The application process for summer 2018 is open January 1 - March 1, 2018.

The National Aviary teen volunteer program is open to students who will be 14-17 years old by June 1, 2018.  Teens help us to advance our mission during our busiest season of the year. Students gain valuable skills and avian knowledge while experiencing the daily life of a bird zoo. Currently, we only accept teen volunteers to start in the summer.

We ask for a minimum commitment of at least 35 hours for the 2018 summer season which runs from June 14 to September 3, 2018. Teens volunteer at least one full day a week during this summer break. The Aviary is open every day in the summer from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm. Teens may volunteer in one of three areas of the National Aviary.

Teens may serve as Teen Docents. These teens usher for shows and interactive feedings but do not have direct contact with the birds. Volunteers support our educators by serving as outreach assistants and providing directions and education to our visitors. The volunteer shift begins between 9:30-10:00 am and runs at least 4:00 pm.

Teens interested in education or childhood development may also choose to work as a Summer Camp Assistant. These volunteers will be assigned to work at least one full week of camp. Camp Assistants help National Aviary educators with camp lessons and activities from 8:30 am – 3:30 pm Monday – Friday. For teens with a busy summer schedule, the entire 35 hour commitment can be earned in one week. Camp assistants have an additional required training on June 14th from 10:00 am - 1:00 pm. 

Nest Watch is for the early birds! Budding ornithologists may help with a citizen science project! Neighborhood Nest Watch volunteers assist National Aviary field researchers with finding and assessing eight common backyard bird species. Nest Watch runs from 6:00 am - noon every day; volunteers must provide their own transportation. 

If your application is accepted, you will be invited to interview. You will be required to conduct a brief (2-3 minute) presentation during the interview and to bring a written personal reference. Teens who successfully complete the summer requirements may be invited to volunteer weekends during the school year. 

To apply, fill out our online application

For those who are accepted into the program, teen volunteer orientation will be held on June 14th. This is a required day of training to prepare for volunteering. No other orientation days will be scheduled. 

Teen summer applications were due by March 1, 2018. The application period is now over.