The Bergen County Zoo Education Department is currently seeking friendly, dedicated adults (age 18 and older) to volunteer as part of their Zoo Docent program or Animal Encounters Docent program. Docents enhance the activities provided by the Education Department and through these activities support the zoo’s mission of education, conservation, research, and recreation.
Zoo Docents set up artifact stations and answer visitors’ questions about the zoo, its animals, and conservation. They also assist with school & scout programs, birthday parties, public events (represent the zoo at fairs, festivals, etc.), and special zoo events. One must be comfortable speaking to people of all ages and backgrounds individually, in small groups, and in larger groups. The Zoo Docents volunteer for a set weekly shift of 3 hours.
Animal Encounters Docents work in pairs to take a small animal to a local long term care facility (in Bergen County) to enrich the lives of the residents. Volunteers are trained to handle small animals (turtle, hedgehog, lizard, ferret, rabbit, chicken, and chinchilla) and share information about those animals. Animal Encounters Docents volunteer once per month, on the same “day” each month (i.e. the 2nd Thursday of the month at 10am).
You can give back to the community by becoming a docent; no experience is necessary—full training will be provided. To learn more about these programs, there will be information sessions on Saturday, August 17th at 10:30 a.m. and Tuesday, August 20th at 6 p.m. in the Bergen County Zoo’s Education/Discovery Center (the first building on the right once you are inside the zoo).
Trainings for both programs will take place over 8 weeks beginning in late September. Volunteers must be able to attend all training sessions, pass a background check, and commit to an annual time requirement. If you have any questions and can’t make an information session, please email Taryn McCrystall at firstname.lastname@example.org.