The difference between a good summer program and an exceptional summer program is the quality of its leaders. We know this and we take the time to recruit leaders who are responsible, compassionate, inspiring, and fun. Our leaders love working with kids and they love the outdoors. Students look up to our leaders as role models, and overwhelmingly rate them as excellent.

  • Apogee selectively recruits trip leaders from prestigious liberal arts colleges and universities.
  • We look for individuals with outstanding leadership skills and wide-ranging experience working with young people in the outdoors.
  • Every applicant fills out a detailed application and is carefully interviewed, in person, by our directors.
  • We check references thoroughly and perform a full background check (SORI, CORI, and when applicable, driving record) before offering any position.
  • Our leaders are a minimum of twenty years old. Most are between 21 and 26.
  • Leader training takes place over the course of an intensive, ten day-long program at Apogee’s headquarters in Brunswick, Maine. We work with our leaders both in the classroom and in the field to cover everything from safety and group dynamics to trip logistics and outdoor skills. Leaders also spend time reviewing student applications so they are familiar with each individual in their group before the start of their trip. By the end of their training, leaders are well prepared to safely and effectively lead their group on the adventure of a lifetime.
  • All of our leaders are CPR, First Aid/Wilderness First Responder, and Lifeguard certified at a minimum. Many hold higher certifications.
  • Apogee enjoys a very high leader return rate. Many veteran leaders return for multiple summers.

Read more below about some of our outstanding Trip Leaders.

To learn more about leading for Apogee, CLICK HERE.

Red GiulianoRed Giuliano, Milan, Italy
Cornell University, Class of 2018

Trips as a Leader:
Vermont to Montreal ’16

Red Giuliano comes to Apogee with citizenship in not just one, but three countries (USA, Italy & Switzerland)! Red spent the first 13 years of his life in Milan, Italy, with his American mother, Italian father, and younger brother. From there, Red moved to Portland, Oregon where he perfected his English before his mother’s work took the family to Manila, Philippines when Red was 16. Red was extremely active at his school, the International School of Manila, as well as in his local community. In Manila, he broke two school records while captaining the track team. He also spent time at the Philippine Institute for the Deaf working with students to overcome communication challenges. Red had an opportunity to work with kids between the ages of 7 and 16 when he taught basic English and Math to refugees at the ABS-CBN Eco Village, a center for families affected by the explosion of Mt. Pinatubo, a Philippine volcano. Red is a Junior at Cornell University and is majoring in Economics. When Red isn’t working on a cost/benefit analysis, he’s highly involved with Cornell Outdoor Education and Outdoor Odyssey, Cornell’s outdoor orientation program for incoming Freshmen. Red has led numerous trips for students at Cornell, including multiple lake and river canoe camping trips. Fluent in Italian, English and Spanish, Red is truly a man of the world.

Emily Hoffman

Emily Hoffman, New York, NY
St. Lawrence University, Class of 2018

Trips as a Student:
Cape Cod & the Islands ’11, Caribbean Service Adventure ’12, Montana Service Adventure ’13, Europe Coast to Coast ’14

Trips as a Leader:
Coast to Quebec ’16

Coming to us from the bustling streets of New York City, Emily Hoffman is well-versed in all things Apogee. Emily spent four summers with us as a student – she biked on Cape Cod and across Montana and Europe. She also spent time with us in Puerto Rico volunteering on service projects. As a Junior at St. Lawrence University, Emily’s passion for the outdoors has truly blossomed. During her Sophomore fall, Emily took part in SLU’s “Adirondack Semester,” a program that took her entirely off the grid for three months, foregoing technology and running water in exchange for a better understanding of how to live simply. Back on campus, Emily studies Environmental Sociology and lives in the “Women’s Resources Center,” a house dedicated to creating a safe environment for women to find a healthy, supportive community on campus. Emily is passionate about service and working with youth. During her senior year in high school Emily traveled to Guatemala with the “Safe Passage” organization and worked with local students teaching English and the sport of lacrosse.  Beyond her travels to Guatemala and with Apogee, Emily has been to France, Italy, London and Mexico.

