Tag Archives: Camp

How to Improve Your Improv

“Improv. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. But when it does, it’s like open-field running.” -Robin Williams

Improv is one of the many classes that we offer here at AstroCamp during the summer. To an outsider it might just look like a bunch of silly games, but improvisational theatre is a unique art form that mixes comedic acting with acute listening and reacting skills. Improv is hard to do well, so for those of you interested in taking it as a class this summer, here are a few essential tips:


Improv is a social art, and listening to the other actors on stage is crucial. Everything else revolves around this. Knowing what everyone else is doing and saying is the first step to being good at improv.

Always Say Yes

During a scene with other people, the goal is to continuously add things to the situation. And nothing stops this faster than somebody saying, “No.” When you deny an idea that somebody else added, you stop the momentum and take everybody out of the moment.

So say “Yes” instead. You don’t literally have to say the word, but accept what the other people in the scene are doing.


Say Yes, And…

Not only should you accept what other people are adding to the scene, you should also be adding to it yourself! Give everyone else something to work with, and give them a chance to build off of you. The scene should always be evolving.

Share the Spotlight

Often times, it’s tempting to be the person in the front, saying all the jokes and getting all the laughs. But if you aren’t giving the other actors their time to shine, too, then you’re doing something wrong, and those laughs will quickly fade. Instead, find ways to have a back-and-forth with the other people on stage to keep the scene going. If all the actors are sharing the spotlight equally, the audience will be way more engaged.

improv share

Let the Scene Play Out…

A lot of games will require “tagging out,” where one actor replaces another or will be in charge of changing the direction of the scene. Don’t be too quick with this. Let the scene play out a bit before you jump in.

…But Don’t Let it Fail

On the same note, if the people on stage seem to be struggling to continue, help them out by jumping in. Be aware of what’s going on at all times and be prepared to save a floundering partner.


Unlike traditional theatre, you cannot rehearse a specific scene during improv. But what you can do is practice doing improv, utilizing all the tips mentioned above. Nobody is going to be perfect the first time they try it. The more you do it, the better you’ll get. You’ll start to recognize pitfalls and how to avoid them. You’ll become comfortable saying “yes, and.” If you’re working with the same actors over and over, you’ll even start to anticipate what they’re about to do.

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Improv is great, fun, and hilarious. If you take this class at AstroCamp, you’re sure to learn all of these skills and have a great time doing it.

Written By: Scott Yarbrough

Art and Creativity at Camp

Art is subjective, it is different and unique to each and every person and comes in different forms and mediums! We believe there is no right or wrong way to pursue art and we strive to foster our campers imaginations and creative abilities in a positive direction. That is why AstroCamp offers many outlets for expression of creativity, as well as provides a space for creative development.

art and creativity

There are many different mediums of art around camp. We are excited about expanding our repertoire this summer with the introduction of a few new classes. Art is all about exploring a medium that is interesting or fun to you.

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Arts and Crafts is a general exploration of creativity. It is a project based class, where an instructor will lead the group through an activity like tie-dying or screen printing, but the freedom of design is up to the camper.

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We also offer more specified classes. Whether it’s ceramics, painting, blacksmithing, cooking, film or photography, animation, acting, or music, AstroCamp has it all. So put those creative hats on and get to making something!

Building Character at Camp

Summer at AstroCamp means throwing out preexisting ideas of what people think of you and finding yourself instead. It is a place to build upon you as a person, while being surrounded by a network of positive and inspiring individuals.

AstroCamp prides itself in being a safe space for campers to be the people they want to be. It is a community based off of openness, respect, understanding, and acceptance. This summer is a great time to branch out, try new things, and ultimately take steps toward discovering your own voice, who you are, and who you want to be. Don’t hold yourself to a standard that is impossible to reach, or confine yourself in a box that society has tried to label. Create your own label…or don’t!

Don’t be afraid to be silly and goofy, or color your hair and paint your nails. Just because some people consider it “normal” doesn’t mean that you have to too. What is normal anyway? And why does someone else get to tell you what that means?! While at AstroCamp, learn about yourself by fueling your imagination, asking questions, and accepting those that are different from yourself.

Innovative Arts & Crafts

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Arts & crafts instructor Rayah prepares dyes for a camper project.

There’s no place like summer camp for letting your creative side shine! From Doodle Daze to Face Painting, arts and crafts programs offer valuable opportunities for self-expression.

