A Message from the Directors:
Welcome to Apogee’s 15th season! Since the beginning, we have passionately delivered fun, life-changing summer experiences to young people. In the summer of 2016, we will welcome over 500 students to the Apogee family and run more than forty adventure and service trips.
Our program continues to thrive because we know that top-notch leadership and a personal connection are key to the success of our trips. Our trip leaders are, quite simply, the very best you will find, and at Apogee, we know each student by name and invest in them individually. Parents will feel welcome, too – we are always available and excited to speak with you. This small, family atmosphere is what we’re all about; it’s what allows Apogee kids to flourish and parents to feel at ease.
If you’re already part of the Apogee family, we can’t wait to see you again. And if you’ve never spent a summer with us, we hope this is the year you do!
Kevin Cashman, Founder/Director Chad Olcott, Director
MORE ABOUT OUR YEAR-ROUND TEAM
Founder and Director Kevin Cashman grew up in Westfield, NJ and attended Dickinson College. Since graduating from Dickinson in 1995, Kevin has worked almost exclusively in the outdoor adventure travel field. In 2001, after working for years as a trip leader and director for other outdoor programs, Kevin followed his dream and founded Apogee. His passion and perseverance for Apogee have paid off through the years and have resulted in a thriving, highly respected program. Having led the trips in Apogee’s early years, Kevin knows exactly what goes into crafting a successful adventure. One of his greatest satisfactions is making connections with Apogee students and their families. He has an uncanny ability to remember names and details about the more than a thousand students who have taken part in the program over time. In addition to loving his job, Kevin is an avid runner and loves to travel, especially by bicycle. Kevin lives in Brunswick, Maine with his wife, Birgitta, and their two young boys, Jack & Sam.
Director Chad Olcott grew up between the hills of Western Massachusetts and the palm trees of Miami, Florida before attending Bowdoin College in Apogee’s hometown of Brunswick, Maine. After four summers of leading and supporting outdoor adventure trips throughout the United States during and after college, Chad was hooked on the adventuring lifestyle. Nonetheless, he spent six years practicing law, first as a JAG with the U.S. Navy in San Diego, California and Sardinia, Italy, before joining a law firm in Portland, Maine. In 2009, the siren song of the outdoors and experiential education proved too much to ignore, and Chad was delighted to join Kevin at Apogee. He finds his current mission – furthering Apogee’s goals of instilling personal confidence, character, and community-mindedness in every student – to be the most fulfilling work he could imagine. Chad lives in Brunswick with his wife, Susan, and their twin daughters, Liliana and Phoebe. In addition to his work with Apogee, Chad enjoys volunteering with the Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust.
Raised in the fresh air and among the mountain streams of western Maine, Assistant Director Shem Dixon is a 2011 graduate of Bowdoin College. At Bowdoin, Shem double-majored in Biology and Earth & Oceanographic Sciences. He also honed his leadership and communication skills as a Head Proctor in the College’s Residential Life program. With Apogee, Shem led our Coast to Quebec and Pacific Coast trips in the two summers after graduating from Bowdoin. He spent the intervening fall and spring seasons facilitating team-building for young adults at a Maine-based leadership development program. Shem re-joined the Apogee team as an Assistant Director in September 2013. Shem enjoys the challenges and rewards associated with coordinating logistics for more than fifty leaders, seventeen itineraries, and five hundred students.
Hailing from Sewickley, Pennsylvania, Assistant Director Hannah Gensheimer grew up as the third of four girls in a busy, happy home. Hannah has loved working with young people her entire life. In high school, she started her own day camp for local kids – and she worked hard to grow it into one of the most popular camps in her town. Hannah graduated from Bucknell University in 2012 with a degree in Political Science and Psychology. She followed her passion for working with kids at Bucknell where she was both an elementary school tutor and a counselor at the local middle school. Hannah has a love for travel and adventure with her family and on her own – having traveled through Europe, studied in New Zealand, and worked with kids at a community center in Argentina. Hannah joined the Apogee family in 2011, and has led trips in Maine, Montana, Oregon, California, and Puerto Rico. She joined the full-time team as an Assistant Director in the fall of 2013.
Assistant Director Izzy Janzen was born into a close-knit family in the leafy suburbs of Philadelphia. There, she attended an elementary school that formed and fostered her love of exploring nature. Izzy is a 2014 graduate of Hamilton College where she studied World Politics, with a focus on poverty and sustainable development. At Hamilton, Izzy was elected to serve as co-captain of the Women’s Rugby team and for three years led Hamilton’s intensive pre-orientation adventures in the Adirondack Mountains. Izzy worked at a day camp for youngsters in her hometown for many summers before spending the summers of 2013 and 2014 in the field with Apogee, leading Maine’s Downeast Explorer and Northwest Explorer trips. She has also worked on two organic farms since graduating, fueling her passion for sustainability and local food communities. Izzy joined our team as an Assistant Director in the spring of 2015.
A loyal Minnesotan, Assistant Director Jack Messerly grew up fishing and playing pond hockey with his family near the Twin Cities. His passion for hiking and camping took-off during his time at Hamilton College, which included leading Hamilton’s Adirondack Adventure program and a semester in New Zealand. At Hamilton, Jack studied Math and Philosophy – his favorite course being “The Philosophy of Mathematics” – and when he wasn’t in class, he was rock climbing and co-captaining Hamilton’s Men’s Rugby team. After graduating in 2014, Jack lived and worked on a farm in northern California before returning for his fourth summer with Apogee, this time as an Assistant Director. He’s led seven Apogee trips since he began leading in 2012: New England Mountains & Coast, Maine’s Downeast Explorer, California Mountains & Coast (3 times), and Apogee’s inaugural Alps Explorer (twice).
Michele Amoroso, CPA, is Apogee’s enthusiastic, energetic, outdoor-loving yogi. She also happens to have a keen affection for accounting, marketing, and organizing the administrative tasks of our home office – all of which translate perfectly into her role as Apogee’s Director of Finance. Not only has she worn different hats on the Apogee team since joining us in 2010, Michele is a seasoned Apogee Mom. Her two teenage boys have participated in six different Apogee adventures – meaning Michele has completed her share of camper forms and checked-off many gear lists… she is readily available to answer parent questions! Originally from Long Island, NY, she and husband Greg moved to Maine from the Boston area to set roots and raise the boys. After living 15 years in Yarmouth, ME, Michele now commutes virtually to our Brunswick office from Charlotte, NC.