Boo at the Zoo

North Penn Key Club Members Volunteer for Boo at the Zoo.


Maureen Gambogi

Two friends pose for a picture.

The fall is full of great volunteer opportunities for members of the North Penn Key Club. One of the most interesting is definitely Boo at the Zoo.

The Key Club is a club at North Penn High School that helps Kiwanis International with its mission of service. The Key Club is all about volunteering and giving back to the community. Throughout the school year, Key Club members are expected to dedicate 100 hours to service, which includes both attendance at volunteer events and donations to monthly Key Club collections that provide needed goods to local charity projects.

So far this year, there have been 30 local events needing volunteers from the Key Club. These have included activities at North Penn schools, sports organizations, fundraisers, and senior living facilities. One of the best fall events is Boo at the Zoo.

Throughout October, Elmwood Park Zoo in Norristown is completely decked out in festive Halloween decorations. Colorful lights, giant pumpkins, creepy skeletons, spooky ghosts, and a huge inflatable gorilla are among the sights that greet the park guests in the weeks before Halloween. The annual event has 3 parts: Boo at the Zoo, Boo Just for You, and Trick or Treat Night. Boo at the Zoo, held in the early afternoons, invites kids to dress up and join a costume parade alongside Bubby the Bison, the zoo’s mascot. Other exciting festivities include a corn maze and a pumpkin giveaway. Trick or Treat Night, held after the park gets dark, welcomes kids to collect candy from stations around the zoo. Boo Just for You is a special afternoon event one day in October that has low sensory activities for kids with special needs.

Fifteen North Penn Key Club members volunteered for Boo at the Zoo this year. It’s a great experience for volunteers because they interact with animals and kids and get in the Halloween spirit.

“I love how enthusiastic the volunteers are to come and help. I get more offers for this particular event than anything else all year,” Sara Harrington, the Elmwood Park Zoo volunteer coordinator, said.

The 7-year-old Boo at the Zoo has been a big hit so far and hopes to attract more people every year. The Elmwood Park Zoo is a non-profit organization dedicated to conservation and education. They engage in activities like Boo at the Zoo to foster bonds with the local community and encourage people to come in and learn about the animals.

“Almost all of the animals are rescues and can’t return to the wild,” explained Harrington.

Another notable event the Elmwood Park Zoo hosts to welcome guests is the holiday Wild Lights event in December. Key Club members should definitely consider volunteering for this festive event, and anyone craving an interesting holiday-themed activity should think about dropping by for a visit.