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Face Painting elective, summer 2016.

In addition to providing a safe creative space, art classes are a great place for campers to practice social skills and develop as individuals. Instructors in these sessions facilitate activities, moderate discussions, and offer advice.

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Ceramics class, summer 2016.

For those who enjoy sculpture or prefer to create more permanent projects, ceramics class is a relaxing way to spend an afternoon. Students in this program build whimsically shaped pinch pots as well as experimenting on the pottery wheel.

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Instructor Mimi models her yarn beard.

This year’s breakout craft elective? Beard-making! We can’t wait to see what next year’s campers inspire.
Written by: Caela Barry

Adventure Lessons

To most natives of Southern California, AstroCamp’s hometown of Idyllwild is a quaint tourist destination. Some are drawn to this mile-high haven’s local businesses, secluded vacation homes, and panoramic vistas. Then there are those for whom the mountains aren’t a background, but a playground.


Idyllwild holds a storied place in the development of rock climbing. Lilly Rock, an imposing buttress on the side of nearby Tahquitz Peak, is the birthplace of the Yosemite Decimal System, and the the greater Tahquitz area is known as Little Yosemite in the traditional climbing community. World-class hiking trails, including a stretch of the PCT, criss-cross the majestic San Jacinto range. An extensive network of fire roads doubles as a resource for mountain bikers.

AstroCamp clients experience this natural playground under the guidance of adventure instructors as passionate as they are capable. They learn to climb, for instance, from teachers who have explored historic granite from Tahquitz to Joshua Tree and beyond. Day hikes to the top of the mountain are led by instructors whose idea of a great weekend involves backpacking or peak-bagging.


Our many outdoor programs are united by a common philosophy: challenge by choice. We know that everyone comes to camp with unique life experiences and attitudes. We’re here to give campers opportunities to meaningfully expand their horizons in a fun, safe space.

No matter your comfort level or skill level, AstroCamp has just the adventure for you!

Written By: Caela Barry

Human Foosball it’s WERK!

Sometime AstroCamp Foosball can be WERK! Don’t miss out on all the fun this summer sign up today!!!

Summer Camp 2016

AstroCamp Summer • One-Week Sessions

Coed Ages 8 – 14 

One-Week Session 1:  June 11 – June 17         $1,200
One-Week Session 2:  June 18 – June 24         $1,300
One-Week Session 3:  June 25 – July 1            $1,300 

Please note: AstroCamp  One-Week Sessions run from Saturday to Friday

Space is limited in some sessions. A NON-REFUNDABLE deposit of $200 is required to register. Register HERE

AstroCamp Summer • Two-Week Sessions

Coed Ages 12 – 17

Two-Week Session 1:  July 3 – July 15          $2,300
Two-Week Session 2:  July 17 – July 29       $2,300 

Please note: AstroCamp Two-Week sessions run from Sunday to Friday

Space is limited in some sessions. A NON-REFUNDABLE deposit of $200 is required to register. Register HERE.

Applying and Registration 

All of our camp sessions fill up very quickly, so APPLY EARLY! Our online registration system is open for registration.  For additional information or questions, please contact us.

Phone: 800.645.1423 or 909.625.6194
Fax: 909.625.9977 or 909.625.7305
AstroCamp • 27282 Calle Arroyo • San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
Email: AstroCamp Registrar
Office Hours: 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM (Lunch 12:30-1:00)

Why Summer Camp?

We live in an era of growing consumption of technology. Even children under the age of two spend an average of an hour per day plugged in.  This makes it even more critical for children to disconnect from both technology and the real world. Don’t worry mom and dad, time away from you can be a very healthy experience for your child, and for you.


These eight and nine year olds pose with their counselors after pushing their boundaries to conquer the skycoaster!

Whether the time away is for a week, three weeks, a month, or the whole summer, this brief time away will allow your child to grow in ways you have never imagined. Regardless of how your child lives the rest of the year, the camp living environment is different!

Campers are together 24 hours a day requiring teamwork, continuous communication, patience, and problem solving to live in harmony. This intimate environment allows campers to build strong friendships in a relatively short time. The friends your child will make at camp will be unlike any others in their lifetime. If you ask any child about their camp experience, they will often talk about things that only their camp friends can understand. These friendships are one of a kind because camp friends see you in a huge variety of circumstances.  Whether its at your best, soaring down the zipline for the first time, or at your worst, hungry and grumpy and losing your cool. Learning to cope with failure and success are vital life skills.

