On June 12th at 10am, the Big Bear Alpine Zoo will reopen to the public. Our Hours will be 10-4. Facemasks are required and physical distancing is strongly encouraged for all visitors.

Jan 092013

Friends of the Big Bear Alpine Zoo

Docent / Volunteer Program


Donate your time and talents to the Big Bear Alpine Zoo!

Docents / Volunteers are always needed, and there are plenty of opportunities.

This program is for people who enjoy learning about wildlife and the environment,

and like working with people who feel the same.


Volunteer Docents


What is a Docent?

A Docent is a visiting teacher, lecturer or tour guide.


Docent Opportunities

  • Tours – conduct or help with tours of the Zoo for schools, churches, camp groups, as well as visitors from around the world
  • Travel with some of the educational animals and their keepers to schools and off-site locations
  • Roamer – Educating the public about our zoo and its unique residents


General Volunteers

Volunteers can help with a variety of activities around the zoo,

below are some examples:


  • Cashier – Gift Shop
  • Gardening
  • Painting
  • Kitchen – prepare diets for animals
  • Research – observe animal behavior
  • Membership table
  • General Information
  • Fundraising
  • Cashier – Snack Shack
  • Carpentry and / or Handy Person
  • General Maintenance
  • Enrichment – create feeding, play devices and special foods
  • Special Events – assist with crafts, games, raffles, educational questionnaires, scavenger hunts, etc.
  • Adoption table
  • Survey Taker


  • All Docents / Volunteers must enjoy working with adults and children.
  • All Docents / Volunteers must purchase a “Friends of the Big Bear Alpine Zoo” shirt, as there is a uniform requirement.
  • All Docents / Volunteers must be a member in good standing with the “Friends of the Big Bear Alpine Zoo”.
  • All Docents / Volunteers must conduct themselves in a professional manner.


Volunteer Hours Per Year

A minimum of 20 volunteer hours must be completed during our fiscal year to be considered an “Active” docent.



Our Docents / Volunteers are required to complete a training program. We currently offer four consecutive Saturdays or four consecutive Thursdays (subject to change). This training is offered once or twice a year, typically one course is offered in April, and the other in May. For class dates and itinerary (click here).



  • MUST be a least 18 years of age
  • All Docents / Volunteers MUST maintain a membership with the Friends of the Big Bear Alpine Zoo.
  • All Docents / Volunteers MUST be fingerprinted and background checked by the County of San Bernardino. This service is offered free of charge through the Big Bear Valley Recreation & Park District, AFTER the required training classes have been completed. Until this process has been completed AND approved, your ability to participate will be very limited. The fingerprinting and background check is for the safety of the zoo visitors, and is required by law.
  • You will only be considered a Docent / Volunteer AFTER you have been approved for the program.


Docent / Volunteer Program Application


All Docent / Volunteer candidates must complete a program application prior to classes

(click here for on-line application)


OR if you prefer to mail in your application, you can pick one up at:

41220 Park Ave., Big Bear Lake, CA 92315

(From Big Bear Blvd, turn north onto Mountainaire. When you get to Park Ave., in front of you will be a driveway into Swim Beach. We are located in the parking lot of Swim Beach, in the building to your right.)


For additional information, email fobbaz@fobbaz.org or call (909) 878-4200