Catalina Sea Camp Maintenance Director
"This is the best job I have ever had. It allows me to "give back" with regards to sharing my knowledge with my team members. It is also a privilege to work for a company that directly impacts the lives of children in such a positive way. Being a part of this mission is very rewarding."
With decades of experience in the construction trades, Allen Jones began working for Guided Discoveries in 2009. Drawn by the challenge of operating and maintaining a 90-acre facility, he jokes that it helps that the facility is on a beach on Santa Catalina Island. Allen's past experience includes directing projects for Habitat for Humanity.
Raised in Cardiff-by-the-Sea, Allen grew up enjoying ocean sports. Although he does not work on or in the water, he said it is close enough to afford a "wonderful backdrop in which to work."
Contact Allen at email@example.com or 310.510.1622
Catalina Island Marine Institute Director
"If our program cycled through new clientele all the time, I'm not sure it would be as gratifying. But there are many group leaders that have been coming as long as I've worked there. Seeing them year after year, and having started with many of them when we started our Cherry Cove program, reinforces that what we do is substantive and makes a difference. We all do it for the kids, but when teachers say it is a big part of their life, you know you're on a good wicket."
Dave joined Guided Discoveries as an Instructor in 1989 at Cherry Cove. He enjoyed teaching biology on a remote island and being part of the unique CIMI community. He soon advanced to Assistant Program Director at then to Program Director at Cherry Cove. During the 1990's Dave also worked the summer at Catalina Sea Camp as the Program Director. Dave became the Program Director for Toyon Bay and in 1999 was asked to become the CIMI Director.
As the director of the Catalina Island Marine Institute, Dave oversees the operation for CIMI at Toyon Bay, Fox Landing and Cherry Cove. He directly supervises the department directors and the financial operations of the program. Dave also works closely with the GDI Project Director on all facility improvements and renovations. During the summer, Dave teaches scuba diving at Catalina Sea Camp along with his other management duties. Dave is a very thoughtful individual who has great insight into the overall CIMI and Guided Discoveries operations.
Dave spent his early childhood in Sacramento and spent his high school years in Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Science with honors from the University of Natal, Durban, South Africa, and with a Bachelors of Science in biology and wildlife management from the University of Wisconsin.While with Guided Discoveries he also earned his scuba certification and became a NAUI Scuba Diving Instructor. Dave is also a USCG Licensed Captain. He lives at Toyon Bay with his wife Katie, who he met at CIMI.
Dave is an avid nature lover. He spent much of his youth hiking and fishing in the out of doors. While in Africa he went on safari and worked as a guide in a game park after finishing the university. He has explored Catalina on land and by water. Scuba diving and boating are among his favorite past times on the island.
Contact Dave at firstname.lastname@example.org or 310.510.1622
Glen "Sweep" Schubert
"The Toyon Bay Yacht Club not only offers the most fun sailing experience imaginable but also an opportunity for our campers to experience learning a new skill that seems simple but is very complex. Sailing forces kids to be aware of their surroundings. Everything around them is important and they must figure out where they fit into it all; wind, waves, island and ocean. I am honored to be able to help facilitate and guide our young yachties along this journey"
Glen began working at Toyon Bay for Guided Discoveries during the summer of 2010 as part of the sail staff and has not looked back. He has since spent each summer since then and three seasons on CIMI's tall ship Tole Mour as a marine science instructor.
Growing up in Traverse City, Michigan, Glen was not exposed to the ocean but his love for being on the water and sailing began at an early age when his parents would tie him onto their Hobie 16 at 2 years of age. Sailing Lake Michigan on his parent's 23 foot O'Day cemented his love for sailing and he would continue to pursue this career by racing on the collegiate level and starting a career on tall ships.
