Ambassadors assist Friends of the Zoo’s event and guest services staffs in several capacities. Zoo Ambassadors are enthusiastic, people-oriented volunteers who supplement zoo staffing and interact with guests during events and throughout the summer season. When the zoo hosts an event, it is staffed almost entirely by volunteers. During events, Zoo Ambassadors assist at admissions, sell or serve concessions, and staff activity areas. Throughout the main season, Ambassadors also help host after-hours company picnics and assist zoo staff by monitoring animal feeding stations, selling tickets at the train station, selling Friends of the Zoo memberships, interacting with guests, monitoring the gift shop, and directing crowds on busy days.
The Zoo Ambassador program is open to anyone 18 and older. For some events, volunteers must be 21 years old. Most events are on Saturdays, with a few on weekday evenings or Sundays. No experience is necessary. However, you must be available for the required orientation and training.
Thirty-six service hours per year are required to be an active Zoo Ambassador. In return for their dedication of time and talent, Volunteers receive numerous benefits: free zoo admission, a discount in the Safari Trading Company gift shop, and employee prices on food at the Bush Country Café. Active volunteers are invited to the annual Volunteer Appreciation Dinner. Volunteers are also eligible for Friends of the Zoo memberships based on their total service hours for the year. In addition, awards for cumulative hours are given. Volunteers who give 250 hours of time and at least five years of service are honored with a name plaque on the Volunteer Wall of Honor.