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The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), in partnership with TECO and The Florida Aquarium, presents Suncoast Youth Conservation Center (SYCC), which is the educational hub for the Florida Conservation and Technology Center. The Suncoast provides exciting hands-on, marine conservation field trips for students in grades 3 through 12. The field trips are free, lessons meet Florida’s Sunshine State standards, and include learning an outdoor recreational skill of either fishing, kayaking, or wildlife discovery. The Suncoast also hosts week-long day camps for kids in grades 3-11. These camps showcase Tampa Bay through Saltwater Fish Camps, Paddling Adventures, Marine Science Camps, and new in 2022 an Aquatic Careers Camp. Registration opens Feb. 1, 2022!

The Suncoast, along with the entire Florida Conservation and Technology Center property, will be open to the public 7 days a week from November 1st until April 15th from 10AM-5PM.

Volunteers can choose from a variety of opportunities! Volunteers 15 years of age or younger can volunteer if they are physically accompanied by a parent or guardian. FWC has two types of volunteers, Occasional Service Volunteer (OSV) and Regular Service Volunteer (RSV), both are based on how often individual volunteers can fit into their schedules. If you are interested in coming out to volunteer once a week for a few hours you may be interested in becoming a Regular Service Volunteer!

Program Preparation Assistant

Job title: Program Preparation Assistant

Work Location: 
Suncoast Youth Conservation Center – 6650 Dickman Road, Apollo Beach, FL 33572

Purpose of the Position: 
To provide students with the equipment necessary for immersive, hands-on, experiential marine science lessons and activities.

Responsibilities and Duties:
 
Assist with setting up or completing prep work required for various student educational programs which can include, but is not limited to the following:

  • Fishing Equipment

    • Backyard Bass activity equipment 

    • Fishing Poles

    • Frozen bait

  • Kayaking equipment

    • First Aid and AED

    • Kayaks

    • Paddles

    • Personal Flotation Devices

    • Seats.

    • Tow Ropes

    • Water Jugs

  •  Wildlife Discovery lesson props

Qualifications: No specific experience is required.

Commitment Expected: As much time as you are willing to donate! Early mornings required! *Note this may require a background check!

Training: All potential assistants will be given a formal tour of where lesson equipment is located and to be stored after use by an SYCC team member.

Education and Outreach Steward

Service Location: Suncoast Youth Conservation Center – 6650 Dickman Road, Apollo Beach, FL 33572

Purpose of the Position:
 Work with students and our community to educate them about the wonders of Tampa Bay and Florida’s natural ecosystems through hands-on activities while spreading the SYCC mission.

Responsibilities and Duties:

  • Prepare to present or assist in presenting an assigned topic prior to student arrival

  • Present specific nature or skill-based topic to rotating groups of children

  • Assist with keeping group(s) together and under control when not presenting a topic

  • Assist with clean-up of equipment and materials used after the group has left for the day

  •  Optional: assist and participate in scheduled family programs or large outreach events on weekend days, such as a fishing clinic.

Qualifications: No specific experience is required, but some teaching and public speaking experience is a plus.

Commitment Expected: As much time as you are willing to donate! Early mornings required! *Note this will require a background check!

Training: All potential stewards will review the Florida Youth Conservation Centers Network four pillars: (1) Fishing, (2) Boating, (3) Shooting Sports, and (4) Wildlife Discovery. Training will be provided by an SYCC Education Team member.

 

Official Greeter

Service Location: Suncoast Youth Conservation Center – 6650 Dickman Road, Apollo Beach, FL 33572

Purpose of the Position:
 Provide a welcome to visitors and share information about the exhibit hall display areas that include SYCC, its trails, displays, wildlife, programs-with others and more.

Responsibilities and Duties:

  • Staff the Exhibit Hall

    • Answer incoming phone calls

    • Answer any visitor questions

    • Keep visitors from opening animal habitats, unless it is the animal’s scheduled day to be handled.

  • Help to maintain traffic flow through the building

  • Prepare to present or assist the public with a specific nature or skill-based topic

  • Optional: present or assist the public with specific nature-based stories or crafts

Qualifications: No specific experience is required, but public speaking experience is a plus.

Commitment Expected: As much time as you are willing to donate!

Training: All information training will be provided by an SYCC Education Team member.

Habitat and Maintenance Attendant

Service Location: Suncoast Youth Conservation Center – 6650 Dickman Road, Apollo Beach, FL 33572

Purpose of the Position:
Maintain Florida native ecosystems throughout the property, as well as keep facilities running smoothly to ensure whole that the office remains functional.

Responsibilities and Duties: Assist the facilities manager with on-site projects, this can include, but is not limited to the following:

  • Maintenance of land-based trails

  • Maintain facilities and roadways throughout the Florida Conservation and Technology Center property

  • Manage grounds work on the Center for Conservation property

Qualifications: Should have previous experience with power and hand tools, as well as various chemicals. Experience with grounds work is a plus.

Commitment Expected: As much time as you are willing to donate!

Training: All training will be provided by an SYCC team member.

Office and Administrative Clerk

Service Location: Suncoast Youth Conservation Center – 6650 Dickman Road, Apollo Beach, FL 33572

Purpose of the Position:
 Maintain good workflow for the shared office space between FWC and the Florida Aquarium staff, as well as other docents (volunteers).

Responsibilities and Duties: 

  • Assist with office tasks including, but not limited to:
  • Copying

  • Filing

  • Setting up phone trees

  • Logging volunteer hours

Qualifications: No specific experience is required

Commitment Expected: As much time as you are willing to donate!

Training: All training(s) will be provided by an SYCC team member.

Next Step: Seniors in Service helps nonprofits throughout Tampa Bay find volunteers like you to help accomplish their mission. Fill out the form below and someone from Seniors in Service will contact you soon to walk you through the next steps to begin volunteering. In question 4, please include the words “Suncoast Youth Conservation Center.”