New opportunities for ZooTeens this summer

Photo by Tina Crandall-Gommel

Photo by Tina Crandall-Gommel

Our ZooTeen Program this summer is off and running – and not just on Zoo grounds. ZooTeens this summer have had the opportunity to travel with members of our education staff on outreach programs like our ZooMobile and the Butterfly Beltway Project. One of our goals this year was to give teens that have been in the program for at least one year the opportunity to explore some of the career options here at the Zoo, so shadowing our educators was one of our steps to reaching this goal.

Below is feedback from some of the teens who have taken advantage of this opportunity so far.

I found the experience worthwhile. . . On the way over, Tim and I chatted about colleges which, actually, was very helpful to me in deciding that Oswego may be a better college to attend than ESF. . . we met up with  at the Helmer Nature Center, and got to business. (She) brought us back to the garden which, really, was full of thistle, three or four other plants and milkweed. This surprised me, but I learned that it occurred because the thistle wasn’t taken care of or cut back regularly…. Tim was happy the milkweed was flourishing, though! In the end, we just unloaded the plants and mulch and chatted with the Helmer Nature worker. I liked how relaxed it was; we ended up discussing how they wanted a rose tarantula for their Spider’s Aren’t Spooky program. I liked how close the Zoo and Nature Center seemed to be and work, us being able to provide help and information to the Center so they can carry their message as well. It was a better experience than I first though I would have . . . definitely worth it.

– Taylor Chamberlain

I went in the ZooMobile and this was a great experience for me to have as a ZooTeen. It was interesting to see what the other workers in the Zoo do. It was very fun to actually see and observe the other animals in the Zoo that are utilized for these programs. I did learn some things about these animals that I didn’t know before. I hope to maybe use some of the information I learned and use it in the ZooTeen program. I also really enjoyed the fact that I got to go off site and bring a part of the Zoo to other groups of people. And those people aren’t just seeing the animals but also learning about them. It’s a fun thing to know that people are taking this information away from these demonstrations. It was a nice change of pace to learn more about the different jobs in the Zoo and other opportunities that can come. I really enjoyed going on the ZooMobile trip. 

– Allison Kemblowski

During the ZooMobile I learned a lot about the animals that were presented. I especially learned a lot about the marine toad (Bubba) and how he survives, like how he eats and how he has to blend in with his surroundings in order to catch his prey and then jump because he has a smaller tongue than most frogs. Tim and Katie were really fun to work with. Over all I thought the ZooMobile was very interesting and I had a lot of fun with it. It was something new for me in the ZooTeen program and I enjoyed it very much and I think it would be a great experience for other ZooTeen members.

– Brittany Jordan

– Tina Crandall-Gommel, Youth and School Group Programs Coordinator