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A Day In the Life of a Zoo Education Director

June 12, 2012 | Tag(s): Audubon Zoo Summer Camp
By: Brenda, Director of Education and Volunteers, Audubon Zoo
Zoo Camp

If you have ever met me you know that I love my job and I am lucky enough to have one of the best jobs in the world.  I thought I would share a day in the life of a Zoo Education Director.

Jump out of bed 5:15 a.m.  Pack my lunch.  Find a clean Audubon Zoo uniform shirt.  This can be a challenge.  Zoo uniforms are white.  I am not a tidy person.

Arrive at zoo 6:15 a.m.  Pull the snacks for the zoo camp groups and make two pots of Shade Grown Coffee (it’s the environmentally correct thing to do) for the staff.  Let out “Kate” and “Pippa”, our two urban demo chickens.  They are in a good mood and come out eagerly for chicken feed.

Gather assorted insects (brought in by eager campers) from my desk and head to the zoo commissary to get diets for the bugs and guinea pigs.  I grab romaine, grapes, carrots and bell peppers and head to the bug room.  Cockroaches and crickets always consume their food the quickest so I fill their tanks with romaine and feed the rest of the six to hundred- legged creatures.

8:15 a.m.  I’m off to hide the “bee” (more on that rock bee in my future blogs).  This week the camp theme is “Amazing Animal Adaptations”.  I think the elephant’s trunk is one of the most amazing adaptations I know of, so I climb the fence and scale the giant rocks to hide the bee.  I had to be careful because the elephants cannot be allowed to reach it and I do not want the kids to find it too easily. It takes me several climbs and tries, but I finally get the rock in the perfect crevice.  They will take days to find it.

9:00 a.m.  Greet the zoo campers.  We have animal yoga today so everyone enters with their yoga mats.

9:30 a.m. The “Giraffes” found the bee.  Dang it. 

Gotta run to the store and get gummy worms for tomorrow’s Bird Beak Buffet. We also need more wiffle balls.  I wish some company would let my campers test their products for durability.  I think these kids can destroy ANYTHING.

12:00 p.m. Forced myself to sit at my desk and do “real” work for several hours.

2:30 Time to play some board games with the campers and discuss today’s activities.  The camp day is just about over and the parents are coming to pick up their tired and sweaty kids.

3:00 p.m.  Greet the parents picking up their campers. Inventory t-shirts and do more real work.

4:00 p.m. The day here is done.  Time to put “Kate” and “Pippa” up for the night and head home.  I can’t wait for tomorrow. 

Mailing address: Audubon Nature Institute 6500 Magazine St. New Orleans, LA 70118
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