Day 46: Here’s Lookin’ at You, Kid

Edited by Shem Dixon

Unbelievably, we’ve come to the end of another Apogee summer. Our very last trip, NEMC3, called it a wrap this morning with hugs and misty eyes in a Wakefield parking lot after one last night under the stars filled with good food, friendship, and an epic “Apogee & Perigee” session. And with the end of the summer, we’ve historically penned a blog entry about how much we appreciate our students and their parents, about how we wouldn’t be around if it wasn’t for you. That’s certainly true, but today I’d like to highlight the other set of people to whom we owe a great debt of thanks – our incredibly hard-working staff. These are the folks who spent all of their waking moments, and many of moments when they should have been sleeping, engaged in vigorously facilitating their students’ growth, entertainment, and well-being.

In fact, I’d like to let their co-leaders (their partners in crime, their better-halves…) sing each others praises. After a summer like this, there are likely few people who know them better!

Maine Coast College Essay (MCCE): Miles “Smiley” & Rhia

Rhia says, “Smiley is an awesome Co because not a day goes by that he doesn’t make sure I’m doing well. Somehow he always knows how to get wherever we’re going and he’s a genius when it comes to college essay ideas.”

Miles says, “Rhia has shown on countless occasions how amazingly selfless and wonderful she is as a leader. Her exceptional organizational skills and attention to detail quickly became integral to the success we had on our trips. She meant the world to the kids because of the dedication and care she demonstrated at all hours of the day, particularly her constant efforts to get to know everyone on a very close, personal level. She put others’ needs before her own without fail, and always did so with a huge, warm smile on her face.”

Rhia & Miles

Cape Cod and the Islands (CI): Alyssa & Kevin

Kevin says, “Alyssa can always find a way to connect with kids, whether it’s playfully engaging them or telling a hilarious story from her past. She always has the group’s best interest in mind and always holds true to herself.”

Alyssa says, “Kevin is always willing to be one of the kids and is a ball of energy. He’s always full of enthusiasm and ready to jump into any given activity with his full spirit!”

Kevin&Alyssa

New England Mountain’s and Coast (NEMC): Aaron “Pom” & Isa

Isa says, “Pom is an amazing co leader because he not only inspires me to hold myself to higher standards and to reach for my dreams, but is so kind. He stands up for himself and those he holds close to his heart and asserts his beliefs, inspiring those around him to be their very best self and supporting them endlessly. To top it off, his goofy dance moves and soft heart bring a sentimental softness at the most special moments that melt my heart.”

Pom says, “Isa has this warm, maternal, and welcoming aura about her that makes leading Apogee trips with her a breeze. It’s hard to think of one adjective the describes accurately how much Isa has meant to me this summer – she is just the most loyal, easy going, and righteous friend I could ask for. I have learned so much from her and with her in our summer together. I’m going to miss her so much this year, but can’t wait to Facetime and cook together.”

Isa&Pom

Vermont to Montreal (VM): Anna & Freddy

Anna says, “Freddy is such a supportive and calming presence, and a fabulous co! I can’t count the number of times he made me laugh this summer. To quote one of our students, ‘Freddy is a special individual.’ He is a spectacular person and I couldn’t have done it without him! Fred was especially great at drawing kids out of their shells and making sure everyone felt included.”

Freddy say, “Anna is a fabulous co! She is charismatic, calm, a wonderful chef, and our kids loved her! She was always willing to give each kid the attention they needed, and was right there to help and support them at any time of day. She is so fantastic!!! And an absolute joy to work with!”

Freddy&Anna

Maine’s Downeast Explorer / Vermont to Montreal / Maine Coast Junior: Jonathan & Jessi

Jessi says, “He’s enthusiastic about learning and teaching, and it makes the kids super excited to learn as well! He’s also always willing to clean the brownie scramble!”

Jonathan says, “Jessi is an amazingly charismatic and caring leader who tries to find the best qualities in everyone she meets. She is incredibly easy to talk to and even after spending a short time with her, you feel like you’ve been her friend your whole life.”

