Once everyone arrives in the Volunteer Services Office for roll call, we all know that it is going to be a hot day. In fact, one of the hottest days of the summer so far. All the animal handlers make their way to the red barn to start the day. We
check the heat index to see what animals we can go ahead and take out, it was already 91 degrees! Tyson, the turkey, can’t go outside after it reaches 85. We all look at each other, and I know we are thinking the same thing….what now? I head outside with the group to see what the other TRIBE members were up too. We saw a group of “Fungineers” with some chalk by the tortoise exhibit, so that is when we decided to have tortoise races.
We set up the start and finish lines, and also drew our scoreboard. Our racers were a group of male tortoises named Samuel, Robert, and Garth! The visitors enjoyed it as much as we did. Some even messed around and pretended to bet on the tortoises. In the beginning, it seemed Samuel was gonna blow the others away, but Garth came out with the win!
Each TRIBE member has a mentor, and my mentor is Kate! She runs the overnight programs at the zoo. Occasionally, Kate will come by and check in with the teens, and recently she has been gathering groups to help her socialize Dilbert, the six-banded armadillo! Dilbert is just a little…okay, a lot over weight. He is on a diet though, and now he has TRIBE members come and play so he can exercise! We also got to meet Olli, the white-throated monitor. [Read more →]
July 31, 2011 No Comments
You may wonder, what is a normal day like as a Teen TRIBE member? Truth is, there is no such thing as a “normal day”.
Everyday starts with roll call, but then it is off to start working. As an animal handler, I have a lot of differ
ent options to choose from each day. I go through our list of available animals on the computer, and choose what animal I would like to take out. Depending on who comes to work, usually you have a partner to work with as well.
In the morning while it is still cooler, we like to take out one of furry friends, such as guinea pigs or rabbits. Today, I had a bin of guinea pigs while Grace and Emily had out a Kenyan Sand Boa. [Read more →]
July 11, 2011 1 Comment
While visiting the Children’s Zoo (CZ), the common question arises, who are these teens? All those teens are actually an important part of the CZ during the summer. The goal is to help make a vistor’s experience better, while also gaining per
sonal experience on what it is like to be a part of the daily routine at the zoo. I am a member of Teen TRIBE, an exciting new volunteer program for teens! What does Teen TRIBE do exactly? I would love to help answer that question by sharing my experience!
Everyday starts off with roll call. All teens gather to see who is working for the day, and receive important reminders or information from one of our awesome mentors! Then it is time to head to the CZ and break up into groups depending on our specific jobs. My responsibility is to provide cool animal encounters for visitors so they can have an up-close experience with the animals. Handling a wide variety of animals ranging from turkeys to snakes is a very fun job, but it is also something to take seriously. Teen TRIBE members are treated like members of the zoo staff. Since I work with live animals, making sure I provide a fun experience for the guest while making sure the animal is handled safely is a major priority. Another cool part of my job is getting to learn a lot about the animals, and share what I learn with the visitors. During my entire shift, I get to share animals with every visitor to the CZ! Of course, there are other jobs that TRIBE members have. They help out by playing games with kids on the playground, work in the Petting Zoo with the goats, help visitors learn about penguins at the Discover Zone, or a Jr. Zookeeper. It all depends on how much experience the TRIBE member already has, then working up!
What are some other fun parts of the TRIBE program? Making a lot of new friends and become very familar with zoo staff! Once accepted to be part of Teen TRIBE, a mentor is assigned who works at the zoo as well. We get to meet our mentors and the other members of the TRIBE at a fun party they have just for us!
Overall, it is a wonderful program! Read more about it on the zoo’s website under volunteer. Feel free to leave comments with any questions, and make sure to visit us this summer in the CZ!
June 14, 2011 No Comments