A Message from the Directors:
Welcome to Apogee’s 22nd season! Since the beginning, we have passionately delivered fun, life-changing summer experiences to young people. In the summer of 2023, we expect to welcome more than 800 students to the Apogee family and run more than 75 adventure and service trips.
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 2023 is the year you do!
Please join us!
Kevin Cashman, Founder/Director
Chad Olcott, Director
MORE ABOUT OUR YEAR-ROUND TEAM
Assistant Director Miles Bent was born and raised in Virginia’s beautiful Shenandoah Valley, hiking and exploring the Blue Ridge Mountains. A 2017 graduate of Washington and Lee University (W&L, for short), Miles studied Global Politics and English, played varsity soccer, and served as a peer counselor to incoming first-years at the college. Miles was first introduced to Apogee while at W&L, and went on to lead Maine Coast College Essay in 2015, Pacific Coast in 2017, Europe Coast to Coast in 2018, and Vermont to Montreal in 2021. Before joining Apogee’s full-time team in January of 2022, Miles spent his previous four years in Washington, DC, where he worked as a cybersecurity consultant, a bartender and as a Program Manager at a youth outdoor education non-profit. When he’s not at the office you can find him running with his dog, biking, hiking, snowboarding, reading, or playing board games with anyone who will put up with his competitiveness. Send Miles an email.
Assistant Director Claudia Bueermann was raised all over the country, most recently calling the Pacific Northwest her home. A graduate of Whitman College, Claudia (who also happily goes by “Clouds”) majored in Anthropology and Geology. Outside of her coursework at Whitman, Claudia mastered the art of outdoor trip logistics by working as a trip coordinator and leading rafting, backpacking, and cross-country skiing trips for the Outdoor Program. Claudia has since lent her talents to places beyond Whitman, working as a river guide in Idaho and Oregon and in the rich wine industry in Walla Walla, Washington. Most recently, Claudia worked for NOLS at their river base located in Vernal, Utah before joining the Apogee team full time in May of 2021. When not working, she is most likely out climbing, skiing, knitting, or picking up cool looking rocks saying “wait, but look at this one!” Send Claudia an email.
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. He lives in Brunswick, Maine with his wife, Birgitta, and their two boys, Sam & Jack. Send Kevin an email.
Associate 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, eighteen itineraries, and eight hundred students. Send Shem an email.
Enrollment and Administration Specialist Laura Girr grew up in Southern Maine and attended the University of Maine at Orono where she studied German and Spanish. Laura spent many years teaching World Languages courses to high school students, and in the early years of her career, used her summers to lead language immersion and educational trips in Europe. Seeing the promise of technology as a communication tool to connect her students with real world language practice, Laura pursued a Masters in Educational Technology at Lesley University, and transitioned to a job as a Technology Coordinator and Integrationist. Laura has two grown children who are rock stars (one literally, one figuratively): Mia, an eighth grade social studies teacher, and Drew, a musician. Mia was a two-time Apogee student and later went on to lead for Apogee for six summers, solidifying her status as an “Apogee Legend.” Laura recently moved to Brunswick and is excited for the opportunity to spend more time with the hard-working, fun-loving Apogee staff and leaders.
Associate Director Jack Messerly, a loyal Minnesotan, grew up fishing and playing pond hockey with his family near the Twin Cities. Jack attended Hamilton College where he studied math, captained the Men’s Rugby team, spent a semester adventuring in New Zealand, and led wilderness pre-orientation trips for incoming first-year students. He spent three summers in the field with Apogee, leading four different trips (New England Mountains & Coast, Maine’s Downeast Explorer, California Mountains & Coast, and Alps Explorer) before joining the full-time Apogee team in 2015. Now, Jack lives in Brunswick with his wife (and former Apogee Assistant Director), Izzy, and the newest member of the Apogee family: their son, Tucker. When he’s not coordinating Apogee’s Staff Recruiting or hiking with his family, you can probably find Jack studying poker theory or cooking up something tasty in the kitchen. Send Jack 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 sits on the board of directors at Paradox Sports, a non-profit dedicated to transforming lives and communities through adaptive climbing opportunities. Send Chad an email.
Associate Director Will Robertson grew up in the city of St. Paul, Minnesota before heading east to study music composition at Hamilton College. When he wasn’t roaming the halls of Hamilton’s music department, Will spent his college years running with the cross country team and working for the Hamilton Outdoor Leadership Program. After college, Will spent three years in the Twin Cities running his freelance music business, singing in a professional choir, and coaching high school track and Nordic skiing. Each year, he would put these jobs on hold in the summer in order to lead trips with Apogee (first our Caribbean Service trip, then Northwest Explorer, and finally Alps Explorer). Will joined the full-time Apogee team in the spring of 2017, where he works on risk management matters and coordinates Apogee’s Trip Leader Training. Will lives in Brunswick, Maine with his wife, Mackenzie, and their two cats (Merry and Pippin, in case you were wondering…). Send Will an email.
Assistant Director Andi Schweers grew up in the cornfields of rural Illinois before setting off to seek mountains and adventure. After graduating from the University of Colorado – Boulder with a degree in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology in 2013, Andi spent time moving through careers in professional hockey, hospitality/coffee shop management, before settling in the outdoor industry. Before joining Apogee in the fall of 2021, Andi spent five years coaching competitive climbing and working as the manager of the Alaska Rock Gym in Anchorage. While in Alaska, Andi also spent time as an ice climbing guide with Exit Glacier, where she guided a number of our Alaska Mountains & Coast groups during their day on the glacier. When not at work, Andi spends most of her time climbing, skiing, and reading book after book. Send Andi an email.