Get To Know Our Team

World Class Facilities

Your camper will have a fun, safe, and memorable experience in our state-of-the-art facilities with our team of amazing staff.

Staff and Counselors

Our team is educated and trained in their field of expertise and love working with kids.


Your camper is welcome regardless of race, color, gender, national origin, sex, or disability.


Your camper will have the best summer ever–and they’ll want to do it all over again next year.

meet out team

Our Counselors

All 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. Many cabin counselors were even campers themselves!

Counselors go through a rigorous 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. Counselors complete training with the tools and knowledge to support campers through common camp challenges such as homesickness, trying new things, and friendship building.

meet out team

Our Instructors

Camp CHOP takes pride in hiring the highest quality staff. Our instructors come to Camp CHOP from all over the United States and occasionally from overseas. Safety is one of our primary goals, therefore all instructors are required to have 1st aid, CPR-PR, and Waterfront Lifeguard certifications as well as comprehensive on-site training.

Our Team and History

Established in 1979, Guided Discoveries was the natural outgrowth of Ross and Kristi Turner’s experience as schoolteachers taking students on science-related field trips. During these excursions, they began to realize the power of a fun and immersive science-based program. In 1976, Ross and Kristi took the leap and moved their young family to Catalina Island, California to run Camp Cherry Valley for the Boy Scouts. By 1978, Ross and Kristi, along with long-time friends Steve Garrett (Board Chairperson) and Jerry Tambe, incorporated Guided Discoveries, Inc. as a 501(c)(3) non-profit leading what would later become Catalina Island Marine Institute or CIMI (pronounced ‘see-me’). Then in 1979, we began our first summer camp program Catalina Sea Camp.

As CIMI and Sea Camp programs continued to prosper, Guided Discoveries began to consider expansion and conducted its first AstroCamp pilot program in 1988. Using the same hands-on educational philosophy as the CIMI program, AstroCamp focused on astronomy and the physical sciences rather than the ocean. In 2015, Guided Discoveries acquired Camp Motorsport and expanded the Camp Motorsport program to include AstroCamp in Virginia.

The Guided Discoveries’ vision continues to expand as it considers other exciting opportunities to make a positive difference in the lives of children.


Our Directors

Ross Turner

President & CEO Of
Guided Discoveries Inc.


Andy Balendy

Director AstroCamp


Charlie Bueche

Program Director


John Swanwick

Summer Camp Director

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