About Us

We take pride in employing a well-trained staff of the highest quality. All our cabin counselors are current university students with a background working with children. Applicants go through a rigorous hiring process including multiple interviews, a background check and drug testing. Additionally, many cabin counselors were AstroCampers themselves!

Counselors must have completed a year of college and complete an 8-day training program prior to any campers arriving at camp. They are trained in team-building, group-leading, child development, safety and being sensitive to individual campers needs and life experiences. Camp logistics and the camp program are also taught. Counselors participate in a number of role-playing activities to prepare for situations that could arise during the summer.

Our instructors come to AstroCamp from all over the United States and occasionally from overseas. We have approximately 30 instructors either teaching classes or being helpful hands as technicians. Requirements for being an instructor are a Bachelors degree in Astronomy or Physics, a strong desire to teach and a love for working with children. We pride ourselves on hiring fun exciting people that have a strong knowledge base and want to work with children.

All staff must satisfactorily complete a criminal history record check before beginning work. This screening includes a self-disclosure form, a public records check and annual check of the U.S. Department of Justice National Sex Offender Public Website. In addition, all employees must satisfactorily complete biometric (Live Scan Fingerprint) screening submitted to the California Department of Justice and the FBI.

These criminal history records are reviewed by AstroCamp’s HR Director prior to the employee beginning work and must conform to Guided Discoveries’ hiring thresholds.

Questions or requests for additional information may be directed to Glenn Robison, AstroCamp’s Director of Human Resources and Compliance at: glenn@gdi.org.

Summer Camp Counselors
Employment Opportunities!

Learn More Here

img_1906Andy Balendy

Site Director 

“Guided Discoveries has an incredible way of creating environments that are empowering for all.  For our students, teachers, staff, and even executives, there are always opportunities for growth and experiences that profoundly affect and change our lives.”

Andy began working for Guided Discoveries in 1998 as a Marine Science Instructor at Fourth of July Cove.  Since then he has held numerous staff positions within the organization including, Head Aquarist, Assistant Program Director, Director of Educational Outreach, SeaCamp Expeditions Diving Director, and served as the Program Director of all three CIMI programs.  Andy has been also been part of two SeaCamp Expeditions to Belize.

He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology/Ecology and minor in Marine Science from Pennsylvania State University.  In addition, Andy has a Master’s Degree in Marine Biology.

You may contact Andy at andy@astrocamp.org

Diana Huff

Summer Camp Director

“There is nothing more rewarding than creating an environment where children are able to be creative, unplug, try new things, make amazing lifelong friendships, and most importantly have so much fun they don’t want to leave! AstroCamp is this magical place tucked in the serene mountains of Idyllwild where all of that happens.”

Diana discovered her calling for youth development and specifically the power of summer camp in 2010 when she attended an American Camp Association (ACA) conference in Palm Springs. She served as the day camp Summer & After School Program Director for 7 years at a local private school organization in Orange County before pursuing her long-time dream as an overnight camp director. Diana joined the Guided Discoveries team in 2018 and has loved getting to know the ins and outs of the residential camp world. Her favorite parts of camp will always be getting to see the campers and staff grow, creating unique programming, and most definitely costume events. Her costume box is getting bigger and bigger every summer!

Diana holds a Bachelor’s Degree from University of California, San Diego. Eager to make a difference in the lives of children, Diana is very active in volunteer work for the ACA as a Standards Instructor, Accreditation Visitor, and co-chair for the Spring Leadership Conference. Diana has received the Paul Somers Golden Acorn Award and the ACA Service Award honoring her contributions to the field of organized camping. She also is the Board Education Chair for the Western Association of Independent Camps.

Contact Diana at diana@astrocamp.org

Staff - doug jannDoug Jann

AstroCamp Food Service Director

“After having worked for Guided Discoveries on Catalina Island for 24 years, when the opportunity arose for my family and me to come back to the company, but up on the mountain, I jumped on it. Guided Discoveries is all about service–whether it’s creating the best programs possible, providing comfortable housing, or making a great dining experience–and I wanted to be a part of it again.”

Doug is originally from Minnesota, where he earned his culinary degree and started his camping career working at the YMCA camp in Julian, California. In 1987, Doug came to Guided Discoveries, accepting the position as the Head Chef at Toyon Bay. After raising his family and living on Catalina for 24 years, he decided to change destinations and moved to Austin, Texas, and took a position at Camp Young Judaea as the Kitchen Director.

In April 2014, Doug returned to Guided Discoveries Staff as Food Service Director at AstroCamp, bringing all his culinary expertise and experience with him.  He’s enjoying all the new opportunities at AstroCamp, both within the kitchen and without, and is looking forward to all the years on the mountain yet to come.

Contact Doug at doug@astrocamp.org