Junior Zookeeper

Fostering Inspiration through Exploration.

(Ages 12 to 17)

Stay tuned next Spring for information for teens during the Summer of 2015!

Cheyenne Mountain Zoo’s Teen Programs provide meaningful life experiences that inspire teens to take conservation action both on and off zoo grounds through education, leadership, stewardship and environmental exploration.

These NEW Teen Programs combine hands on conservation, wildlife biology, outdoor adventure, community service, job skills, education, leadership and FUN!

We offer three teen program tracks, Zoo Crew Explorers, Teen Leaders and Teen Keepers, and each track has the option of participating in our Adventure Programming.


Programs Tracks

Zoo Crew Explorers (Ages 12-14)

Exploration, Conservation, and Adventure Stations: Engaging guests in different activities, games, and presentations focusing on Conservation and Education. Team building, nature skills and elements of outdoor recreation are just some examples of the Adventure Stations.

The Loft: Assisting the keepers with basic husbandry skills, program participants will interact with Zoo guests while preparing diets, making treats for the animals or creating fun crafts.

Summer Camp: Teens help with daily camp activities and gain valuable experience working with both children and animals as Junior Camp Counselors.

Face Painting and Button Making: Teens with a creative side will love the opportunity to artistically express their passion for animals. At our button cart, teens build a strong work ethic and public speaking through helping guests create and build their own personalized Cheyenne Mountain Zoo souvenirs.

Teen Leaders (Ages 15-17)

Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is looking for responsible high school leaders who love animals, are interested in mentoring their younger peers, leading conservation initiatives and education programs, and acting as CMZ ambassadors. Teen leaders will gain valuable training including leadership, interpretive education, peer mediation, communication, child protection and animal handling.

This program will allow older teens to create their own path choosing projects and duties that interest them.

Possible duties based on teen’s interest:
Camp Counselor in Training: Assist camp counselors with leading the daily activities and helping zoo crew explorers.
Loft Interpretive Educator: Engage guests through the use of live animals, group lessons, and keeper talks.
Explorer Guide: Acting as a positive role model, teens will mentor the 11-14yr old Zoo Crew Explorers traveling from station to station teaching and assisting with guest interactions. As teen leaders are walking around the Zoo they will also help as guest navigators/Zoo ambassadors.

**Teens interested in participating in both Teen keeper and Teen Leader programs are encouraged to apply for both as a package.**

Teen Keepers (Ages 15-17)

As a teen keeper, participants with a love of animals will experience what it takes to be a zoo keeper. Provides teens with real-world experience working with our education, animal, and horticulture departments gaining knowledge of what exactly happens behind the scenes to make a zoo possible!

  • Gain personal Zoo experience so you can make informed career decisions.
  • Develop a strong work ethic and problem solving skills.
  • Acquire knowledge and skills surrounding animal care procedures alongside experienced animal keepers.


Beginner Animal Areas
Outback Yard: (My Big Backyard, Australia and Scutes Family Gallery)- Australian Animals
Commissary: Animal Diet Kitchen
Pony Rides

Intermediate Animal Areas
In intermediate animal areas Teen Keepers are responsible for helping clean exhibits, prepare food, create enrichment and assist with keeper talks.
Loft: small mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and birds
African Rift Valley: meerkats, zebra, vultures, Red River hogs, African birds and tortoises.
Aquatics: hippopotamus, penguins, beavers, chickens, Rocky Mountain goats, aquatic animals and amphibians.
Primate World: gorillas, orangutans, siamangs, golden lion tamarins and naked mole rats.

Advanced Animal Areas
In advance animal areas Teen Keepers are responsible for helping clean exhibits, prepare food, create enrichment and assist with keeper talks. These areas involve a higher level of responsibility.
Giraffes: as well as African Lions
Monkey Pavilion/Bears: smaller primates as well as Asiatic and spectacle bears.
Conservation Highlands: tigers, snow leopards, Amur leopards, pallas cats, boreal toads and black-footed ferrets.
Rocky Mountain Wild: moose, mountain lions, wolves, lynx, porcupines, turkeys, grizzly bears and river otters.
Encounter Africa: elephants and a rhino.


Application Process

How to Apply

Applications for the 2015 Teen Program will become available March 2, 2015.

Stay tuned for more information on the application process and updates for the 2015 Teen Programs!



Cheyenne Mountain Zoo 2014 Zoo Teens Program Fees

All fees includes two t-shirts, nametag and beverage cup, as well as daily supervision, program supplies and materials, Zookeeper talks and tours, special afternoon workshops and more.

The basic program fees break down to about $1.30 – $1.60 per hour of contact time over the summer. If you stay active throughout the summer there is the possibility of 100 or more hours of learning and adventure at the Zoo!

All Full Session Programs are for full summer (12 weeks).

Zoo Crew Explorer and Teen Leader Prices:
Returning Teens $352.50
New Teens $452.50

  • All on grounds activities
  • Two evening events
  • End of summer celebration

Teen Keeper Prices:
Full Session (12 weeks) $452.50

  • All on grounds activities
  • Two evening events
  • End of summer overnight

Note: $2.50 from each Teen Program Registration goes to Quarters for Conservation, which expands Cheyenne Mountain Zoo’s regional and global conservation efforts.

Payment Options

Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is committed to working with families to make sure price is not a limiting factor in their child’s experience. Please contact volunteer services for more information about our payment plans and scholarship opportunities at volunteer@cmzoo.org


Questions? Call 719.633.9925, ext. 127, or e-mail edprograms@cmzoo.org.