday June 10–28 and July 8–19 (the program will not run the week of July 4), Training: June 1

**Session B: Monday–Friday July 15–August 16, Training: July 13

8 a.m.–3:30 p.m.

*Last day of school will determine first day of volunteer service
**First day of school will determine last day of volunteer service

Click to apply


Camp Teen Volunteers inspire children to learn about, love, and protect animals and the environment while assisting with running Conservation Camp, open to grades PreK–5. Through observation, training, professional development, and guidance from counselor mentors, teens will gain valuable skills as they feed their own love for animals and work with young learners.

Camp Teen Volunteers assist counselors with the setup and takedown of activities, participate fully in activities and exploration, and create moments of fun for campers. Teens in this position can expect a dynamic day full of movement in a variety of weather conditions.

This program is looking for teens with a positive attitude, who enjoy working with elementary-aged children and are flexible to the ever-changing environment a zoo camp has to offer.

Teens who become Camp Teen Volunteers will receive service hours and participate in weekly scheduled professional development. They will also be invited to Teen Bonding Nights and have an end-of-session Recognition Night to celebrate their work with their families.

This video was created by Camp Teen Volunteers during the summer of 2019.

More Information


To qualify, an applicant must:

  • Be entering grades 9-13.
  • Be 13-18 years old by June 10, 2024.


Camp Teen Volunteers must be available for their day of training, which takes place June 1 for Session 1 or July 13 for Session 2. Planned absences that do not occur during training, and which have been discussed with a supervisor, are possible. However, long absences (such as a week-long family vacation) may disqualify a candidate from the program, as a volunteer would miss too many events and activities.


The application for summer 2024 opens February 1 and closes March 11. No applications will be accepted after the March 11 deadline.

Want To Learn More?

  • Adler Planetarium is hosting a virtual opportunity fair on Saturday, February 3 from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. via Zoom. At this event, teens can learn more about summer opportunities at Adler Planetarium, Lincoln Park Zoo, Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, and more! Register for the opportunity fair here:
  • Lincoln Park Zoo is hosting an in-person job fair at the zoo on Saturday, March 2 from 1–3 p.m. Attendees will find out about internships, jobs, and volunteering at the zoo. Learn more and sign up here.

If you plan on applying to any of the summer opportunities at Lincoln Park Zoo and are interested in learning more about how to submit a high-quality application, we are planning to hold several virtual help sessions based on demand. Please email to express interest.

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Will there be an interview?

Yes. All applicants will be asked to interview at the zoo with members of the Camp Leadership Team. Interviews will be held in April. Interview times will be released after an applicant has been invited for an interview.

Can I volunteer for both sessions?

No. A substantial number of qualified teens apply for this program, and we want to offer the opportunity to as many as possible.

Is this a paid position?

No. Participants are volunteers and are donating their time to the zoo. They will receive other non-monetary benefits during the program, such as service hours, up to 15 Professional Development Sessions, zoo-sponsored Teen Bonding Nights, a zoo-sponsored Camp Teen Volunteer Dinner and Recognition Night for teens and their families, and professional education experience.

Will I be responsible for campers?

No. Camp Teen Volunteers play a supporting role to the camp instructors and will never be solely responsible for campers. They may have the opportunity to lead an activity, organize the group, and manage behavior, but they will never be left alone with a group of campers without additional support.

How will I know if I’ve been accepted?

We will contact all applicants via email by Friday, April 25, whether or not they have been selected for an interview.

Can I apply for multiple teen programs?

Yes! Applicants can apply to every program simultaneously. Please note: Eligibility requirements vary between programs.


To learn more about the Camp Teen Volunteer Program, please email

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