NYBG Explainer Program

Who are Explainers?
Explainers are high school students who have been accepted into a competitive internship program and work as volunteer educators in the Everett Children’s Adventure Garden.

What do Explainers do?
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.

Where do the internships take place?
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.

Why do teens want to be Explainers?
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.

When do Explainer Internships happen?
Intern Explainers are accepted into the program twice a year in the spring or fall session. The application process for the fall session takes place late spring before summer break. Specific session dates are listed on the right-hand column of the website. Each session requires a commitment to all training days and one weekend shift of 4.5 hours in either the morning or afternoon for the duration of the internship. Interns who successfully complete internship requirements have the option to apply to advanced levels of the program.

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 with an interview day. Group interviews are interactive and take place at the Adventure Garden. All applicants will receive an email following the interview with an admission decision. Accepted applicants will receive an invitation to attend the required Explainer Orientation with a parent or guardian. Explainers accepted into the program are required to complete 25 hours of training before they may begin actively volunteering. Dates of training are noted on the website.

2017 Spring Session is now CLOSED.

2017 Fall Session now accepting applications:
Open House: May 6; 2 p.m.
Application Deadline: June 2
Interviews: Saturdays, June 10 and June 17
Orientation: June 22
Training: August 29 – September 1
Volunteer Shifts:  September – January, weekends plus holidays and school breaks

Learn more at our Open House
Saturday, 11/12/16 at 2pm
rsvp to explainers@nybg.org