A Fish

About Us

We take pride in employing a well-trained staff of the highest quality. All our 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 Catalina Sea Camp’s’ HR Director prior to the employee beginning work and must conform to Catalina Sea Camp’s’ hiring thresholds.

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

Counselors:  All cabin counselors are current college students who have 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 Sea Campers themselves.

Counselors go through an intensive 8-day training program before any campers arrive at camp. They are trained in teambuilding, group leadership, child development, and safety. All of this trains them to be sensitive to individual campers’ needs and life experiences. Camp logistics and programs are also covered during training. Additionally, counselors participate in a number of role-playing activities to prepare for situations that could arise during the summer.

Instructional Staff: The Diving, Sailing, and Science & Adventure instructors all have at minimum a Bachelor’s Degree in Marine Science,  or related subject, and are trained and certified in their particular specialty. All of our diving instructors are certified by NAUI (National Association of Underwater Instructors) and our sailing instructors are certified by the ASA (American Sailing Association).

Additionally, all of our instructors have a background working with children and many work full-time during the year as teachers for our CIMI (Catalina Island Marine Institute) Marine Science education program. Specialty instructors also participate in the 8-day training program prior to camp. During this intensive training program they learn the specifics of teaching their particular specialty and how to tailor their teaching style and activities to children and teenagers. Specialty instructors also are trained in emergency procedures, first aid/CPR and lifesaving.

screen-shot-2016-10-20-at-10-09-50-amPaul “ButterKup” Kupferman

Catalina Sea Camp Summer Operations Director

“Catalina Sea Camp…provided me confidence I could take home and apply to my daily academic and social life. I am proud to say that my job is to give youth the same experience I benefited from many years ago.”

Paul has been involved with Guided Discoveries since 1986, first as a camper, then Counselor, Head Counselor, Summer Camp Director and his recent post as Summer Operations Director.

He spent his formative years in Costa Mesa, California. He moved to landlocked St. Louis, Missouri, when he was 13, but his parents allowed him to fly out each summer and return to his beloved island paradise of Catalina Sea Camp.

Paul holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is a board member for the Western Association of Independent Camps.  He is also actively involved in the American Camp Association. Paul has received the Paul Somers Golden Acorn Award honoring his contributions to the field of organized camping.

Contact Paul at paul@catalinaseacamp.org or 909.625.6194 (winter) or 310.510.1622 (summer)

Jeff Chase program staff director Catalina Sea CampJeff Chace

Catalina Sea Camp Science & Adventure Director

“Guided Discoveries is an amazing company with a worthwhile mission. We work hard to provide kids with an opportunity to explore nature and spark their curiosity. …I love to hear our students talk about how this great experience has made an impact. I love to hear kids talk about schools of leopard sharks, squishy algae and vibrant stars. I am not sure that you could find all of these elements in any other job!”

It wasn’t exactly schools, but more like schools of fish that got Jeff Chace interested in marine science. Jeff grew up in a Boston suburb and spent summers on Cape Cod, spending his hours investigating tide pools, fishing, swimming and sailing. When his parents bought him his first fish tank, Jeff was, well, hooked.

As Toyon Bay Program Director, Jeff is in charge of a staff of 28 and the educational areas that provide the outdoor education program to students and adventure/science programs for Catalina Sea Camp. He hires, coaches, leads, develops curriculum and implements programming ideas while taking charge of students’ safety and medical needs. He also captains boats and leads the island scholar program.

His experience with Guided Discoveries has been in roles including Assistant Program Director and Aquarist at Cherry Cove; Toyon Bay Aquarist, Dive Staff, Boat Captain, Science and Adventure Director and Program Director; and Fox Landing founding Program Director.

Since the early 1990s, Jeff has worked or volunteered in marine science education at places including the New England Aquarium, Cape Outdoor Discovery, Newfound Harbor Marine Institute, Stephen Birch Aquarium, San Diego Floating Classroom and Seacamp San Diego.