Jessi&Jonathan

California Mountain’s and Coast (CMC): Matt & Midge

Midge says, “Coops is basically my brother at this point: we know each other’s crazy quirks, and sometimes make eye contact during trips when things are crazy and just burst out laughing over how ridiculous and amazing our jobs are. Coops would literally carry a kid up the mountain on his back if needed, and he is the best co I could ask for!”

Matt says, “Clearly amazing, her organization makes our trips run incredibly smooth, she can form connections with any student, and quickly becomes the mama bear of the group.”

Matt & Midge

Caribbean Service Adventure (CSA): Emily “Blau” & Thomas

Thomas says, “Regardless of the challenge, Emily not only rose to the occasion, but conquered whatever issue in extraordinary ways. She was always there for me and our kids, regardless of the time or place. In two short months we went from being awkward Facebook friends to Best Friends, and I’m dreading August 13th, when I have to wake up and not have Blau there to take on the day with me.”

Emily says, “Thomas is the kindest soul, who would go above and beyond to make everyone comfortable – often sacrificing food, his own personal comfort, and his dignity. He is supportive and always knows what type of support to provide, whether through a hug, a bar of chocolate, or a sarcastic comment to make you laugh. I have never bonded with someone as quickly as I have with him and this is totally dependent on his openness, honesty, curiosity, and his true care for the people in his life. It has been the greatest gift to be paired with Thomas this summer. He has changed my life for the better.”

Thomas & Blau

Maine’s Downeast Explorer (DEX): Erinn & John

John says, “Before this summer I have only seen super heros in movies. Little did I know I was going to end up working with one. Selfess at all times, she can, and will, find a way to make those around her happy. Frustratingly good at just about anything, she never accepts a break even after a 24 hour day. She is in fact, Wonder Woman.”

Erinn says, “John is an absolutely fantastic leader and individual. He never ceases to amaze me and all of our kiddos. He is absolutely incredible with every kid. He knows how to be an absolute goof ball who our kiddos respected and admired. He is an inspiration and I feel so lucky to have led and to have gotten to know this summer!!”

John&Erinn

Coast to Quebec (CQA): Kyle & Rosa

Rosa says, “Kyle is an incredibly passionate and knowledgeable leader who is truly in his element when working with kids in the outdoors.As an added bonus, Kyle is a really excellent chef who whipped up some of the most gourmet camp meals I’ve ever had!”

Kyle says, “Rosa’s caring nature really shines through when she leads. She always put our kids first, and it is clear that she would do anything to ensure they had a great summer.”

Apogee Adventures

Coast to Quebec B (CQB): Kate & Zack “Dixie”

Zack says, “Kate’s most wonderful quality is that she has a sharp eye for that little extra something. Whether it’s a night walk or taking a minute to look at the stars when the sky is just right. Kate is there to put the icing on the cake of everyone’s day.”

Kate says, “Dixie is wonderful because he is one of the most genuinely kind people that I know. Whether you’re a stranger or his best friend, he will always make your day better with a hug, a joke, and a kind word.”

Dixie&Kate

Montana Service Adventure (MSA): Annika “Niqs” & Christian

Christian says, “Annika is always thoughtful and goes the extra mile to make sure our students have a wonderful time. Whether it’s getting sprinkles for bagels or ice cream after a long day, she loves to surprise everyone with special treats and clearly thinks carefully about them ahead of time. This is just one way she shows how much she cares for our students and is trying to make this experience one that will be treasured by them forever.”

Annika says, “One of the many things that makes Christian so wonderful is his attention to detail, and his uncanny ability to sing Les Miserable to the kids while biking!”

Christian&Annika

Northwest Explorer (NWX): Becca & Will

Will says, “If you look up selfless in the dictonary, you’d probably find a picture of Rebecca Stamp. The dictionary would also include, ‘see also: epic ray of sunshine.’ When Becca lent out her gloves and they came back sopping wet on a frigid day, no complaints from Becca. When her backpack strap broke after the first 1/2 mile of our backcountry section (because she was carrying at least 3 people’s share of group gear), she just laughed and kept going. She’s my ray of sunshine on a cloudy day, or, more accurately for our conditions, she’s my drop of much needed rain on a dry, dusty, drought-ridden day. She keeps me sane, makes me laugh, our kids adore her, she is my better half.”

