Docents

Make a Difference! Join the Fun!

The Oxford English Dictionary defines a docent as a person who acts as a guide, typically on a volunteer basis, in a museum, art gallery or zoo. The word comes from the Latin “docere,” meaning “to teach.” Would you like to teach others about wildlife and wild habitats? Would you like to be a part of Mill Mountain Zoo’s efforts to help our visitors and the greater community understand and appreciate nature? Do you have a little time on your hands? Then you might want to consider becoming a Mill Mountain Zoo docent!

What Does a Docent Do?

Teaches zoo visitors about animals, conservation and ecosystems
● Leads educational tours
● Delivers lessons for school groups, scout groups, tour groups, camps, etc. on and off grounds
● Assists zoo staff with special events held on grounds
● Handles education animals and animal artifacts for programs on and off grounds
● Helps Mill Mountain Zoo with its education mission to provide all people with experiences designed to enhance their understanding of conservation and the planet’s diverse wildlife.

How Does Being a Docent Benefit You?

● Satisfaction—you help others understand the natural world
● Friendship—you meet and work with others who share your interests
● Knowledge—you learn new skills and receive training in zoology and conservation
● Fun and Excitement!

Minimum Docent Requirements:

● Be at least 18 years of age
● Be able to work well and communicate well with others
● Be able to volunteer a minimum of 4 hours a month
● Successfully complete a docent education training program and testing, as well as any new or review courses that are offered
● Pass a background check
● Mill Mountain Zoo membership preferred but not required
● Encouraged do independent research on animal topics
● Be willing to give extra service per month as needed, especially during the busy season
● Have an active email account and check it daily
● Be willing to make a 1 year commitment
● Have an up to date TB vaccination

Docents Must Be Able To:

● Interact with visitors on a regular basis
● Be on their feet for extended periods of time
● Be outside for extended periods of time
● Be comfortable around and handling animals

How to Apply

● Fill out a docent application and submit between August 1st and October 15th
● Interviews will be scheduled in November and December
● Those accepted into the program will take docent training classes in February and March
● Docent training is $25 and includes shirt, badge and handbook

Click on the link below for the application.

Docent Program Information