Are you interested in a career with animals? Do you love hands-on learning and working with others?

If so, the Keeper-in-Training Program is for you!

The Keeper-in-Training (KIT) Program is a unique way for teens ages 14 – 17 to be a part of The Zoo Team! The program begins the last week of June and runs for 9 weeks through the summer. Keepers-in-Training will gain valuable, hands-on experience of what a typical zookeeper's day is like. We offer KITs an opportunity to learn how our animal care program works as well as offer the chance to help in other areas of The Zoo such as Zoo Camp, special events and programs within our Education Department.

Important Information

- Please come dressed appropriately as KITs will be working outside all day.
- Reservations are not confirmed until payment is made in full.
- Please bring a bagged lunch (refrigerator will not be available). We recommend bringing a lunch with an ice pack or two.


  • 14 – 17 years of age
  • One year Zoo Camp or other summer zoo program is recommended (but not required)
  • Ability to follow a daily work routine and safe working practices
  • Public speaking experience is preffered as our KITs will interact with the general public at The Zoo on a daily basis during informal animal interactions.
  • Experience with raking, shoveling and using a wheelbarrow is essential
  • Ability to lift at least 30 pounds


1 week, half day
(A.M.: 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. or P.M.: 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.)

Members: $50
Nonmembers: $60

1 week, full day (9 a.m. to 4 p.m.)
Members: $100
Nonmembers: $110
*Please note that KITs will be eating lunch 
from 12:15 p.m. to 12:45 p.m. each day with Zoo Camp.

Single shifts (A.M. or P.M.; subject to availability):
Members: Half day: $10 per shift
Nonmembers: Half day: $12 per shift
Members: Full day: $20 per day
Nonmembers: Full day: $24 per day



Please be aware that this program works on a first-come first-served basis. All registrations will be reviewed by our Education Department and our KIT Coordinator. Please call to confirm availability for program dates you are interested in. If you have any questions regarding our new registration process, please feel free to reach out to Caroline Cay Adams via email or phone at 413-733-2251, ext. 305.


Other notes:
- This program was formly known as the Crew-in-Training Program (CIT program). We now also have a Counselor-in-Training Program (CIT) for those interested in working more closely with our Zoo Camp program.
- The Zoo will not process refunds for the KIT program unless accompanied by a doctor's note.


"I volunteered as a CIT (Crew-in-Training) for The Zoo in Forest Parl when I was thirteen years old. I remember learning about all the animals, especially the chinchillas and hissing cockroaches. I was excited about volunteering every day.  Today, I am Wildlife Conservation Biologist and a Park Ranger with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at the Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge. I teach environmental education to the public. I know that my volunteer experience with The Zoo was a stepping stone to a career in natural resource education." - Tasha Daniels

Tasha Daniels, from U.S. Fish & Wildlife, meets Hustle the Beaver.