I started working for AstroCamp straight out of undergrad, and what I thought was going to be a one-time experience turned into the best five summers of my life. Camp gave me direction at a time in my life when I wasn’t sure where I wanted to go and provided me with a foundation in leadership and child development that I’m still putting to use as I pursue my MA in Counseling. Camp will always have a piece of my heart, and I’ll be forever grateful for the love & memories it gave me.
This job is very fun, and you get to meet lots of nice people. There is decent training for new staff, and there is an employee dedicated to giving professional feedback and encouraging professional development (or at least there was when I worked there). The kids you meet really appreciate what you do for them and love getting to know you. The summer camp is especially heartwarming. I liked getting lots of steps in while at work, working in nature, and being able to listen to music at work. There are fun hikes to do on days off.
They say, “If you do something you love, you will never work a day in your life.” That is how I feel about working at AstroCamp. I enjoy it so much that it can be hard to tell who is having a better time… the kids or me. AstroCamp was my first dream job. Working as an instructor during the school year and summer are two different experiences, but they are amazing opportunities that I would recommend to anybody interested. Seeing how much our content and the atmosphere at camp can positively impact the kids is remarkable. I have seen so many come to camp and leave a totally different person. My first summer at camp changed my life and has led me to where I am now. I was introduced to my sense of adventure and mountain biking. So for that, it holds a special place in my heart. It was the first time I felt truly happy both inside and outside of work. The connections made at camp are hard to forget, and lots of us are still friends to this day. It is my goal to make sure camp continues providing life-changing experiences, as it did for me.
Looking back, my time working at AstroCamp helped shape my subsequent education career by giving me the chance to work with kids from a variety of backgrounds across a broad swath of age groups. To interact with a new set of students every 48 hours gives you such a birds-eye view of the education system, and what a pleasure it was to learn fun, hands-on science with them! Idyllwild is absolutely beautiful and located within a short drive of so many other gorgeous scenic spots. I loved taking trips with coworkers on days off and got to see so much natural beauty in my time there. I also got to try new games and hobbies with coworkers that I never would have tried otherwise! All in all, a great place to be exposed to new people and new things, and to see what you like and where you want to go from there.
I was a camper here for a total of six years, and I knew that after my first summer, I knew I wanted to work here one day, and it was the best decision I have made! I have made the most incredible relationships here, not only as a camper but as a staff member, and whether you are new to AstroCamp or have been here for years, you will be welcomed with open arms and have a new loving camp family. One of my favorite things about working here is the kind of relationship you can build with the kids that come here. Sometimes camp is the only place that kids can feel their true selves and may be the highlight of their whole year, and it is truly incredible to help create that environment for them and know that you are there to help make an impact on these kids’ lives. So, if you love kids, being an ally to anyone and everyone, and want another friend family, I highly suggest coming here because you will find all of that.
AstroCamp was a great opportunity to not only expand my own knowledge of astronomy and physical sciences but to hopefully instill the desire for the next generation of scientists to go out and explore. The community at AstroCamp also helped bring me out of my shell in a way that college could not quite do, and the friendships and memories that I made throughout my time at AstroCamp will no doubt last a lifetime.
I love working for AstroCamp because not only do I get to help change kids’ lives by providing them with a fun, safe place to express themselves, but I have also made lifelong friends at camp. Many of which I get the pleasure of working alongside every day.
MY ASTROCAMP “TOP 10 LIST”:
1) The Schools – Chaperones – Kids – “IT’S ALL ABOUT THE KIDS!”
2) Guided Discoveries – Making kids more “Hard Core” one class at a time!
3) The Training – So much Science…So many Toys!
4) Office Admin – Great support for all your suggestions!
5) The Night Sky – Night Hikes & Dark Sky Viewing…da Best!
6) Ropes – It – Up – Time to expand your “Bubble of Comfort”
7) The Time Off – Make the most of your time off with those who are off on the same shift!
8) The Training – Your classroom is the San Jacinto Mountains!
9) The Housing – Great Communal Living … enjoy the fireplaces!
10) The Food – Excellent meals … but watch your calories! I must say, though, that any one of these could easily be #1 on the list. So even though “Doug Jann’s cooking” is number 10 here … I want him to know that his food is #1 with my stomach.
AstroCamp is a special place. I not only grew professionally but felt part of a community. I made lifetime friends and memories!
I came to camp with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and a love for working with kids. I really wasn’t sure if I’d be knowledgeable enough about astronomy to fit in. I am so glad I was wrong! I learned so much from other staff members who were excited and eager to share their knowledge with me. I am beyond grateful for the chance that admin gave me, as working at camp was an experience that changed my life. Not only did I find my career path (I’m now a middle school science teacher), but I made lifelong friends, and even met my husband here. The skills and memories I have from Astrocamp are ones that will stay with me forever.
I loved being an Instructor at AstroCamp! I had a wonderful experience while being able to change the lives of children and give them a fun experience they will never forget! I got to share my love of science with the next generation while having fun myself and making friendships for life! What more could I ask for? I’m very grateful for my time as an Instructor at Astrocamp and will never forget it; after all, my husband was an instructor there as well, and we have been married for five years!
To say my time at AstroCamp was foundational would be underselling my years there. On a given day, I might have been working on designing an immersive spaceship simulator, running a unique role-playing game for dozens of campers at once, leading an archery class, diagnosing and repairing a telescope, and dressing up as Indiana Jones for a skit. Professionally, the skills and training I acquired working at AstroCamp have served me well in every role I have had since. Personally, I have made lifelong, close friendships that remain strong and very dear years after leaving. Overall, I miss the job nearly every day.
I LOVED working at AstroCamp so much!! It was an incredible experience, living in the mountains and working with kids from many different places. It was very rewarding to see the excitement of each child as they created lifelong memories during their stay at AstroCamp. Each class is so unique and fun that no matter what class you are teaching, the kids will experience hands-on, real-world learning and enjoy doing it! Not only was I able to impact the lives of hundreds of children, AstroCamp has impacted my life as well. EVERYTHING was my favorite part about being at AstroCamp but to name a few; I loved being with the students each day, the ropes courses, swimming, the AMAZING food, the beautiful stars at night, and being surrounded by some of the most wonderful staff! I am forever grateful to have been able to be a part of AstroCamp!
Working at AstroCamp taught me how to be a part of a team in a way that no other job has. That was not something I had in mind while I was applying. I initially thought of AstroCamp because I was interested in both education and science coming out of college. This job was a combination of both. I learned science in a way I hadn’t before, and I enjoyed education in a completely new way also. What I remember best, however, is the teamwork that I will carry in my memories and as skills that will help me in my current career as a high school science teacher and any future job I will ever hold.
I often look back at my time at Astrocamp as being the most fun job that I have ever had. However, it was so much more than that. I learned so many new skills and passions and developed so many lifelong connections and friendships. It opened many doors for me and paved the way for my current career. It was such a positive place to grow in!
AstroCamp gave a fun environment for kids to experience science and provide a lot of fun and comarderie for the program staff as well. Getting kids involved in an informal setting, out in nature, and hands-on with the science helped to create meaningful experiences and opportunities for personal and educational growth with those students.