Children's Ministry Volunteer Training by Mark Moore
Youth Volunteer Programs
Youth programs at the Palm Beach Zoo are competitive and acceptance is limited. The ZooTeen volunteer program is a select group of teens, ages 14-17 who explore their interest in animals, nature and conservation through volunteer service at the Palm Beach Zoo. ZooTeens can report to work no earlier than 9 a.m. and must leave the zoo no later than 5 p.m. The majority of teens begin their shift at 10 a.m.
and leave at 4 p.m. ZooTeen Application. The Junior Camp Counselor volunteer program empowers youth ages 15-17 to become conservation ambassadors and community leaders. Junior Camp Counselors help mentor young minds through assistance with Palm Beach Zoo’s summer camps. As a camp counselor volunteer you will help: educate campers through use of animal bio-facts including skulls, bones, fur and feathers; lead students to behind the scenes zoo opportunities and up-close animal encounters; and participate in other engaging activities, such as educational crafts and hands-on learning stations.
Camps are hosted Monday through Friday with volunteer shift times of 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. Palm Beach Zoo hosts two Youth Volunteer Programs. The Youth Volunteer Program is designed to be rewarding and engaging for teens and zoo visitors. Palm Beach Zoo offers teens a real-world learning experience, excellent for students with interest in biology, zoology, wildlife, conservation, education or related fields. The program mainly runs from June to August but does offer other opportunities to volunteer throughout the year.
Follow the Zoo’s dress code: volunteer shirt, khaki or black shorts/pants, brown belt, and close-toed black or brown shoes. No visible tattoos or piercings during volunteer shifts, and must have a natural hair color.
Youth Volunteer Corps of Charleston
Youth Volunteer Corps began in 1987 as a summer service program for Kansas City youth. Today, YVC is a network of affiliated organizations across the U.S. and Canada running that same program by engaging youth ages 11 to 18 in team-based, structured, diverse, flexible service-learning opportunities. YVC of Charleston is one of many affiliates across the U.S. and Canada.
Our mission is to promote a lifetime commitment to service among youth of Charleston by offering volunteer projects throughout the school year and during the summer with the Summer Service-Learning Institute. All projects are group-based and supervised by an adult Team Leader or Program Director who cultivates the group dynamic with icebreaker and team-building games and ensures youth understand the importance of their work with service-learning lessons. Here at YVC of Charleston, we understand that youth are very busy and may not be able to attend all volunteer events, but that is the wonderful thing about YVC. Youth aren’t required to earn a certain amount of volunteer hours and they don’t have to attend every event, but we do hope the youth will enjoy every event so that they keep coming back and with more friends each time! In order for youth to volunteer they must complete a Volunteer Profile and Parent Waiver form.
Once they turn in the form they’ll start receiving updates about projects and leadership opportunities. There are leadership opportunities with YVC of Charleston and the YVC Headquarters in Kansas City. The Youth Advisory Board, known as YAB, helps ensure projects are youth driven and that there is a service-learning component of each project. Members of the Board are standout youth who enjoy a challenge, are able to work well in a team environment and have exemplified leadership in the past.
10 Simple Ways Kids Can Volunteer In Their Communities And Make A Difference
This past Christmas, after I did my annual cleaning out of their closets, I showed my kids the stuff I’d found that they no longer played with, and I told them to make three piles: a pile of stuff they absolutely could not part with; a pile of stuff they wanted to give away to family or friends; and a pile of stuff they wanted to donate to children in need. I was proud of the way my kids had chosen to give, and for the lessons it taught them, but I realized we have to do more, much more. Hunger and food poverty is something you can easily explain to your kids. If young children came in, forget it – even the residents with severe dementia or Alzheimer’s were remarkably moved by the bright, incredible energy of the kids. Dropping them off at a children’s hospital has the added dimension of bringing good cheer and happiness to the kids there.
It can be uncomfortable for our kids to see some of the sickness and despair that is present at hospitals, but when they see how much their smiles and gifts make a difference, it will be worth it, and they will learn and grow because of the experience. Next time you go to the park, take a trash bag and spend a few minutes cleaning it up with your kids. The kids will love the extra opportunity to get their hands in the dirt and beautify the local spaces around them. It’s astonishing how much our kids grow, and it’s often likely that you’ll have some warm clothing that needs a new home. Your kids will be thrilled to meet these real-life heroes.
Last summer, my kids had a blast hosting lemonade stands in the front yard. Once I started brainstorming, I realized that there are actually so many ways you can get your kids involved in their communities.