Becca says, “Will is a superstar. He always has a positive attitude and cares about everyone in the group more than he cares for himself. His attitude and loving personality stand as a testament to Will’s inspiring character.”

Will & Becca

Pacific Coast A (PCA): Abby & West

West says, “Abby has an incredible ability to connect with anyone, especially kids. Many of the strongest friendships built on our trips this summer were between her and the kids. She was everyone’s supportive shoulder when things got hard, especially mine as her co leader. She was also the loudest cheerleader on the bike, had the biggest smile every early morning wake up, and gave the most thoughtful and poignant reminders to live in, and enjoy, the present moment. Literally my dream co!”

Abby says, “West is my rock, he completes me and reads my mind on an hourly basis. I can give him one look and he knows what I’m saying and he makes me laugh constantly. Especially over tomato soup. He’s the llama’s pajamas.”

Abby & West

 

Pacific Coast B (PCB): Mike & Emily “Sherry”

Sherry says, “Well, SHOOT! Michael is Uh-MAZING! He is so kind and intelligent; always checking in with me and the nuggets to see how we are and takes the time to share all his knowledge! He cares SO MUCH and is always twerking his hardest and pushing himself to be DUH BEST – which he is! He made my summer pure gluten-free MAGIC! #SwagMoneyUnicorns #Oh,WORD!”

Mike says, “One of our students said it best: ‘Every group needs a Sherry.’ For the past summer, I’ve been honored to have the original, the one and only Emily Sherry as my co-leader and friend. Sherry brings an enthusiasm and a fun energy that is nothing short of infectious, and never fails to bring a smile to our faces, or a dance party to our campsite. She is also incredibly well organized (which may be related to her Ziploc bag hoarding) and often has her tent down and is starting to organize group gear at 5 in the morning while I’m still busy being a zombie. She cares so deeply for the group, for each individual student, and has been my support system throughout the summer. In short, I’ll borrow one of Sherry’s favorite words and say: she’s ‘Amaaaaaaaazing’!!!!!”

Mike & Sherry

 

Pacific Coast Support: Alex “Doig”

PC says, “Doig was truly a third leader for us this summer. Every time he appeared at our campsite or lunch spot, the group’s day was brightened. He went above and beyond his expected responsibility on a regular basis, which goes to show his commitment to the groups and his fellow leaders. It was such a privilege for us to work so closely with Doig this summer. We could not have done this summer without Doig Doig aka doigalish aka doigmaster aka doigtron 2000 :) our kids LOVED having him at camp and would sometimes say that getting to see Doig at camp was getting them through the day. He was our rock and he would happily do any job from the smallest to the biggest! We love Doig!!!!”

Apogee Adventures

Alps Explorer A (AXA): Emma & Noah

Noah says, “It’s been pretty need traveling around Europe with Superwoman. Emma really can do it all. She keeps us happy, on schedule, and well fed. Her boundless energy and positivity keep our groups ticking and I can’t imagine this summer without her.”

Emma says, “Hilarious, thoughtful, and spontaneous, Noah takes adventure by storm and leaves only smiles in his wake. He is wonderful and we had the uncanny ability to say the same odd things at the same time.”

NoahEmma

Alps Explorer B (AXB): Ally & Tim

Tim says, “I tend to struggle in the morning, and every day, she’s up and at it with a huge smile and energy that I could never hope to muster. She’s always got my back and we’re always on the same page. I really couldn’t imagine leading with anyone else. She’s somehow able to match my level of insanity and it works so well.”

Ally is at a loss for words.

