Supporting the Big Bear Alpine Zoo
at Moonridge since 1989



Friends of the Big Bear Alpine Zoo

Docent / Volunteer Program

(classes are in April & May Only)

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 share the same interests and passion for animals.


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 the keepers and some of the educational animals to schools and off-site locations
  • Roamer – Educating the public about the zoo and its unique residents and patrol the zoo.


General Volunteers

Volunteers can help with a variety of activities around the zoo, we’ve got something for everybody!
Below are some examples:

  • Cashier – Gift Shop
  • Gardening
  • Painting
  • Kitchen – prepare diets for animals
  • Research – observe animal behavior
  • Membership table
  • General Information
  • Fundraising
  • Survey Taker
  • 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


  • 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 40 volunteer hours MUST be completed during our fiscal year to be considered an “Active” docent.


Training Classes

Our Docents / Volunteers are required to complete a training program. We currently offer four consecutive Saturdays or four consecutive Thursdays (subject to change).

Training is offered twice a year, one course is offered in April, and the other in May.


You must be registered for the class and you must have received a confirmation of being accepted into the class. NO EXCEPTIONS.

1st set of classes will begin on Thursday, April 10, 2014 (will run for 4 consecutive Thursdays)

2nd set of classes will begin on Saturday, May 10, 2014 (will run for 4 consecutive Saturdays)

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

Classes are in April & May Only


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

(click here for on-line application)


You can mail you application in by downloading the Docent / Volunteer 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 or call (909) 878-4200