Wednesday, January 25, 2017 - 10:15am

Volunteers Make Every Zoo Day Great!

We’re gearing up for another amazing Zoo year and hope that all of you will be joining us in some way!  There are lots of ways to connect – regularly on-grounds through a Guest Services volunteer role or a Conservation Education role, periodically on grounds or in the community as an Event Volunteer, or with your group for a one-time volunteer opportunity related to an event or grounds project. 

Overall in 2016, Henry Vilas Zoo volunteers contributed over 22,730 hours (over 2000 more than in 2015!) through these and other leadership & capacity-building roles.  Volunteers make a HUGE difference for the Zoo – in conveying an inspirational conservation message, in helping to strengthen the Zoo Guest experience, and in helping to strengthen the Zoo through helping us to raise much needed funds on grounds and through events.  Thanks!

Membership Coordinator position available (Event Coordinator position available soon – watch the site)

We are incredibly excited to be expanding our membership development efforts to include a part-time staff position.  Additional staff will allow us to better support our members and reach out to a broader member base to continue to strengthen the Zoo. The job description and application information are posted on the website: http://www.vilaszoo.org/employment

Train/Carousel Supervisor positions available

We’re also looking for additional paid Train/Carousel supervisors.  Supervisors play a critical role in creating a positive and supportive environment for our Train/Carousel volunteers and ensuring that the experience is safe and fun for Zoo guests.  Supervisors generally work 1-2 set days/week (at this point, we’re looking for Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday supervisors) and fill in for additional days as needed/available, though substitute supervisors are also sought.  The schedule is set at the beginning of the season for the year.  Occasional evening hours, but primary hours are between 9am and 5pm.  Experience as a train/carousel volunteer is strongly desired but not required.  If you’re interested in more details, email lynn@vilaszoo.org or call me at 258-9490 x31. 

Upcoming Event staffing needed

Shoe the Zoo- Saturday, January 28th

Attention Groups!  We had a group scheduled that just cancelled today L, so you still have a chance to get out and enjoy the snow that we’ll be getting in the next couple days!  We’re looking for 4-5 volunteers between 10:45 and 2pm (with a break between the lesson sessions that start at 11am and 1pm) that can help greet snow shoers, help with registration, and help with sizing and organizing snow shoes.  Sign up on Volgistics or let me know you’re available. 

Zoo Lights Deconstruction – Wednesday 2/1

We’re almost there, but we need a little more help!  From 8:30am-12:30pm (or earlier if we’re done), we’ll do the final de-installation and packing up of decorations from Zoo Lights.  10-15 sets of helping hands would be great!  Can you join us?  Sign up on Volgistics or by letting me know via phone or email. 

Frozen Assets Festival – Friday 2/3

Henry Vilas Zoo has been invited to participate in Frozen Assets Fest (https://cleanlakesalliance.org/frozen-assets/) on Friday, February 3rd and Saturday, February 4th.  We are looking for volunteers to represent the Zoo to event visitors.  If you have Zoo volunteer experience, love the Zoo, have lots of energy for talking with people about the Zoo, and are willing to be introduced to information including some conservation education materials to share with event-goers, let me know.  There is a schedule available on Volgistics – go ahead and sign in there if you have access, or let me know your availability and I’ll get you registered.  Open shifts are Friday 9:45-12:30 & 12:15-2:45.  The organizers are expecting a huge crowd at the event (6-10,000 people). The Friday is a no-schools day for Madison schools and the event is very family focused, so it will be an amazing FREE opportunity to focus on promoting Zoo Camp, Preschool Pride, Membership, and Family Volunteer opportunities. 

Mad City Mardi Gras – Sunday, February 26th

Liliana’s Restaurant is once again hosting their amazing Zoo Fundraiser – kids activities during the day and a magical evening for adults featuring live jazz music, amazing food, and a huge silent auction.  Details: https://www.facebook.com/events/257520264662000/    We’re looking for volunteers to help with hospitality and promoting the silent auction throughout the day and into the evening (10-12, 4-6, 6-8).  If you have Zoo volunteer experience, love the Zoo, have lots of energy for talking with people about the Zoo, and are willing to be introduced to information including some conservation education materials to share with event-goers, let me know.  (this is an individual opportunity, though friends or a couple can fill)

Animal Ambassador Trainings – THERE’S STILL TIME!

We have one more Animal Ambassador training session scheduled for the 2017 season – this Saturday1/28.  If you have one weekday available (we have the greatest need for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday volunteers) on a weekly basis from 9am-1pm (the specific day can change from semester to semester if necessary), love the idea of working with a team and our education animals to present conservation education information to a wide variety of audiences big (up to 100) and small, can make at least a year-long commitment, and are open to helping in a wide variety of ways to do the work of the education department (presentations, meet & greets, laundry J, Zoo Camp prep, event prep, etc.), let me know and we’ll get you the details! 

Volunteer Thanks!

We have some amazing volunteers at the Zoo – everyone gives in their own ways and we thank you as many different ways as we can.  At the end of 2016, we celebrated a few new volunteers who have joined the 1000+ hour recognition wall!  If you haven’t seen the plaques that recognize service of 1000+ hours and 25+ years, check them out in the entrance of Glacier Grille the next time you’re here at the Zoo. 

Event Volunteering – 

If you have been an event volunteer or have checked that box on your volunteer preference form, watch your inbox in the next couple days for a list of 2017 events.  Except for Corporate Nights, schedules for all events except Member Night (date TBD), Zoo Run Run, Halloween at the Zoo, and Zoo Lights have been posted.  Feel free to sign up on Volgistics, let me know your shift/role preferences, or let me know that you’d rather not be on that list anymore… 

Questions? Lynn Currie, Director of Volunteer Services, Friends of Henry Vilas Zoo, lynn@vilaszoo.org or 258-9490

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