Tim&Ally

Europe Coast to Coast A (ECCA): Kirk & Jeanne

Jeanne says, “I could not have dreamed of a better co to lead an adventure across Europe with. He is incredibly trustworthy, dependable, hardworking, aware, and inquisitive, all while being goofy, lighthearted, creative, and flexible. On days that were tough, being around Kirk always made my day, and our kids’ days, infinitely better. And on the days that were incredible, I felt so lucky to be able to appreciate them with him. Kirk was not only an incredible co, he was also a wonderful friend to me all summer and I am so very thankful!”

Kirk says, “Where do I even start!? She is the most loving, confident, and supportive person I have ever met. She rolls with the ups, downs, twists, and turns that a trip inevitably throws your way and makes it all feel like it was planned from the start. She brings a smile to everything she does and makes sure that you’re smiling too.”

Jeanne&Kirk1

Europe Coast to Coast B (ECCB): Posie & Postyn

Posie says, “Postyn has the brain of a rocket scientist, the enthusiasm of a puppy, the high-flying fearlessness of a mountain goat, a heart big enough to hold the whole wide world, and a perfect blend of responsibility and fun that is uniquely his own. Post is simply the best!”

Postyn is in Iceland and is also at a loss for words.

Posie&Postyn2

Europe Coast to Coast Support: Nate

ECC says, “Nate was made for support! This guy will show up whenever you call, and would fix any bike issue that we had. He would even bring us fun euro surprises like creative spreads for the group (kiwi jam yummmm) or delicious dark chocolate surprises for us leaders. He is clearly so passionate about bikes, and it was cool to see him share this passion with any of the kids who wanted to learn. Our ECC crews would not have made it to Venice without the help of Nate.”

Apogee Adventures

America Coast to Coast (ACC): Mia & Chris “Opie”

Opie says, “I can’t even begin to express how wonderful, safe, and just plain FUN Mia made this summer… she’s just simply amazing. As one of our kiddos put it, ‘Best Leader Ever’.”

Mia says, “Opie is a humble hero. He can do anything, and he will do anything for anyone, anytime without a fuss and without need for thanks. He embodies the spirit of Apogee.”

Mia & Opie

 

America Coast to Coast Support: Aaron

ACC says, “We couldn’t have gotten across South Carolina, let alone the country, without Aaron’s warmth, energy, and team spirit!”

Aaron Lapkin

 

NE Support: Emily “Sturdy-McDurdy” & Emily “E-O”

E-O says, “Emily truly brings light to the office. After many summers as a student on Apogee trips, she is truly passionate about this company and the experiences we give students. She approaches every project she is given with this passion, and makes those around her believe in Apogee even more. I was so blessed to get to work closely with her and cannot wait to see how amazing she will be as a leader.”

Sturdy-McDurdy says, “Kind, funny, and brave beyond words, Emily has been a true Apogee all-star this summer. She comes into work everyday with a contagious laugh, bringing a ray of light to anyone she talks to. She has become the best co that I could ever ask for.”

Emilys

 

Summer Assistant Directors Extraordinaire: Jack & Izzy

Izzy says, “Jack is one of the greatest leaders I know. He is smart and competent in this incredibly calm and humble way. He also has this enthused and nerdy love of riddles, games, conversation, and life in general that make him an approachable and fun leader. He is sweet and thoughtful and gets people. Because of this he makes every kid feel loved and special and cool about who they are. He is all around so solid. He’s an incredible leader and co-worker as well as the greatest best friend ever.”

Jack says, “Izzy is, without a doubt, the most compassionate person I’ve ever met. She has a limitless supply of genuine love for everyone she meets, so the fact that everyone connects with her and looks up to her is no surprise. She works tirelessly, oftentimes on the most tedious, yet crucial jobs. She’s a worker bee with the heart of a lion. So she’s pretty much like Pegasus. But better.”

Apogee Adventures

 

Assistant Directors Extraordinaire: Hannah & Shem

Shem says, “Hannah is the sun in my morning and the wind in my sails. I honestly can’t conceive of an Apogee without her. She makes me, she makes us all, better. And she does it all with a smile and an amazing ‘Can Do’ attitude. If you want a hint at what makes Apogee so special, take a walk with Han. We’ve all been lucky enough to at some point in our lives, and are forever changed for it.”

