Poop Scoop & Crazy Ladies

On our drive home from Boise to Star, my 10-year-old daughter turned to me and said, "Mom, I wanna scoop poop at the zoo!" Without batting an eye, I said, "I know, right?! I wish I could, too, babe!" But at 37, I'm about 19 years too old. Drat!

If you haven't heard of Zoo Boise's ZooTeen program, you might think my daughter and I are three shades of crazy. I mean, we are, but for reasons that have nothing to do with poop.

Zoo Boise Animal Adoption & Education

A few months before this poop-centric exchange took place, our family had adopted Zoo Boise's baby Cotton-headed Tamarin—one of the cutest primates in existence!

There are dozens of cool aspects involved with adopting a Zoo Boise primate! But one of my family's favorite parts of the experience was getting a private, behind-the-scenes tour with Mackenzie Platt, Zoo Boise's development coordinator. She fascinated us with her understanding of our Cotton-headed Tamarin we named "Rockford."

The tour was so great that by the end of it, Rockford felt like family, and our daughter felt like becoming a zoologist. That's when Mackenzie told us about the ZooTeen program.

Photo Credit: City of Boise Parks & Recreation
Cotton-headed Tamarin // Photo Credit: City of Boise Parks & Recreation

What Do ZooTeens Do at the Zoo?

A ZooTeen's primary role is to educate Zoo Boise visitors! This includes:

  • hosting informal educational presentations for zoo visitors;
  • assisting in the operation of seasonal exhibits;
  • and assisting with zoo summer camps for kids.

From raising funds, to raising awareness about Zoo Boise's conservation mission, ZooTeens play a vital role in zoo operations. Additionally, ZooTeens receive a rarified education on animal biology, ecology, wildlife habitat management and maintenance, and communication skills.

Photo Credit: City of Boise Parks & Recreation
ZooTeens of Zoo Boise // Photo Credit: City of Boise Parks & Recreation

Okay, so my daughter wants to do a bit more than just scoop poop at the zoo, but now you get why she's so excited to become a ZooTeen, and why I wish I could!

To learn more about Zoo Boise's upcoming 2025 ZooTeen program, click here

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