ZooCREW Varsity

ZooCREW 2 Highlights

The ZooCREW 2 program is for teens that have a strong, passionate connection to wildlife and conservation. Here are some examples of one-of-a-kind experiences offered through ZooCREW 2.

ZooCREW 1 is a required introductory step for students interested in joining our immersive year-long teen engagement program, ZooCREW 2. Students may elect to participate in the ZooCREW 1 summer only and are not required to advance to ZooCREW 2.


Each month, ZooCREW 2 students attend a workshop to help expand their knowledge about wildlife and conservation, help improve their engagement skills, learn about their role in advocacy, and discover various career opportunities. They are offered the chance to talk to and learn from folks actually doing the work many of our students dream of doing some day. Here is a sample of some of the workshops we have offered in the last year:
  • Meeting one of the Zoo’s big cat keepers and talking about her conservation work in Belize, then touring behind the scenes at KeyBank Big Cat Falls
  • Meeting Gerry Ellis, world-renowned photojournalist, and learning about his work with great apes in the wild
  • Meeting the Zoo veterinary staff to learn how to become a vet, and touring the animal hospital
  • Working with improv actors for a fun way to improve public speaking
  • Skyping with biologists as they are out in the field

Field Trips

field tripsAs an important extension to our onsite program, ZooCREW 2 students receive the opportunity to take monthly field trips to various conservation or wildlife related locations. These field trips present an invaluable opportunity to receive real life, hand-ons experience. Here are several field trips we have taken in the past year:
  • Bald eagle watching at Conowingo dam
  • Butterfly banding in Cape May
  • Working with Wetlands Institute to help build fences to save terrapins
  • Canoeing
  • Visiting other Philadelphia cultural Institutions to participate in special programs with other teenagers
  • Hiking at Hawk Mountain
  • Visiting the capital in Harrisburg to meet legislators that help make decisions regarding zoos and aquariums

Overnight Trips

OvernightsTo create an immersive experience, ZooCREW 2 has several opportunities to travel on overnight trips. The trips provide not only expanded and in-depth engagement with the environment, wildlife and conservation, they also generate life-long memories and terrific bonding experiences. Some examples of past overnight trips include:
  • Camping in the Poconos mountains
  • Washington, DC, to learn about advocating for Zoos
  • Three-day science camp
  • Five days working hands-on with field biologists at Virginia Tech

College Preparation

College PrepZooCREW 2 provides a unique environment to help mentor students on their quest to apply, choose and succeed in college. Through the program, ZooCREW 2 students are provided opportunities to tour local colleges, meet with an expert on college admission, learn what is needed for successful interviewing and resume writing, and even connect with former program alumni to help answer questions about a college before they apply. Some past opportunities include:
  • Financial literacies workshops with mentors from PricewaterhouseCoopers
  • Resumé boot camp
  • Entrance essay writing workshop
  • College Admission 101 with local college admissions officials
  • Visits to local colleges