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One of the boys’ cabins gets takes a walk on the wild side!

The time spent away at summer camp gives your child the opportunity to explore who they are in a completely new environment. Challenging them to handle experiences on their own and outside their normal comfort zone. Camp provides your child with a safe nurturing environment to test the boundaries of what he/she thinks they are capable of. When they succeed, they build confidence in themselves and if they fail they have a diverse group of peers and staff to support them.

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While we pride ourselves on our unique and top of the line activities, sometimes the most important times for kids are when they are just playing together!

At camp your child can try new things, focus on and excel at familiar activities that meet their interests, build confidence in him/herself, become part of a unique camp family, and find or rekindle a love of nature! There are hundreds of summer camps available that would greatly benefit your child. AstroCamp is unique because of its amazing location, the adventurous and educational programs, and the passionate, well-educated staff. Not only does the staff ensure the safety of your child, they are experts in their field and have a focused appreciation, respect and love for everything they do. Regardless if they are teaching arts and crafts, scuba diving or exploring the surroundings, they foster educational experiences through fun interactive activities!

The benefits of summer camp are endless and lasting. We can’t tell you how many times we meet timid children who leave camp with newfound confidence. These quiet campers grew out of their shell. They sang in front of the entire camp, learned to rock climb or mountain bike, and shared too many laughs to count with their friends. These are the experiences that are magical and priceless! Don’t let your child miss out on everything camp has to offer.

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How Do You Pack for Camp?

We hope you enjoyed our silly video on how we at the Guided Discoveries office pack for camp. Now, we need your help!!!We want you to put together a silly, creative, short video on how and/or what you pack for camp. The video should be no longer than one minute and no shorter than 6 seconds. Your video might be shown on any or all of our social media platforms. Please email your videos to Alisa VinZant at alisa@gdi.org. If you have any questions, please call 1-800-625-1423.

If you don’t want to or you don’t like doing videos then there is another option for you to win. We want to know why camp is important to you? How camp has made a difference in your life? What do you love about it and why do you keep coming back? Basically, what does camp mean to you! Please write your answers in paragraph form. You are welcome to write as little or as much as you wish!

Again, please send all videos and what camp means to you paragraphs to Alisa VinZant at alisa@gdi.org. Please call 1-800-625-1423 if you have any questions or concerns. All entries must be received by May 22, 2015. Happy taping and writing! We look forward to seeing you at camp soon!!!

Gear Up for Summer Giveaway

We are excited to announce the Gear Up for Summer Giveaway! Check out what you can win.

AstroCamp Gear Up for Summer Giveaway prize includes an AstroCamp hoodie, t-shirt, frisbee, and water bottle, AstroCamp created 3D Print, fun science t-shirt, as well as a large poster and NASA Goodies. AstroCamp instructors not included.

You can earn entires by registering for camp, writing a camp review, submitting Throwback Thursday Photos or commenting on our blog post. Please take a look at the contest and feel free to make multiple entries to increase your chances! Prizes can only be delivered to those within the United States and photos submitted will be shared on AstroCamp Social Media sites. Fun science t-shirt and poster sizes and pictures vary. When submitting photos please email them to Alisa VinZant at alisa.gdi.org. Happy contest entering and Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Happy Thanksgiving

Today at Guided Discoveries we are thankful for so many things. Thank you to Ross and Kristi Turner who started it all over 35 years ago. Please watch these videos to find out just a few of the things we are thankful for at AstroCamp and CIMI. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!!




We would like to thank you for visiting our blog. AstroCamp is a hands-on physical science program with an emphasis on astronomy and space exploration. Our classes and activities are designed to inspire students toward future success in their academic and personal pursuits. This blog is intended to provide you with up-to-date news and information about our camp programs, as well as current science and astronomical happenings. This blog has been created by our staff who have at least a Bachelors Degree in Physics or Astronomy, however it is not uncommon for them to have a Masters Degree or PhD. We encourage you to also follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Google+, Twitter, and Vine to see even more of our interesting science, space and astronomy information. Feel free to leave comments, questions, or share our blog with others. Please visit www.astrocampsummer.org for additional information. Happy Reading!