Matt Mishalow


Born and raised in Las Vegas, I always loved coming to California to enjoy the ocean. My elementary school had a marine lab, and I loved learning about marine science.

In the summer of 1994, I was fortunate enough to attend one week of Catalina Sea Camp and immediately renewed my love with the ocean and camp experience. I returned for a total of nine summers, building long-lasting friendships and continuing to build skills involved with the ocean, knowing that I’d eventually want to work at camp one day.

In 2004, I was lucky enough to be hired as a camp counselor, and build upon my experience at camp. Standing on the shoulders of the giants before me, and becoming a role model for campers and the camp community eventually led me to want to make camping a career. I spent several of those summers in a leadership position and really felt that I created a major impact on the program and camper experience. In 2008, I finished my undergraduate degree in business and spoke with Ross and Kristi about potential full-time positions at Guided Discoveries.

After those 5 summers as a counselor and instructor, I was hired full-time in the Business Support Office, sitting alongside Ross to help create and manage budgets, analyze projects on a financial level, and streamline accounting and cash flow procedures. At the same time, AstroCamp was in need of a Summer Camp Director and I was able to spend 5 summers as part of that team. I helped build upon and develop the program, as well as create new strategic goals to get more campers to enjoy camp.

In 2014, after careful consideration, I left Guided Discoveries to pursue some additional business opportunities back in Las Vegas. I learned the ins and outs of the Furniture Trade Show Industry, as well as some skills involved with real estate.

In 2017 I married my beautiful wife Cat, and at the same time brought home and raised a crazy Golden Retriever puppy. Right around our wedding, I received a call from Ross, Kristi, and Craig about an opportunity to return to Guided Discoveries, and eventually, to take over much of the accounting and finance portions of GDI. Obviously, I took it and never looked back. Working for a company like Guided Discoveries allows me a unique experience to not only be mission-driven but also to be part of an extended family.

In my 4+ years back, I’ve been able to help GDI create new ways to serve more kids, build on the 40+ years of camp experience, and think strategically for what the next 40+ years will look like. In 2020, I finished my Executive MBA at USC, and in November 2021 my wife and I welcomed our beautiful daughter… hopefully, a future GDI camper, counselor, and lifer like me!

“Organizations that destroy the status quo win.” & “The secret of leadership is simple: do what you believe in.”

Seth Godin

Girls jumping into water.

Work with Guided Discoveries

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