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Teen Volunteer Programs

If you know someone who is social, curious and likes to learn about plants and science, these volunteer programs are a perfect fit.

All teen volunteer positions have been filled for summer 2024. Please check back in the fall for more volunteer opportunities.

Summer Teen Volunteer Program

Program for high school students looking to support Denver Botanic Gardens through volunteer service. Participating teens explore volunteer experiences related to horticulture and guest engagement that foster professionalism and independence through gardening, science communication, customer service skills and more. Volunteer opportunities are offered at all three Denver Botanic Gardens locations: York Street, Chatfield Farms and Plains Conservation Center.


  • Must be a current high school student for the upcoming school year (rising freshman through graduating seniors)
  • Volunteer at least once a week throughout the summer session; June 3 – August 2 (two weeks of absences are permitted)
  • Participate in at least one volunteer shift at Plains Conservation Center (east Aurora location) or at Chatfield Farms (Littleton location)

Horticulture Track

Volunteer opportunities focus on learning about plants, gardening and environmental science.

Shifts Include:

  • Garden maintenance: weeding, planting, mulching, pruning
  • CSA program assistant: harvesting, washing produce
  • Pest management
  • Behind-the-scenes tours 

Guest Engagement Track

Volunteer opportunities focus on interacting with guests, customer service, and science communication.

Shifts Include:

  • Greeting visitors and providing wayfinding
  • Science Chats with visitors
  • Behind-the-scenes tours
  • Lead children’s science activities

Junior Counselor Program

Program Summary: The Junior Counselor program provides teenagers (ages 13-15) the opportunity to work with children, peers and adults. Junior Counselors will work alongside staff during one full week of Denver Botanic Gardens’ children’s summer camp. They will assist with activities and help campers enjoy and learn from their camp experience. Teens can apply for just the Junior Counselor Program or in conjunction with the Summer Teen Volunteer program.

Length of Commitment: Junior Counselors must commit to volunteering for an entire week of camp, Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Junior Counselors will be assigned to a specific week of camp before the summer begins, and they must attend all days of the camp to which they are assigned (excluding absences due to illness/injury/emergency).

Opportunity available at both York Street and Chatfield Farms.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Assist counselors in setting up materials and cleaning up after each activity
  • Assist counselors in providing a safe and healthy environment for all participants
  • Assist campers in completing activities


  • Teens must be between 13-15 years to be eligible
  • Attend required Teen Volunteer Orientation on Sunday, May 19.
  • Junior Counselor Training for Garden Camp at York Street will take place on Thursday, June 6.
  • Junior Counselor Training for Farm Camp at Chatfield Farms will take place on Thursday, June 6.
  • Comfortable working with younger kids (with support from camp staff)
  • Serve as a positive role model for campers


For more information about the Summer Teen Volunteer Program or the Junior Counselor Program, email vol@botanicgardens.org or call 720-865-3609.


Gardens Teen Leaders Program

(High School students)

The Gardens Teen Leaders Program (GTL) is a leadership program for high school students that are interested in the many workings of Denver Botanic Gardens, including both horticulture and guest engagement. This group meets twice monthly from September – May. Teens will participate in a variety of different volunteer activities, including garden maintenance, behind-the-scenes tours, guest engagement and science communication; all of which benefit the Gardens and the surrounding community.


  • Must have been an active Denver Botanic Gardens volunteer during the 2022-2023 GTL year and/or summer of 2023 in order to be considered for the program.
  • Must be attending high school in the 2023-2024 school year.
  • Must be motivated to collaborate and work others.
  • Must be willing to participate in both guest engagement and horticulture-related volunteer needs.
  • Attend monthly GTL meetings; three absences are permitted. The majority of meetings will be at York Street, but some will occur at Chatfield Farms or Plains Conservation Center.

For more information about how you can apply to this program please reach out to vol@botanicgardens.org.


Hear from past teen volunteers about their experience volunteering in previous summers in this video.

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