Monday, May 9, 2016 - 1:30pm

In this issue:

  • Can you Help With Upcoming Events?
  • Share Your Love of Zoo Volunteering
  • Membership Challenge
  • Volunteers Gather
  • Seasonal Openings / Hours/Information
  • Wear your Badger Support on your Sleeve!
  • Internship Opportunities with Friends
  • On Grounds Employment Opportunities
  • Cereal Boxes!
  • Travel & Tourism Week

Can You Help With Upcoming Events?

There are a lot of upcoming evening events – if you are interested in helping out, check out Volgistics or let me know that you’re available to help.  There are a couple of events coming up in the short term that we could really use some extra folks to help make successful.  Sign up on Volgistics (be sure to let me know if you don’t have access or don’t see these events when you’re on our volunteer scheduling site) or let me know if you can help with any of these: 

  • Member Night on May 19th. We’re still looking for one Henry/Helper pair to be at this annual event – the shift is 5:15-7:00.  Event details:  Not a member yet? It isn’t too late to join. J  Schedule is available on Volgistics.
  • Zoovies on May 21st is an outdoor film showing of Alvin & The Chipmunks newest film “Road Chip”.  Details:  We’re looking for a few more volunteers to help with: set-up, tear-down, and monitoring the gates during the film (including thanking people as they leave). Schedule is available on Volgistics.
  • Rendez-Zoo on June 4th is Henry Vilas Zoo's new annual event (21+) to enhance the community-supported zoo and its future exhibits. Details at:  We’re looking for volunteers to help in a variety of areas including set-up, registration, train & carousel, roamer, ice cream server, gate monitors, and clean-up.  Schedule is up on Volgistics now. 
  • Corporate Nights at the Zoo – We need a variety of volunteers to assist with these Zoo rental that provide financial support for the Zoo. Timeframes are between 5&9pm.  Roles include: Greeter, Henry/Helper, Train/Carousel, Bartender, ID Checkers, Goat Yard, and Roamer.  Dates are:

o   June 10th

o   June 22nd

o   June 25th

o   July 10th

o   July 30th

o   August 12th

o   August 14th

o   August 21st

  • Glacier Grille BBQ & Picnic on July 2nd. Time and details TBA but will include volunteer roles for greeters, servers, set-up and clean-up for sure. 
  • Be a Kid Again on July 14th is an evening event sponsored our PACK group & geared toward young professionals but open to anyone.  Let me know if you’re available to help in any of these areas: registration, games/activities, train/carousel, bounce house, bartender, goat yard, roamer, Henry/Helper, Photographer, set-up, clean-up. 
  • Zoovies – July 28th.  Same as 5/21 except the film is Kung Fu Panda 3
  • Be A Kid Again on August 25th.  Same as 7/14. 
  • Zoo Run Run on September 25th
  • Halloween at the Zoo on October 30th

Still Recruiting Spring/Summer Volunteers

We are still looking for volunteers to help in a variety of areas around the Zoo this season.  Weekend afternoons at Train/Carousel?  Goat Yard afternoons?  Face of the Zoo afternoons?  Zoo Camp Assistant this summer?  Lots of opportunities to be a substitute volunteer throughout the roles and schedule.  Let me know if you want to look at what is available. 

Help us Meet our Membership Goal for 2016!

We have grown our Friends of the Zoo membership to 1900 with a lot of your help over the past year or so.  Our 2016 membership goal is 2500 members.  To encourage all of our paid and volunteer staff to promote membership, we’re introducing two things for the new season:

  • Membership Buttons!  At Volunteer Central and the Carousel, starting this weekend, there will be a basket of special buttons that say “Ask Me How to Be A Member”.  Please wear the button during your shift and return to the basket before you head home
  • Membership Challenge!  When someone is interested in joining, be sure to share a membership form with them and let them know they can either turn it in and pay for their membership at the gift shop that day or send it in via mail.  Before you give them the form, though, please add your name to it so that we can give you credit!  At the end of each month, there will be a prize for the volunteer that sold the most memberships. 

Volunteers Gather

Would you like to connect with other volunteer and paid staff?  Have some great ideas or burning questions?  There are a couple of opportunities to meet volunteers, hear some updates, ask questions.  Sign-up for each is available on Volgistics (let me know if you don’t see them when you try to schedule) or by just letting me know you’re coming:

  • Volunteer Q&A – June 15th at 4pm at Glacier Grille
  • All Staff Potluck - June 29th 4:30-7pm at Anna Vilas Hall
  • Volunteer Q&A – July 14th at 4pm at Glacier Grille

Summer Openings/Hours/Information

  • Goat Yard will (tentatively) open May 14th (dependent on timing of playground construction – see below)
  • Badger Bites (formerly Henry’s Sub Shoppe) will open on May 20th
  • Check out the Gift Shop renovations!  Additional decor and a name change will be coming soon!
  • Construction of additional Tundra buggy access is under way now.
  • At some point soon, work will begin on the playground area to widen the path between the carousel and playground, remove the rock, and add woodchips to the ground in lieu of replacing the surface (which will be done at a later time)
  • Work on the bear yards is scheduled to continue until May 27th. During this time, the grizzly and polar bear yards will each be down for about 4 days for exhibit work to be done (polar and grizzly yards will not be down at the same time)

Wisconsin Heritage Exhibit – wear your support!

We are well on the way to meeting the $125,000 matching grant for the new Badger/Crane exhibit.  You can help us spread the word and share your Zoo pride with the Bring Back the Badgers t-shirt.  100% of proceeds support the exhibit.  See the shirt and order here: 

Employment Opportunities on Grounds

Can you imagine working a seasonal job where you get to look out at the polar bears or the lions and/or spend time out on grounds?  We are currently hiring for summer positions in the gift shopGlacier GrilleBadger Bites, and a new Guest Services Assistant.  For details on the positions and instructions on how to apply, go to  

Zoo Internships & Graphic Design Volunteering

We’re currently accepting resumes for a few different internship opportunities at Friends of the Zoo.  Two are currently posted on our website (graphic design and special events internships) - .  Two additional internships (Zoo camp and guest services volunteer coordinator) will be posted soon.  We would also love to have a few folks in our files who are willing to do graphic design project work for our Guest Services areas.  If you’re interested, email me at with attached samples or linked online portfolio.  

Can You Donate… 
…wrapping paper inner rolls or cereal boxes?  If so, please drop them off on weekdays at the Zoo administration building.  They will be put to good use for Zoo Camp.  

Henry the Lion & Zoo featured in Tourism Promotion!

It's National Travel & Tourism Week! In honor of our hospitality partners, the Greater Madison Convention & Visitors wanted to convey a sincere thank you to all of their partners that deliver amazing destination experiences, day in and day out. To do that, they decided we needed to step into your shoes for… a Tourism Takeover. Click on the link below to view their video message. Then view more takeover moments.  Thanks to all of you, amazing volunteers, for making the Zoo a place that people think about when they think about great guest hospitality!

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