Dear Applicant,

Thank you for your interest in joining the Friends of the National Zoo's Volunteer Tour Guide Interpreter program at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) in Front Royal Va.
Becoming a tour guide can be an exciting and rewarding experience. As a guide, you will serve an important role in the education of guests visiting the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute. Being a guide at SCBI requires that you have certain attributes and are able to perform a variety of job functions.

As a tour guide, your role will be to welcome visitors to the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute; to give tours showcasing the innovative research and highlighting the endangered species housed at SCBI, and to support special events on evenings and weekends. Volunteers will learn about SCBI, our research, and our animals through a series of in-person weekday training sessions. Training focuses on animal content and interpretive techniques, how to share information with guests, an overview of volunteer policies and procedures, and the history about SCBI. This is a year-round volunteer opportunity with training beginning in February 2018. Volunteers are asked to work at least one day per week for a year. To be eligible, volunteers must be at least 21 years old, and should be comfortable driving a 15-passenger van and spending time inside or outside regardless of the weather. Guides must be willing and able to speak to guests ranging in age from middle school to adults and lead educational tours. Volunteer tour guides do not handle or care for live animals.

Please note: These positions are highly competitive and there are limited spaces available. Submission of an application is not a guarantee of placement. The Smithsonian Institution and FONZ are committed to providing the safest environment for our staff and volunteers, as well as for our guests. Select applicants will be interviewed by staff, and those that are provisionally accepted must pass a Smithsonian background check which includes fingerprinting as well as a driving test in a 15-passenger van as a requirement for approval as a volunteer tour guide.

If you have never volunteered before, please create an ID and password in the fields below. We recommend you use your email address as your ID, but create a unique password for this site. If you have previously volunteered but have forgotten your ID and password, contact Suzanne Hough at to reset your password.

Please consider all the information above before submitting your application.

Interested volunteers must submit an application by February 21, 2018.

Please fill this form out completely. Questions? Call 540.635.0495 or email Nick Davis at

New User Details
FONZ SCBI Tour Guide Volunteer Application

Basic Information
Home Address
Emergency Contact
Check the boxes to indicate "yes"

Do you prefer to work mornings or afternoons? For our planning, it would be helpful to know what shift time would be best for you.

Background and Policies
Have you been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor in the past seven years, other than a minor traffic offense, which has not been pardoned or expunged from your record?
(Conviction of a felony or misdemeanor will not automatically disqualify you from employment)

Tour guides must be aged 21 in order to drive a 15-passenger van. Please take a moment to verify your age for this program.

Tour guides drive 15-passenger vans to conduct tours of SCBI. All guides must have a current valid drivers license and successfully pass a driving test in a 15-passenger van and an on-line safety course prior to commencement of the guide training course.

I understand I must attend all four weekdays of in-person training sessions (check to indicate you will be available).