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First Year Zoo Crew Explorers

Teens, ages 13-17, participating in Zoo Crew for the first time have the opportunity to explore everything that the Houston Zoo does to save animals in the wild.

From zookeepers, to groundskeepers, to our marketing department, Zoo Crew Explorers will learn about all the different career possibilities and how each of our staff members are active in saving wildlife. They will also have the opportunity to share our animal saving messages with Zoo guests through interactive activities and mentor our campers in our Camp Zoofari summer camp.

Dates and Times

The Zoo Crew Explorers program is a five-week summer program. All first-year teens, regardless of age, must complete a summer of Zoo Crew Explorers before they are able to participate in our year-round programming.

2019 Zoo Crew Explorers summer dates are broken into two sessions:

  • Session 1: June 3-July 5
  • Session 2: July 15-August 16

All five weeks are Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Mandatory Orientation and Trainings


  • May 11 9:00am-12:00pm
  • Both parents and Zoo Crew must attend


  • Session 1 – May 27
  • Session 2 – July 5

Once first-year teens have completed the Zoo Crew Explorers program they are eligible to continue their experience in our year-round Zoo Crew programs.

Year-Round Zoo Crew

Applications and Interviews


Applications are due Monday, March 18 by 11:59pm.

Apply now!


Interviews will be held on March 30 and April 13.

If you are selected for an interview, you will be given the opportunity to choose which date and time you would like to interview.

All applicants will be notified of acceptance by the end of April.

Zoo Crew Explorers Program Fees

  • Summer only: $250
  • Year-round: additional $200

International Travel Opportunity

Galápagos Islands

July 6-15, 2019

The Houston Zoo Teen Programs will be traveling to the Galápagos Islands to connect with local teens and share their wildlife saving experiences, participate hands-on in giant tortoise research, monitor marine life, and explore this unique part of the world.

Trip cost: $4,995

To apply, interested teens must also apply and be accepted into the Zoo Crew Explorers program.

Apply now!

Information Sessions

Interested in joining Zoo Crew Explorers?

Come learn all about our program, meet some current Zoo Crew members, and talk with the Teen Programs staff at one of our information sessions. Both parents and teens are encouraged to attend.

Dates and Times:

  • Thursday, January 17 6:00-7:00pm
  • Saturday, January 19 9:00-10:00am

Also interested in going to the Galápagos Islands?

Stick around after the Zoo Crew information sessions to learn about our international travel opportunity. Interested participants must first attend one of the Zoo Crew information sessions.

Dates and Times:

  • Thursday, January 17 7:00-8:00pm
  • Saturday, January 19 10:00-11:00am

To attend one of our information sessions, sign-up here. Please indicate the total number of people that will be attending.

Information session sign-up

Unable to attend our information sessions? Information from our 2019 information sessions will be posted here. Check back in January.

Check out our Adventure Programs for more ways for teens to get involved with the Houston Zoo!

Adventure Programs

Questions? Email us at or call us at 713-533-6567

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