A Message from the Directors:
Welcome to Apogee’s 18th season! Since the beginning, we have passionately delivered fun, life-changing summer experiences to young people. In the summer of 2019, we will welcome more than 800 students to the Apogee family and run more than eighty 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 many of the thousands of 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 is a Licensed Cycling Instructor with the American League of Bicyclists. Kevin lives in Brunswick, Maine with his wife, Birgitta, and their two young boys, Jack & Sam. Send Kevin an email.
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. Send Chad an email.
Assistant Director Shem Dixon was raised in the fresh air and among the mountain streams of western Maine. A 2011 graduate of Bowdoin College, 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. Send Shem an email.
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. Send Izzy an email.
Assistant Director Jack Messerly, a loyal Minnesotan, 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). Send Jack an email.
Assistant Director Jane Lu’s love of the outdoors was instilled early, as she spent her childhood exploring coastal cliffs, beaches, mountain ranges, and deserts with her family from her hometown of Anaheim Hills, California. Lured east for her educational pursuits, Jane spent the better part of the last 5 years in New York where she studied Linguistics, French, Math, and Russian at Vassar College. At Vassar, Jane was highly involved on campus, singing in an a cappella group, performing in student theater, teaching French to students at a local elementary school, and acting as a founding member of Vassar’s Climbing Team. After graduating in 2017, Jane led our Maine Coast College Essay trip and later joined the Apogee team full-time in the spring of 2018. Jane speaks French, Russian, and Chinese so send her an email to say bonjour, Здравствуйте, or 你好.