Hannah says, “Shem represents nothing less than hard work, dedication, and passion for Apogee and for all those in the Apogee family. Shem picks me up when I’m down, and knows how to read my every emotion. I’m so grateful to have him as a partner, co-worker, and friend. Apogee is so lucky to have him on their team, and we are all better people to know him.”

Hannah & Shem

Day 45: Homeward Bound

By Emily Sturtevant and Hannah Gensheimer

Ahhh! We truly can’t believe it’s August 10th, and almost every single trip is saying their goodbyes today to their “Apo-family” and heading home. We are filled with a mix of bittersweet emotions as our summer quickly comes to an end, and as our groups give their final hugs (all in their snazzy new Apogee shirts).

Cape Cod and the Islands (CI3):

It was a day of goodbyes from bikes, Boston, and beaches. Kevin, Alyssa and their crew had a fantastic final meal out in Boston last night, and they were all sad to leave their new friends. Thanks, all, for a great two weeks!

CI3

New England Mountain’s and Coast (NEMC3):

Our NEMCers are the only group on our blog today not heading home! Yay! Today they spent the day sea kayaking along the coast of Maine. It was 75 degrees and not a cloud in the sky – according to Isa and Pom, it was the perfect day on the water. This afternoon the crew went into Portland to explore the Old Port as a group and enjoy a final meal out on the town.

NEMC3 NEMC3

Vermont to Montreal (VM3):

It was a bittersweet goodbye from Anna and Freddy’s group as they shuttled back from Montreal early this morning. After their two week adventure, these guys aren’t just great bikers, but great friends as well. While it’s hard to leave, we’re sure everyone is looking forward to the comfort of their own bed and a home cooked meal!

VM3

California Mountain’s and Coast (CMC3):

After many days in the California wilderness, our CMC3ers are saying fare-thee well. Yesterday, Matt and Midge’s group spent their last final day in full California style – getting in both some surfing as well as time in San Francisco.

Caribbean Service Adventure (CSA3):

Adios, Puerto Rico! Today our group left the Isla Encantada (the Enchanted Island) to return to the mainland. Thomas and Emily were sad to see the group go, but over a brief two weeks, the group was proud of all they were able to accomplish

CSA3 CSA3 CSA3 CSA3

Maine’s Downeast Explorer (DEX3):

After exploring the best Maine has to offer, including kayaking in Isle au Haut Bay, hiking in Acadia National Park, and summiting Mount Katahdin. The group has turned in their sleeping bags for beds as they head home for lots of laundry and long, hot showers.

DEX3

Montana Service Adventure (MSA2):

Annika and Christian’s group has bid farewell to “Big Sky Country” as they hopped on their planes home. After two weeks of cycling and service, everyone has formed strong bonds and deep friendships through tackling challenges of their dynamic western adventure. We hope everyone had a great trip!

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Northwest Explorer (NWX2):

Last night the group explored around Seattle and cherished their last evening together. Today the group boarded their planes for home, leaving the trip having achieved new heights, experienced spectacular views, and made great friends.

NWX2 NWX2 NWX2

Pacific Coast A (PC2A):

West and Abby are feeling a little blue now that all of their students are on their way home. Having biked three weeks and over 600 miles together, this group left San Francisco with amazing memories and wonderful new friends. This group should be so proud of their huge accomplishment.

PC2ATwo sad leaders missing their kids!

Pacific Coast B (PC2B):

The group celebrated their amazing trip together last night in San Francisco. This group biked the coastlines of Oregon and California, surfed in Crescent City, volunteered at a local food bank and finally made it to their final destination – all in three weeks! Though their farewells are bittersweet, we’re sure everyone is happy to be home.

PC2B PC2B PC2B

Alps Explorer A (AX2A):

Au revoir, arrivederci, and auf wiedersehen! After traveling through France, Italy and Switzerland, these well traveled hikers will be saying goodbye to one another. We hope everyone had an amazing trip and that they are transitioning to the American life again.

IMG_3139

Alps Explorer B (AX2B):

After hiking through three different countries and finishing the Tour de Mont Blanc these explorers are on their way back the U.S.A. Last night they celebrated their incredible accomplishment of hiking over 100 miles with a delicious dinner in Geneva.  We hope the truly incredible photographs they are taking home with them will help them remember their great trip!

Day 44: Big City Adventures

By: Hannah Gensheimer and Emily O’Connell

It’s was a very quiet Sunday here in the Apogee office today as almost every single trip has arrived to their final destination, and the majority of the groups spent their day exploring amazing cities around the world (ahem, Geneva. Ahem, Boston. Ahem, San Francisco. Ahem, Portland. Ahem, Seattle…). This means no more bike shorts, backpacks or hiking boots for many of our kids (unless they so decided to rock their bike shorts around Montreal?). And while the final full day always comes with a little bit of sadness, we know that our students are enjoying their time with new friends that they’ll have for a long time to come. And without further ado, let’s see what some of the crews are up to!

Cape Cod and the Islands (CI3):

After a big breakfast at their hostel this morning, Kevin and Alyssa’s crew headed out to explore Boston. They started their day at Frog Pond in Boston Commons then spent the rest of the day exploring the city. These guys can’t believe that today was their final day together and are celebrating their trip with a dinner out tonight!

CI3 CI3 CI3 CI3

New England Mountain’s and Coast (NEMC3):

This group of New England hikers is out of the water and off the mountains today. For their community service this trip, these guys are working in the community garden for the Mid Coast Hunger Prevention Program here in Brunswick. Tomorrow Isa and Aaron’s group is back on the water for sea kayaking and their final full day together in Portland.

NEMC3

NEMC3A couple 2014 CI-ers with their past leader, Emily!

NEMC3

Vermont to Montreal (VM3):

After a long ride into the city yesterday, these cyclists hopped off their bikes and got to be tourists for the day. They spent the day wondering a beautiful city full of European influenced food and sites. Tonight they will celebrate the ending of their thirteen days together with a dinner out at a restaurant; hopefully they will enjoy some poutine! Here are a couple kids hanging out at the hostel before dinner tonight.

VM3 VM3

California Mountain’s and Coast (CMC3):

Matt and Midge’s group hit the beach today for their surfing lesson. They learned some techniques for carving and then got to all try it out for a few hours. This afternoon the group got to explore the big city of San Francisco. They checked out the ocean life at the piers and then the chocolate at Ghirardelli!

CMC3

Caribbean Service Adventure (CSA3):

For their last full day together, Thomas and Emily’s group left their Vieques casa and headed to Old San Juan where they spent the afternoon exploring a city filled with history. They checked out the 500-year old walls, wandered the winding streets and bought a trinket or two to bring home. Tonight they will celebrate the end of their trip with a dinner out on the town.

CSA3

Coast to Quebec (CQA & B):

Welcome back to the US! Today our Rosa and Kirk and Zack and Kate’s group made their way across the border, south bound this time and headed back to Maine for their trip end. Time flew for these guys, who spent the last 15 days biking along the beautiful Maine coast and then north to Quebec City. We hope you guys all had a great trip!

CQ2BCQ2B looking fly for the last dinner!

Maine’s Downeast Explorer (DEX3):

After conquering Mt. Katahdin, the highest mountain in Maine, these guys can wrap up their trip feeling truly proud of their accomplishments.  Today is these guys last full day together and they will celebrate with an evening in Portland! John and Erinn’s group will spend tonight reminiscing about all the great times they had on their last twelve days together.

DEX3 DEX3 DEX3 DEX3 DEX3

Montana Service Adventure (MSA2):

Welcome to Whitefish, Montana! After cycling hundreds of miles, and volunteering with some amazing individuals throughout the state, our crew gets to explore this incredibly cool western town on foot. After the crew slept in and enjoyed a big breakfast, they spent the day checking out cool shops, enjoying a picnic lunch in the park, and are looking forward to a delicious meal out on the town tonight. Hopefully they’ll get some scrumptious BBQ of the wild, wild west!