Will RobWill Robertson, St. Paul, MN
Hamilton College, Class of 2014

Trips as a Leader:
Caribbean Service Adventure ’14, Northwest Explorer ’15, Alps Explorer ’16

Will Robertson is a 2014 graduate of Hamilton College, and grew up in the city of St. Paul, Minnesota. The outdoors have always been a major part of Will’s life – he began Nordic skiing at a young age, and spent many summer weekends camping and canoeing near his family’s rustic cabin on the banks of the Mississippi. A man of many interests, Will has always been very involved in the performing arts. He was a Music major at Hamilton with a concentration in music composition. Will applied this knowledge and his love for music to his passion for working with kids. Before working for Apogee, Will spent many summers as a counselor at a children’s music camp in the Twin Cities. In the summer of 2013, he worked full time as a Music Teacher and Youth Mentor at a non-profit in Boston, giving lessons to students that would otherwise lack the finances to participate. During his time at Hamilton, Will was also very involved in college’s Outing Club. In 2012, he was an Assistant Director in charge of hiring and training student leaders to lead wilderness, pre-orientation trips for incoming Hamilton Freshmen. When not leading for Apogee, Will lives in St. Paul, and works as a freelance music composer and Nordic ski coach.

Abby DalzellAbby Dalzell, Newton, MA
Williams College, Class of 2016

Trips as a Leader:
Vermont to Montreal ’14, Pacific Coast ’15, America Coast to Coast ’16

Abby Dalzell is a 2016 Williams College graduate. Originally from Newton, Massachusetts, Abby is driven by a passion for the outdoors and working with children of all ages. Abby grew up spending her summers in rural Sweden, Maine, boating, hiking, and playing on the lake with her ten cousins. As one of the oldest cousins in her family, Abby learned early on what it means to be a mentor and a role model. By the time she was in high school, she was coaching both tennis and soccer for elementary school kids – teaching various athletic skills and fostering a positive and fun environment. At Williams, Abby was a co-founder of Williams’ Nordic Ski Club, and during her sophomore year she was involved in a program for troubled teenage boys at the Berkshire Farm Center. Before her senior year, Abby took on an enormous responsibility and co-directed Williams’ entire Pre-Orientation Outdoor Program, hiring and training new leaders and managing 38 different trips.

Tim HuntTim Hunt, Oakland, CA
Bowdoin College, Class of 2014

Trips as a Leader:
California Mountains & Coast ’12, Pacific Coast ’13, Alps Explorer ’15, Europe Coast to Coast ’16

Tim Hunt’s diverse interests range from hiking to neuroscience to cycling to white-water kayaking to Renaissance a cappella music – and pretty much everything in between. Tim hails from Oakland, California, where he was a member of the Pacific Boychoir Academy for eleven years. With this world-renowned group of singers, Tim toured through Italy, France, the Czech Republic, Brazil, Argentina, South Africa and China. Tim is a 2014 Bowdoin College graduate, where he double-majored in Neuroscience and French. While at Bowdoin, Tim played trombone in the Jazz Combo, ran for both the Varsity Cross Country and Track teams, and satisfied his passion for the outdoors by spending weekends on skiing and hiking trips with the Outing Club. Tim spent his Junior semester abroad in Paris where he sang with an a cappella group he co-founded, and picked up useful French phrases such as “Yes, I am planning to eat both of those baguettes.” And in case you didn’t think his adventuring credentials are in order, we’re happy to tell you that Tim has hiked both the Pacific Crest Trail (2,600 miles from Canada to Mexico) and all 2,200 miles of the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine!

Becca StampRebecca “Becca” Stamp,
Cornell University, Class of 2017 

Trips as a Leader:
Northwest Explorer ’15, Alps Explorer ’16

The sixth of eight siblings (yes – eight!), Becca Stamp hails from Cranston, Rhode Island, where her large family runs a small farm. Becca spent years working with her family on the farm where she learned the value of hard work and honed her phenomenal interpersonal skills. While she is as good as it gets with a gourd, Becca has excelled academically and athletically, as well. Becca served as Captain of her high school’s Cross Country team and took a real interest in outdoor education when she started college. A Senior at Cornell University where she majors in Communications, Becca has made the cultivation of her outdoor leadership skills a true focal point of her education. She serves as a leader for Cornell’s wilderness‐based pre‐orientation program and, additionally, as a facilitator at Cornell’s outdoor‐oriented Team and Leadership Center.

Zack DixZack Dix, Palmyra, NY
Hamilton College, Class of 2015

Trips as a Leader:
Coast to Quebec ’15, Maine Coast Junior ’15, America Coast to Coast ’16

A native of Palmyra, New York, Zack Dix graduated from Hamilton College in upstate New York in 2015 with a degree in Environmental Studies. Zack grew up in a supportive and active family that spurred his love of sports and adventure. As a result, Zack has a healthy curiosity about the world around him and a deep love for the outdoors – a love that prompts him to stop at every summit and vista he reaches to “take it all in.” Zack’s positive energy and strong sense of community have landed him leadership and teaching positions over the years. He worked at a summer camp for kids on Lake Placid that aimed to emphasize the importance of being in touch with nature and reducing dependence on technology. In addition, Zack has led several wilderness-based hiking trips for incoming freshmen through Hamilton’s outstanding Adirondack Adventure pre-orientation program. During his time at Hamilton, Zack was an active member of the Swim team, Captain of the Water Polo team, and Chairman of the farmers guild for the student farm on campus. His passion for the environment and connection to nature took him to Reykjavik, Iceland where he studied Renewable Energy Economics, Policy, and Sustainability during the 2015/2016 academic year.

Emily BlauEmily Blau, Los Angeles, CA
Dickinson College, Class of 2015

Trips as a Leader:
Caribbean Service Adventure ’15, Costa Rica Language & Service ’16

Los Angeles native Emily Blau is, to say the least, a world traveler. Emily’s passion for travel was sparked at an early age as Emily and her parents traveled every summer to various locations throughout the world including Denmark, Russia, Estonia, Italy, and Finland. These trips were nothing short of cultural immersions as they stayed in local homes, hostels, and campgrounds rather than in hotels. Her travels didn’t stop there and by the time Emily was 20, she had traveled to all seven continents! Emily’s love for travel coincided perfectly with her love for learning and foreign aid. Emily has participated in community service trips to Dominica, Senegal, and Indonesia. As a 2015 graduate of Dickinson College, it comes as no surprise that Emily graduated with a degree in International Studies with a focus on Globalization and Sustainability. Emily currently resides in Costa Rica, where she is pursuing her Master’s degree in Sustainable Development with a specialization in Social Entrepreneurship at the SIT Graduate Institute.

Chandler SmithChandler Smith, Yarmouth, Maine
Colby College, Class of 2018

Trips as a Leader:
Vermont to Montreal ’16

Although Chandler Smith’s family now resides in Yarmouth, Maine, he and his family spent a fair amount of time living abroad. Along with extended stints in England and Poland, they called Melbourne, Australia home for six years where Chandler played cricket and quickly developed a hybrid American-Australian accent (which he has sadly since retired). Chandler has completed multi-day whitewater rafting trips, covered a variety of terrain by foot in Scotland and the US, and spent two weeks camping, climbing glaciers, and hiking in New Zealand. A Junior at Colby College, Chandler is very active on campus, where he is a member of Class Council, engaged in student government, and serves as a peer mentor. Chandler leads pre-orientation trips for incoming freshmen and also serves as a youth mentor in the Waterville, ME community. Chandler has spent the last six summers splitting his time as a camp counselor and coaching youth soccer – a job he’s well qualified for as a member of the semi-professional soccer team, the Portland Phoenix! While athletics are a major part of Chandler’s life – he is on the varsity Colby’s Men’s Soccer team and is an Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach at the college – he is a passionate, self-described “shameless dancer.”

Midge CrossMary “Midge” Cross, Center City, MN
Tufts University, Class of 2016

Trips as a Leader:
New England Mountains & Coast ’14, California Mountains & Coast ’15, Scottish Highlands Explorer ’16

A 2016 graduate of Tufts University where she dual majored in Environmental Science and Philosophy, Mary “Midge” Cross is an Apogee all-star! Midge grew up in rural Minnesota, “running around in cornfields and playing lots of ice hockey.” When it came time to think about college, she decided to leave the cornfields of Minnesota and head east to Boston. During her four years on campus, Midge took part in a plethora of activities – from her involvement with BEATS (Tufts’ street percussion group) to leading trips for the Tufts Mountain Club and Tufts’ Wilderness Orientation. Midge spent the spring of 2015 studying and exploring in Ghana where she followed her passions for culture and music. While in Ghana, Midge focused on cultural transformation studies, and learned more about Ghanaian drumming and dance. Her Ghanaian musical skills definitely came in handy back at Tufts where Midge was an integral part of a West African music and dance ensemble. On top of it all, Midge is very easy-going, and has a great sense of humor. Whether on the trails or on the dodge ball court, Midge is impossible not to get along with!

Matt CooperMatt Cooper, Sewickley, PA
Boston University, Class of 2016

Trips as a Leader:
New England Mountains & Coast ’14, California Mountains & Coast ’15, Scottish Highlands Explorer ’16

Hailing from Sewickley, Pennsylvania, Matt Cooper is a 2016 graduate of Boston University where he studied Bio-Medical Engineering while enrolled in the Air Force’s ROTC program. Matt comes from a very close-knit family, and spent much of his time in high school lifeguarding and volunteering for a Pittsburgh-based organization called the Center for Hope, where he helped tutor and mentor underprivileged youth. At BU, Matt was involved in many activities on campus – he joined the Triathlon team, worked in a neuroscience lab, and served on the board of a campus-based community service group that focuses on giving back to the greater Boston area. On top of all of this, Matt found time to create and run a group called Boston University Baja which designs and manufactures single seat, off-road vehicles and competes with them on a national level. Matt loves to be outside and chase his adventurous side! He is a PADI Advanced Open Water Diver, and has used his certification to explore some beautiful areas around the Florida Keys. Matt currently lives in Australia, working at a local scuba diving operation and training to become a dive master.

Mia Taggart, Freeport, MEApogee Adventures Leader Mia Taggart
Bates College, Class of 2015

Trips as a Student:
Pacific Coast ’07, Coast to Quebec ’08

Trips as a Leader:
Coast to Quebec ’12, Pacific Coast ’13, Northwest Explorer ’13, Europe Coast to Coast ’14, America Coast to Coast ’15, Europe Coast to Coast ’16

Mia Taggart is an Apogee legend! Not only has Mia spent six summers as an Apogee staffer, but before her record-breaking stint as a leader, Mia got to know Apogee as a teenager when she participated in our Pacific Coast and Coast to Quebec trips in 2007 and 2008. Between high school and college, Mia took a gap year and taught art classes at Safe Passage, an organization dedicated to improving the lives of the at‐risk children whose families live off of the Guatemala City dump. Mia attended Bates College and graduated in 2015 with a degree in Sociology and Education. While at Bates, tutored Somali students in the local Lewiston school disctrict to help them learn English. After graduating, Mia worked for an educational non‐profit in Washington, D.C. where she taught Civics to students from all over the country, using the sites of the national capital as her classroom. It’s of no surprise after all this experience that  Mia is now a History teacher at a Washington, D.C. middle school. A woman of wide, deep interests, Mia loves to sing, cook, sculpt, ski, bike, and hike.

Spencer WuestSpencer Wuest, Quebec City, Canada
Bowdoin College, Class of 2018

Trips as a Leader:
Pacific Coast ’16

A dual-citizen of Canada and the United States, world traveler Spencer Wuest grew up in Quebec, Canada with his parents and beloved dog. During his high school years, Spencer crossed the border and headed south to attend St. Paul’s School in Concord, New Hampshire. Spencer’s summers in high school were spent working for Camp Cyclo Immersion where he led bike trips around the Eastern Townships of Quebec. (Hint, hint: Spencer is fluent in both English and French!) While on trips, Spencer honed his bike maintenance skills and led nightly games and activities for his campers. His thirst for adventure has taken him to a wide variety of locations around the world. His love for skiing and hiking has sent him to the peaks of the Rocky Mountains and the European Alps as well as to the countries of China, Thailand and New Zealand. Spencer is now a Junior at Bowdoin College, double-majoring in Government and Psychology. Outside of his studies, Spencer can be found on the rugby fields playing on Bowdoin’s club team, or thoughtfully writing for the college’s international affairs magazine.