CONSERVATION EDUCATOR: Summer Camp and Overnights

Organization: Philadelphia Zoo (AZA Member)
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Country
Job or Internship: Job

Under the direction of the Coordinator of Conservation Education Programs performs all vital functions of programming, including but not limited to, Wildlife Warriors Summer camp, overnights and scout programming, as well as program coordination. Delivers and administers programs and supports all Conservation Education department programs.

The Educator will provide information in accordance with the Zoo’s goals, specifically: exceeding the expectations of the visitors by providing friendly, outgoing, and mannerly services, and in accordance with the Zoo’s mission, specifically: conservation, education, science and recreation.

Essential Functions:

1. Works with the Manager of Conservation Education and the Conservation Education Programs team to develop and facilitate programs that enrich participants’ Zoo experience and evoke action on the behalf of wildlife conservation and meet the Conservation Education department’s strategic vision.

2. Presents and handles live animal ambassadors from the Zoo’s teaching collection in front of audiences and upholds the most current, highest standards of animal care and presentation.

3. Implement training plans and animal-handling guidelines for teaching collection animals as set up by the education and KidZooU team. Exhibit the highest standard of animal care and presentation at all times.

4. Incorporate consistent conservation education messages and behaviors in all programs. Assist Manager of Conservation Education Programs in tracking effectiveness of outreach programming in delivering conservation messages.

5. Research program topics and create scripts including production and organization of necessary props and program materials. Maintain program supplies, including animal presentation supplies.

6. Work with Coordinator of Conservation Education to select and train a team of summer camp counselors and volunteers.

7. Works with Coordinator of Conservation Education programs, public safety and animal department to ensure that systems are in place and adhered to in order to ensure the safety of summer campers.

8. Under the direction of the Coordinator of Conservation Education Programs, trains summer camp counselors and volunteers, tracks progress and provides feedback to seasonal reviews.

9. Coordinates the summer camp daily schedules, including camper and counselor schedules and animal experience schedules.

10. Communicates with camp parents on a daily and weekly basis in person, via phone and through email. Creates a weekly newsletter for summer camp parents.

11. Works with the Coordinator for Conservation Education Programs to create and facilitate Open House programming for Summer Camp.

12. Assists with client registrations and follow up as necessary.

13. Places orders and completes inventories for summer camp and overnight programs as necessary.

14. Supervises daily check-in and check-out for summer campers.

15. Assist with the development of Wildlife Warriors summer camp curriculum, including creating a schedule for animal experiences.

16. Research program topics and create camp lessons including production and organization of necessary props and program materials. Maintain program supplies, including animal presentation supplies.

17. Demonstrate understanding of group dynamics and ability to manage groups of children and adult leaders in an engaging and friendly manner that fosters a positive experience for all guests.

18. Assists part-time staff in setting up overnights, facilitating check-in, and being available to help staff and guests as needed.

19. Assists in training and coordinating part-time staff to facilitate programs including night hikes and educational and interactive activities.

20. Assists with data entry and filing, including contact and follow-up with program participants, adding programs to the outreach calendar and working with summer camp clients.

21. Assists with daily logistics and implementation of Overnight and Scout programs as assigned by the Coordinator of Conservation Education Programs.

22. Possess knowledge of safety and security policies and procedures and animal safety issues.


Bachelor’s degree in environmental education, natural science or related field.

Minimum 1-2 years teaching experience in the life sciences; preferably in a museum, zoo or nature center and demonstrated ability to effectively use interactive instructional methods.

Two years’ experience presenting or working with exotic animals in an educational or zoological setting. Demonstrated ability to follow an established animal training plan is preferred.

Demonstrated experience training staff and volunteers.

Ability to work in a fast paced environment, stimulating interaction between the public and Zoo staff.

Excellent presentation skills with a strong knowledge of interpretive and both formal and informal presentation techniques.

Demonstrate organizational skills required to coordinate staff and program schedules, research program topics.

Strong organizational, administrative and communication skills.

Creative skills to transform conservation messages into entertaining, interactive programs, including developing small props, activities and games.

Ability to maintain and execute a working knowledge of electronic media and exhibit components under Conservation Education programs department responsibility.

Current, valid drivers’ license, ability to operate Zoo vehicles.

Professional appearance and manner both offsite and onsite.

Willing and able to work a flexible schedule that will include weekends, evenings and holidays.

Experience working with organized youth groups, scouts or camps is preferred.


Successful completion of post offer medical screening, drug test and tb test. Rabies pre-exposure series required.

No allergies related to plants or animals that would interfere with ability to work.

Ability to lift and carry up to 50lbs.

Ability to work cheerfully under pressure in a fast-paced environment.

Ability to work in a dynamic work environment where changes in procedures and protocols to ensure animal and guest safety are a frequent occurrence.


1. Successful completion of background check, including drivers’ license and criminal records.


Work outside in all weather conditions and ability to stand and maintain alertness for long periods of time.

High pressure, fast-paced environment.

Dynamic work environment where changes in procedures and protocols to ensure animal and guest safety are a frequent occurrence.

Includes some work in office building setting.

Schedule includes weekends and holidays on a consistent basis.

If interested, please complete the online application at: