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Teen Opportunities

Volunteer positions for young people ages 13-17

Summer applications are currently closed. Please check back in August to apply for the school year programs!

Youth Leaders build leadership skills and gain valuable experiences while supporting youth programs at the Wisconsin Humane Society Milwaukee, Ozaukee, and Racine Campuses. Through the opportunities listed below, young people help facilitate fun activities for kids including games, crafts, and more, plus they’ll meet animal guests! 

Applications are currently being accepted for:

  • Applications are currently closed. Please check back in August to apply for the school year programs!

Youth Leaders must:

  • Be 13 to 17 years of age
    - Youth Leaders ages 13-15 participate as a Program Assistant (PA) with a focus on engaging with campers, assisting with activities, and building leadership skills
    - Youth Leaders ages 16-17 participate as a Volunteer-in-Training (VIT) with a focus on further developing leadership skills and critical thinking by leading activities with the assistance of youth programs staff
  • Be enthusiastic about volunteering 
  • Commit to at least one week of summer camp
  • Have reliable transportation to and from camp each day

Interested teens must complete an application with the support of a parent/guardian to be considered for the program. We encourage young people of all backgrounds to apply. Please note this opportunity has limited enrollment and there is the possibility that not all applicants will be accepted.


Frequently Asked Questions

What do Youth Leaders do? 

There are two types of Youth Leaders, determined by age: Program Assistants (ages 13-15) and Counselors-in-Training (ages 16-17).
Program Assistants (PA) support our youth programs by setting up activities, gathering supplies, assisting with crafts, and acting as mentors to our program attendees. PAs model positive behavior, engage with campers, and help create a positive experience for our attendees – all while having fun here at the Wisconsin Humane Society!
Additionally, our Counselors in- Training (CIT) have the opportunity to practice their leadership skills and critical thinking by leading crafts and activities with the assistance of WHS staff. 

During the summer, Youth Leaders volunteer to help with our summer camps (Monday – Friday, 8:45am - 3:15pm). Applicants provide a list of camp weeks they are available to volunteer and will be assigned a week from their list if accepted into the program.

During the school year, Youth Leaders choose their own schedule and can choose to volunteer during: 
Kids Night Out (Second Friday of each month, 4:45 - 7:30pm) 
Scout Nights (Third Thursday of the month, 4:30 - 7:00pm) 
- One-day winter and spring camps during school breaks 

Youth Leaders are not responsible for supervising groups of children alone nor addressing behavior issues; they will have the support of WHS staff. Youth Leaders are also not responsible for handling first aid, injuries, or other emergencies. 

Do Youth Leaders take care of animals? 

While Youth Leaders interact with animals on a limited basis alongside our campers, the primary focus of the role is interacting with our youth program attendees. Program Assistants and Counselors-in-Training will not be walking dogs, cleaning kennels, or interacting with animals outside of experiences during the camp day. For more information on animal care-related volunteer positions, please click here.

When do you recruit new Youth Leaders? 

Recruitment for Youth Leaders to support summer camps begins in January, and selected participants will be notified in May. As needed, recruitment for the school year begins in August, with selected participants notified in September. 

Youth Leaders who have successfully completed the program during the school year or the previous summer are given the first opportunity to return for the following summer. The remaining spots are then filled with new applicants.

How frequently do Youth Leaders need to volunteer? 

Summer Youth Leaders are required to commit to one full week of camp, Monday through Friday, 8:45am to 3:15pm. School year Youth Leaders are asked to commit to at least two volunteer shifts throughout the school year. There may be opportunities to volunteer more frequently as needed.

Can Youth Leaders volunteer with a friend? 

We would love it if you encouraged your friends to apply! However, please note that enrollment is limited so we cannot guarantee that all applicants will be accepted or be assigned to volunteer during the same camp week as a friend. School year Youth Leaders have more flexibility in scheduling and may choose to sign up for shifts with another Youth Leader.