The Staff Experience

Staff in pirate eye patches.

Make a difference in the lives of children every day!

Beginning in 1979, Guided Discoveries is a non-profit 501(c)(3) that was founded with the mission of making a positive difference in the lives of children. We provide quality educational programs throughout the school year and summer camps for children from all over the country and abroad.


It is our instinct and obligation to enhance children’s lives toward a more productive future. We seek individuals who will champion our mission to make a positive difference in the lives of children through unique opportunities for discovery.


We treat every employee fairly, ethically, with dignity and respect while expecting them to serve the children with 100% dedication. Guided Discoveries is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We welcome, affirm, and support young people and adults of all abilities and disabilities, races, ethnicities, socio-economic backgrounds, sexual orientation, gender identities and expressions, and religion.


Working with us is a tremendously rewarding and life-changing experience! Each program offers a supportive and knowledgeable community of individuals that are collectively working toward a common goal – to make a difference. Every position is equally important to the success of the program. It is very rare to have the ability to live and work in such a beautiful location doing such meaningful work.

I’ve been drastically changed by the people I’ve worked with here at CIMI, the memories I’ve made, the places we’ve explored, the students we’ve learned with, and the whale spouts that have without fail caused heart palpitations. Working and living in Toyon Bay has been an incomparably joyous and fulfilling experience, and I will always be endlessly grateful for the people who have made it so.

Andy 7th Year Instructor

Although a lot of work and responsibility, it was extremely rewarding, influencing children while having a blast! It also provided me with a chance to express myself and I wouldn’t trade the experiences and friends I had there for anything.

Gretchen 7th Year Instructor

The opportunity to contribute to a child’s personal growth and well-being is a feeling unlike any other. I have been able to exploit my passion for the outdoors, while also substantially growing as an individual. Camp life is the best life.

Alex 6th Year Summer Counselor

Being a counselor at Sea Camp is the BEST summer job because you get to live and work on a private beach with the job description of “have fun with kids.” You’ll gain so many incredible friends from around the world and create meaningful moments with kids all summer long.

Cedar 3rd Year Summer Counselor


Where are we located?

Our programs operate at various facilities in California and Virginia. See our Facilities page for more information about these locations.

Guided Discoveries Business Office is located in beautiful San Juan Capistrano, California. The business office houses the administrative, creative and leadership teams.

Can I apply to multiple jobs?

Yes, you are welcome to apply for multiple jobs and different facilities. Each job could have a different supervisor in charge of hiring, please be sure to notify the person you are communicating with if you have applied for any other positions.

What is the hiring process?

Please see New Hire Portal page for expectations on the hiring process.

Will Wi-Fi/cell service be available?

Access to the internet can be very dependent on the facility. Wi-Fi and cell service can be limited at certain facilities and times due to the location. Please discuss any concerns or needs with the director during the interview process.

Are there laundry facilities?

Yes. There are free laundry facilities on campus. You will have to supply your own detergent, which can be purchased in town during your time off.

What is your inclusion policy?

GDI strives to create a safe and inclusive environment that celebrates diversity and fosters positive relationships. Please see our camper and staff inclusion policy.

What is your drug, alcohol, and smoking policy?

Due to the nature of our work with children, we have strict policies regarding drugs, alcohol, and smoking. We drug test before hiring and randomly throughout the year. GDI has a zero-tolerance policy on drugs, including marijuana. There are specific limitations on alcohol consumption depending on the operational season and the current role of the employee. Alcohol consumption is restricted to specific areas in camp, and we do not permit underage drinking. Smoking is discouraged and limited to specific areas and restricted times, out of the view of campers. If you have concerns or further questions, please ask for more information from your hiring manager.

What is your policy regarding COVID-19 vaccination?

Due to the nature of our work with children and the rapid turnover of our school and summer guests throughout the year, we do require that all staff are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. For questions regarding our full COVID-19 policies, please ask for more information from your hiring manager.


Please contact Human Resources Director, Rebecca Parrott, at