In 2010 he earned his Bachelors of Arts in Political Science and Philosophy at Hope College in Holland, Michigan. Over the next year he worked in Camden, Maine aboard the windjammer Angelique and then spent a winter teaching skiing in Park City, Utah. The decision to transition into teaching sailing was not a hard one and he was excited to take the position at the Toyon Bay Yacht club in the summer of 2010.
He can now be found working full time at Toyon Bay, as a science instructor during the school year and the sail director during the summers. After getting dive certified his first summer, Glen now enjoys all aspects of the ocean whether he diving or spearfishing in the ocean or sailing on top. Having the best job in the world, it is hard to decide what might come next but he plans to become a teacher one day somewhere.
Catalina Sea Camp Food Service Director
"I love the challenge of the different job details between school and summer groups. It keeps it exciting – there's never a dull moment when feeding 300 people. I love how Ross and Kristi started up this company and how they have built it up, accomplishing their dream. It's what's great about this company and all the love they put into it. It shows."
Jane's tenure with Guided Discoveries began in 2008, when she was hired to help with the kitchen's salad bar, but it was her decades of experience cooking for hundreds of hungry people each day that set her up to easily transition into the role of Director of Food Service at Toyon Bay, a position she has held since 2010.
Jane's on-the-job experience in food service began in the 1980s, when she managed all aspects of running a fast-food restaurant, from bookkeeping to budget planning, and hiring, training and ordering food for the establishment.
From there, she worked overnight at the bakery in a grocery store, making breads, rolls, pies and doughnuts from scratch, as well as managing the bakery and the bread section for the entire store.
Jane then worked for a school district in Missouri, helping manage a cafeteria at one of the largest schools in the district and serving breakfast and lunch to more than 1,000 kids each day. She also operated a kitchen at a church camp during this time.
At Toyon Bay, she oversees eight employees and ensures that about 300 rumbling tummies are fed three times a day each day. She orders all of the food, writes menus for campers and staff, and bakes cookies and breads from scratch.
Jane also keeps in touch with parents about food allergies and special diets their children may require.
She is certified in health and sanitation, and is certified as a Servsafe Food Handler.
Contact Jane at email@example.com or 310.510.1622
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 Cherry Cove Marine Science Instructor, Jeff is in charge of a staff of 28 and the educational areas that provide the outdoor education program to students. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or 310.510.1622
Catalina Sea Camp Dive Director
"I am proud to work for Guided Discoveries. Our motivated and innovative team has created top-notch programs that enrich the lives of thousands of children every month. Our Dive Department enhances the tradition of excellence, challenging students academically and physically to produce the finest young divers in the industry."
Matt began working for Guided Discoveries in 2009 on Toyon Bay's marine science instructional staff. Since then he has assumed the roles of Assistant Program Director during the school-year and Dive Director during the summer. His primary responsibilities include maintaining the high standards of our programs and ensuring the safety of participants.
Although he hails from the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, Matt felt the draw of the ocean at an early age. He spent his summers in high school surfing the Outer Banks of North Carolina and his winters dreaming about it.
In 2007 he earned a Bachelors of Science with academic honors from the University of the South with majors in psychology and ecology. In his free time, he could be found outside running, rock climbing, biking, snowshoeing, or trying out his new hobby: scuba diving. After college, his strong academic background and love of the outdoors motivated him to seek a career in experiential education. He happily accepted a position at CIMI, knowing that it has a reputation as the best outdoor education facility in the country.
He continued his scuba education across the globe, learning to rescue dive in Toyon Bay, becoming a divemaster in Honduras and doing his first technical decompression dive in Indonesia. He aspires to become an instructor trainer and eventually a technical diving instructor. Although he enjoys diving across the globe, his favorite dive spots are right here on Catalina Island.
Paul "Buttercup" Kupferman
Catalina Sea Camp Summer Operations Director
"Catalina Sea Camp … provided me the confidence that I could take home with me and apply to my daily academic and social life. I am proud to say that my job is to give youths the same experience that 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 email@example.com or 909.625.6194 (winter) or 310.510.1622 (summer)