MSA2

Northwest Explorer (NWX2):

Becca and Will’s group couldn’t be happier to enjoy their final day exploring Seattle! After a few days on the water, they will be exploring their final day in the land of coffee, hipsters, and rain. However, it’s all sunshine today for this crew, and they are looking forward to taking in the sights and devouring a dinner out tonight. And even though their kayaking portion of their trip is over, they still found a way to get crafty at the local REI.

NWX2

Pacific Coast A (PC2A):

Ahh – nothing like a classic, San Francisco day filled with morning fog, a trip to the Ghirardelli factory, and plenty of time checking out Fisherman’s Wharf. Yes, ladies and gents, after nearly three weeks of riding, it’s safe to say these cycling rock stars have earned an incredible day of sightseeing and a big meal out on the town tonight.

PC2A

Pacific Coast B (PC2B):

It’s PC2B’s final full day as a group, and they’re sure taking advantage of their time together as well as their time in San Francisco. Today the group got to sleep in a little bit before exploring the gorgeous city. They made their way around Fisherman’s Wharf, had a picnic lunch, and they are of course looking forward to dinner out tonight. After an amazing couple weeks, it’ll be a hard, bittersweet goodbye tomorrow.

PC2B PB2B PC2B

Alps Explorer A (AX2A):

Wow – how time flies! We can barely believe it’s Noah and Emma’s last full day with their group. And what better place to spend it than in Geneva. The group took in some of the sights today, including the Palace of Nations, and hung out by the lake where there was a big carnival! Tonight they celebrated their amazing hiking adventure with a delicious meal out tonight.

AX2A AX2A AX2A

Alps Explorer B (AX2B):

With only one day left, these hikers really showed us how to have fun around Geneva! They’ve worked hard over the past 19 days, and now they’re ready to kick their feet up and enjoy the beautiful city. Tonight they dined out and looked back on the adventures they experienced together over the past few weeks.

AX2B AX2B AX2B

Day 43: Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

By: Emily Sturtevant and Hannah Gensheimer

It’s truly hard to believe that it’s Day 43 of our many summer adventures. Where has all of the time gone? Today we said goodbye to some of our new friends on Maine Coast Junior as well as our America Coast to Coast crew. And while we still have many trips out there, our groups are enjoying their final days on the last few days of their travels as well. With a bittersweet sigh, we are here to share pictures from another wonderful day with Apogee.

Maine Coast Junior (MCJ3):

And that’s a wrap! After hiking and biking in Acadia National Park, kayaking in Frenchman Bay, and exploring Portland’s Old Port everyone is heading home to turn in their sleeping bags and tents for beds and hot showers. With new friends and lots of fun stories, we hope everyone had a great time and enjoys the rest of their summer!

MCJ3 MCJ3

New England Mountains and Coast (NEMC3):

Beautiful Maine summer weather for our NEMC crew as they rafted Maine’s Dead River today (which did not, thankfully, live up to its name…). Isa and Aaron’s group got geared up this morning and had a rafting lesson before hitting the water for the afternoon. Tomorrow the group will head south and spend their time working with Mid Coast Hunger Prevention Program where they will help or in the community garden.

NEMC3

Cape Cod and the Islands (CI3):

After enjoying the past week on the Cape, Alyssa and Kevin’s crew is hitting the big city of Boston. The group will have the morning to spend in Provincetown exploring and taking pictures before hopping on a ferry to Bean Town. Tonight and tomorrow the group will take time to walk around as a group before they all head their separate ways.

CI3 CI3

Vermont to Montreal (VM3):

As the group ventured from the quiet, rural farmlands to the hustling and bustling city, Freddy and Anna’s all-star bikers’ excitement grew. They have made it to Montreal and are celebrating the feat that they just accomplished – biking over 200 miles through Vermont and Canada. Everyone will spend today and tomorrow exploring the city and enjoying each other’s company.