Jeff has a bachelor’s in Zoology with a minor in Marine Biology from the University of New Hampshire. He is certified in CPR, pediatric first at and holds a 50-ton captain’s license.

Contact Jeff at jeff@cimi.org or 310.510.1622

PeachAshley “Peach” Bueche

Catalina Sea Camp Dive Director

“Guided Discoveries is an amazing organization. There are incredible opportunities for growth available at every level, for our campers and for our staff. I believe we truly make a difference in the lives of people who come here. I love hearing from former campers about the impact the Sea Camp experience has had on them, how they still get starry-eyed 20 years later when recalling camp. Our dive programs give campers skills that they can use all over the world and I am very proud of the caliber of divers we produce.”

Peach began her career with Guided Discoveries in 2011 as a Marine Science Instructor at Fox Landing.  Since then she has worked as an Assistant Program Director at Cherry Cove and Toyon Bay. A native of Massachusetts, Peach spent her summers on and in the ocean, either on her family’s boat or at the beach. However, it wasn’t until she moved to Catalina that she learned to scuba dive. After a brief taste of the Sea Camp dive program her first summer on the island, she did everything she could to be a part of Dive Staff the next year. She loves the peace and possibility that diving offers and sharing that experience with campers.

A graduate of Boston College, with degrees in Environmental Geoscience and Early Education, Peach is stoked to combine her degrees to teach kids about the ocean environment. She spends her free time paddle boarding, body surfing, and playing with puppies.

Contact Peach at diving@gdi.org or 310.510.1622

SeaBizBiz “Seabizcut” Wallace

Sail Director

“The Toyon Bay Yacht Club is the greatest yacht club in the world because everyone who sails here is part of the TBYC ‘ohana. We have a unique culture that can’t be found anywhere else and is constantly growing with the contributions and energy of every camper. Beyond teaching students how to sail, our program guides students to be independent and self-confident while developing important problem solving and communication skills. At the Toyon Bay Yacht Club, campers can be themselves and discover how much fun sailing can be!” 

Biz started working for Guided Discoveries in 2012 as a deckhand on board the tall ship Tole Mour. It was there she realized her passion for teaching kids about the ocean and sailing in costume. She returned as a member of Sail Staff in 2016 and has been a die-hard yachtie ever since!

A native of North Carolina, Biz fell in love with the ocean on family trips to Pawley’s Island, SC. After moving to Los Angeles to attend the University of Southern California, Biz fell in love with sailing while working on board the school’s classic wooden schooner, Atlantas. She has since spent the last few years sailing around the world on educational tall ships including the Spirit of New Zealand and Sea Education Association’s brigantines.

Biz has a bachelor’s degree in Design and is working towards a 100 ton captain’s license.

Ben-Kasowski Director of Food Services Toyon BayBen Kasowski

CIMI at Toyon Bay Food Service Director

“I feel like the diversity of my whole life has led me to this work and my position with Guided Discoveries. I love the Island deeply and enjoy the logistical challenge of living both on an Island and the particular challenges that exist at Fox Landing, which is accessible only by boat.  I love providing good meals for the students, teachers, parents and staff.”

Ben is originally from Southern California but was raised in Seattle Area.  His cooking career started while he was in high school working in local restaurants.  He worked with some “amazing chefs” and eventually managed restaurants at an early age.  Ben eventually moved to Dutch Harbor, Alaska and worked in the fishing industry for three years. While in Alaska, Ben met a chef who worked at the Catalina Island Marine Institute and offered him a position at the camp.  Ben joined the CIMI at Toyon Bay kitchen crew in 1999.

Ben soon became the Assistant Food Service Director at Cherry Cove.  He moved back to Toyon Bay as the Assistant Food Service Director and Chef where he remained for 7 years.  In 2009, Ben was chosen as the Food Service Director and Head Chef for CIMI at Fox Landing and he now returns to Toyon Bay. He is known for his creative food and excellent service.  He will take time to speak with any teacher, parent or child about their special dietary needs.  Just email or give him a call.

Contact ben@cimi.org or 310.510.1622