AstroCamp takes pride in hiring the highest quality staff. All of the AstroCamp instructors are required to have at least a Bachelors Degree in Physics or Astronomy, and it is not uncommon for our instructors to have a Masters Degree or PhD. Additionally, many of our staff have research experience with their universities, as well as fellowship and research experience at some of the top science institutions in the US such as NASA, JPL and the NSF.

One of the lasting legacies of AstroCamp is our faculty. With safety being one of our primary goals, instructors are also required to have First aid, CPR-PR, and Waterfront Lifeguard certifications, as well as comprehensive on-site training.

The AstroCamp Alumni are far reaching with hundreds teaching in schools throughout the country. Many of our former faculty can also be found in major aquariums, national sanctuaries, and at science centers and museums throughout the US. The growth and development of AstroCamp is a direct result of the energy, enthusiasm and contributions of our many faculty over the years.

andy-balendy-photoAndy Balendy

AstroCamp Director 

“AstroCamp has an incredible way of creating environments that are empowering for all.  For our students, teachers, staff, and even executives, there are always opportunities for growth and experiences that profoundly affect and change our lives.”

Andy began working for Guided Discoveries in 1998 as a Marine Science Instructor at Fourth of July Cove on Catalina Island.  Since then, he has held numerous positions within the organization including, Head Aquarist, Assistant Program Director, Director of Educational Outreach, Sea Camp Expeditions Diving Director in Belize, and served as the Program Director of all three CIMI programs.  In 2014, he became the AstroCamp Director in Idyllwild California and is now also the Director of AstroCamp in Virginia.

He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology/Ecology and minor in Marine Science from Pennsylvania State University.  In addition, Andy has a Master’s Degree in Marine Biology.


Charles Bueche

AstroCamp Program Director

“I spend my days working with people who are passionate about hanging out with kids. I live a stone’s throw away from the sea, and most importantly, I get to share my love of the ocean with my staff and watch them share theirs with kids.  All of my best memories from the last five years have been connected to Guided Discoveries in some way. Whether it was taking kids snorkeling, watching kids kiss a sea cucumber, or adventures with staff, all of them have been wonderful.”

Charles Bueche joined Guided Discoveries in 2009 and has served as a Marine Science Instructor and Aquarist, Assistant Program Director of Logistics, Summer Camp Director for Camp Fox YMCA Programs and Program Director at Cherry Cove and Fox Landing.

Charles is responsible for the safety of all students and teachers, and is charged with the hiring, training, and managing the staff.

Charles worked at the Biological Field Station in Cooperstown, N.Y., during college. With a bachelor’s degree in biology from SUNY Geneseo, Charles applied for a job at CIMI with the plan to stay for two years, but, he says, little did he know about the magical draw of the island. Charles also is a NAUI-certified rescue diver and Red Cross Lifeguard instructor.

Contact Charles at or 1-800-645-1423