Teaching Philosophy

The Guided Discoveries Experience

In 1978 Kristi and Ross Turner founded Guided Discoveries on their belief that children benefit in an extraordinary way from experiential learning.

"Guided Discoveries is not only the name of our organization, it is how we teach.  We provide Educational Adventures that are unique, hands-on participatory and fun.  The Guided Discoveries Experience stimulates the natural curiosity of every child and encourages personal discovery."

Guided Discoveries Vision and Core Values

Catalina Island Marine Institute
"Making a Difference in the Lives of Children Through Unique Opportunities for Discovery"

"Making a Positive Difference in the Lives of Children by Guiding Them Through Unique Opportunities for Self-Discovery Through Physical Sciences and Team Challenges"

Tall Ship Expeditions aboard the SSV ToleMour
"Taking Students to Sea to Build Stewardship, Character and Minds"

Guided Discoveries believes that children are paramount and it is our instinct and obligation to enhance their lives toward a more productive future.  Children are the total focus of the program.

Education Through Exploration

Staying true to the Turner's founding philosophy, Guided Discoveries continues to focus on Education through Exploration.

  • Create the Wow Experience where students can have that exciting moment of discovery.
  • Stimulate excitement for the world through exploration, discovery and using natural curiosity.
  • Provide a fun learning adventure, expanding the students idea of school, classroom and learning.
  • Inspire the students to care for our world and become stewards of our environment.
  • Create personal growth and build character where children can develop responsibility, confidence, independence, teamwork and initiative that will help them function in their world.

At Guided Discoveries we believe our unique, hands-on, experiential suite of science-based programs promotes enthusiasm and appreciation for the natural, physical and environmental sciences. Our programs strive to provide a fun immersive experience for the students that can't be replicated in the classroom. By tying together activities and labs that compliment each other, we promote a student’s natural drive for exploration and encourage them to ask questions in a fun and supportive environment.

Our Activity Based Learning includes hiking, snorkeling, exploring, zip-lining, climbing, and sailing.   Couple these dynamic experiences with our unique labs filled with "Toys" (scientific apparatus) that stimulate curiosity and allow the students to have fun doing the science.  Each lab has a unique theme and creates a fun and creative learning environment.

Our facilities are exceptional and encourage student exploration and discovery.  Whether it is Catalina Island, San Jacinto Mountains or the 156' Tall Ship, the immersion creates the perfect learning environment.

Character Building and 21st Century Skills

The Camp environment is the perfect tool for our science programs.  The Camp Experience provides opportunities for children to grow personally.  Day to day living in the camp is very different from home and school life.  It places the children in a friendly, safe environment with strong adult leadership and supervision.  In this setting the children develop their "Non-Cognitive Skills " or Character Building.

In the camp environment children: learn to take personal responsibility; use initiative; develop stronger friendships; develop citizenship; learn the value of integrity; work as a team; become leaders; learn to collaborate with others; become more independent; make timely decisions; use critical thinking skills; know how to communicate better; and create Grit.

These non-cognitive skills are important to every child as they go through school and into their future world.  Every child should have the opportunity to develop the 21st Century Skills.

Quality Service

Every Guided Discoveries Program offers a truly unique learning experience.  Every staff member takes pride in the quality of service they provide to every child, parent, teacher, and school administrator.

Guided Discoveries Quality Service Keys

Safety is Number One

The Experience

Provide the best possible Facility

Provide an appealing Dining Experience

Provide a unique Educational Adventure

Provide friendly and helpful Support through the Business Office

Reputation for a warm, friendly and accommodating program