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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 learn and practice their interpretation skills to share our animal saving messages with Zoo guests.

Dates and Times

The Zoo Crew Explorers program is a four-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.

2022 Zoo Crew Explorers summer dates are broken into four sessions:

  • Session 1: May 30-June 24
  • Session 2: June 13-July 8
  • Session 3: June 27- July 22
  • Session 4: July 11-August 5

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

Each week, Zoo Crew Explorers will be learning about different aspects of the zoo and conservation field. They will spend time learning about what is wildlife conservation and the Houston Zoo’s wildlife-saving initiatives. They will also learn about the variety of careers in the zoo field by meeting with professionals throughout the organization. They will spend a week as a Camp Mentor, mentoring the young kids in our Camp Zoofari summer camp, and a week as a Naturalist in which they will educate guests of the Zoo about our animals and ways they can take action to save them in the wild.

To participate, teens must be 13 years old by the start of the program on May 30th and they cannot turn 18 before the end of their selected session.

Applications and Interviews


Check back in January for the summer 2022 application.


Interviews will be held in April. If selected for an interview, applicants will be able to sign up for a timeslot that works with their schedule.

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


  • Orientation will be held virtually via Zoom.
  • Date and Time TBD
  • Both Zoo Crew and parents/guardians must attend

Zoo Crew Explorers Program Fees

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

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

Information Session

2022 Zoo Crew Explorers Information Session

Thursday, January 27th 6-7pm

Interested in learning more about Zoo Crew Explorers? Join us for a virtual information session on Thursday, January 27th 6-7pm. This information session will be held via Zoom. See below for details on how to join the virtual meeting. Because we are limited on the number of devices that can join this virtual meeting we ask that only one device per household join the meeting. If you are unable to make it, the meeting will be recorded and the recording will be posted here after.

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 872 2162 8001
Passcode: 318205

Unable to attend our information sessions? Check back after to view a recording.

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