Explainers are high school students ages 14 - 17 who have been accepted into a competitive internship program and work as volunteer educators in the Everett Children's Adventure Garden.
Explainers facilitate experiences with nature and plant science for children and families. Using seasonal lessons and explorations of the garden, Explainers prepare children to use their senses as tools for exploring the garden. Explainers rotate through activity stations that are located both outside in the garden and inside the Discovery Center. They commit to a minimum of 125 training and volunteer hours.
The Everett Children's Adventure Garden is a unique, 12-acre outdoor/indoor museum at The New York Botanical Garden (in Bronx, N.Y.). In this innovative space children discover plant science through fun, hands-on, and engaging educational programs. Interactive exhibits convey different plant science concepts. Playful elements such as topiaries and mazes capture children's imaginations and create an atmosphere of exploration and fun.
Teens share a sense of community, forge new friendships, and spend time outdoors exploring nature. Teens become more self confident through public speaking, gain a deeper knowledge of a topic (plant science and ecology specifically), and share experiences with peers. MetroCards or small stipends are provided to defray the cost of transportation to and from the Garden. Benefits also include admission for Explainers' families to visit the garden, discounts at the Cafe and Shop in the Garden as well as documentation of service hours and recommendations for college or other scholarship programs.
Twenty-five new Intern Explainers are accepted into the program three times a year (see dates on the right-side of the page). During the school year, Explainers volunteer on weekends and optional school holidays. Weekend shifts last 4.5 hours in either the morning or afternoon. In addition to a weekend shift, summer interns also volunteer for two 4.5-hour weekday shifts, Tuesdays through Fridays. At the beginning of each new session, Explainers are given six months after the first training date to complete the 125 hours.
How do teens become Explainers?
Applications are reviewed within the week of the Open House/Application Deadline (see dates on the right-side of the page). Applicants who are invited to be interviewed will be contacted via e-mail within five business days of the application deadline. Interviews are held on the Saturday following the Open House weekend. Group interviews are interactive and take place at the Adventure Garden. Applicants accepted into the program will receive an e-mail within five business days after the interview and will receive an invitation to attend the required Explainer Orientation with a parent or guardian. Explainers accepted into the program are required to complete four consecutive weekend days of training during school year internships or four consecutive weekday training days during summer internships before they may begin actively volunteering. Training includes "shadowing" sessions working side by side with experienced mentor/educators. Explainers attend regular "Refresher" trainings when Program curriculum changes.