VM3 VM3 VM3 VM3 VM3 VM3

Maine’s Downeast Explorer (DEX3):

They came, they saw, they conquered. These hikers have spent they last couple of days in Baxter State Park, seeing the beast that is Mount Katahdin and today they tied up their boots and summited Maine’s tallest mountain. Tonight the group will rest well knowing they completed this amazing adventure before they hit they van to head to south for their final dinner in Portland. We’ll have the pictures to prove it tomorrow!

Caribbean Service Adventure (CSA3):

Another jam-packed day for these tropical do-gooders. This morning the group did their last day of service, spending it working with the Reach for Success students at a local thrift shop that gives proceeds to cancer research. They will spend this evening kayaking in one of the brightest bioluminescent bays in the world together. Tomorrow they will pack up and head pack to the main land for their last dinner together in Old San Juan.

CSA3 CSA3

California Mountains and Coast (CMC3):

Our CMCers are out of the back country and are being welcomed back into civilization today! They had a fairly easy hike this morning to get back to their van, and spent the afternoon transiting out to the California coast where they will spend their next couple of days! Here are some pictures from their past few days.

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Coast to Quebec (CQ2A):

Our CQ2A crew got to spend the entire day off of their bikes exploring the old streets of Quebec City – a city filled with delicious food, great music, and even a Pirate Festival (see pictures below). Kirk and Rosa’s group had a fantastic time today and are celebrating riding all the way to Canada with a delicious meal out on the town!

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Coast to Quebec (CQ2B):

Welcome to Quebec City! And what better way to explore the old French town than with a little bit of local food and plenty of time taking in the city on foot. The group enjoyed the day by exploring in many of the souvenir shops, watching street performers, and consuming some delicious poutine. Zack and Kate tried very hard to get us some pictures from today but struggled to get a WIFI connection strong enough to send them through. We promise great pictures tomorrow!

Montana Service Adventure (MSA2):

Welcome to Whitefish, MSAers! They cycled hundreds of miles, completed numerous hours of community service work, and now they are ready to kick their feet up and enjoy Whitefish. This morning’s ride was a short and fairly easy 29 miles, making it into town for lunch in the park and a final mail stop. Well done, MSA2!

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Northwest Explorer (NWX2):

It was the group’s final day on the water today as they paddled off of Cypress Island today back towards the mainland. They’ve enjoyed 3 gorgeous days kayaking, and will be celebrating their final full day together tomorrow exploring Seattle.

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Pacific Coast A (PC2A):

They made it to the land of Golden Gates, hippies, and steep rolling hills! It was a short 32 miles into San Francisco today, and the group was welcomed into their hostel with mail from friends and family. Congratulations, PC2A, on cycling 600 miles down the gorgeous coastline. It’s time to celebrate!

PC2A

Pacific Coast B (PC2B):

Yippee! They have arrived to San Francisco! Our PC2B group was up early this morning and got into the big city by lunch time. After cycling over 600 miles, the short 37 mile into SF this morning was easy for the strong bikers. They arrived to their hostel and well spend their final full day tomorrow exploring around the city.

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Alps Explorer A (AX2A):

It’s an Apogee record for our AX2A group as they finished the TMB earlier than any group has thus far, completing their 17 km hike by 10:30 AM today! They then caught the train into Geneva to celebrate this amazing accomplishment of finishing the TMB and their incredible European hiking adventure. They will spend their final full day exploring around the city of Geneva, taking in the sights and enjoying a meal out on the town.

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Alps Explorer B (AX2B):

This group has now completed some of the most incredible hikes throughout the Swiss Alps, and this crew has rocked every single one. This morning our AX2B group has a more relaxed morning, exploring some small hikes around Fiesch before taking the train to Geneva. It’s hard to believe it, but tomorrow is the groups last full day together. Time flies when you’re hiking in Europe… or so they say.

AX2B

America Coast to Coast (ACC):

Saying goodbye today is probably one of the most bittersweet days of the summer for many of these guys. Over 2,700 miles, this group has become more than a group of friends, they have become a family. And after 43 days together, this group is saying goodbye and heading home to their real families. We cannot put into words how proud we are of each and every one of you. Thank you for sharing your amazing adventure with us!