One of the fundamental goals of our program is to create a sense of community at every level: For students on each of our trips, among our summer staff, in our year-round office team, and throughout the greater Apogee community, past and present.
- The Apogee Family: We hope every Apogee student, family, and staff member feels a sense of belonging within their Apogee Family, which is why we create small, supportive groups. These close-knit groups foster genuine connections and create friendships that stretch beyond the end of trips, often lasting a lifetime.
- Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI): We believe that the more perspectives and experiences we have in each of our groups, the richer and more meaningful our community will be. This is why we are committed to making Apogee a more diverse, inclusive, accessible, and welcoming space – for our families, students, and staff, alike. We recognize that outdoor-focused organizations have historically existed in a largely homogenous and exclusive space – and that these issues won’t be fixed overnight. In order to increase our own inclusivity and accessibility, we’re starting with small, tangible actions: from partnering with organizations to provide scholarships and remove socio-economic barriers in order to allow students of all backgrounds to participate on our trips, to making our staff hiring process more inclusive and accessible. For more, we invite you to explore our blog post that dives deeper into our DEI initiatives.
We believe there is room for every student to build confidence through a variety of challenges. Our itineraries are varied, and welcome all experience levels and abilities.
- Achievable Challenge: We believe in “achievable challenges.” In other words, we believe students with a range of experiences and backgrounds should be able to explore the outdoors. Most of our trips require little to no previous outdoor experience to participate; but what they do require is persistence and a willingness to challenge yourself.
- A Trip for Everyone: From backpacking to photo editing, from tropical community engagement to ice climbing, and from bicycle touring to essay crafting, each of our itineraries has its own goals, ranging from physical, cultural, to emotional, and each itinerary will impact individual students in unique ways.
Fostering a Love for the Outdoors
We believe that providing an opportunity for young people to explore the natural world will foster a deep connection to the greater environment. Whether that means a bioluminescent paddle in Puerto Rico, a sunrise hike up Acadia’s Cadillac Mountain, or exploring a grove of old growth sequoia in California, we know these types of experiences can instill a sense of appreciation, curiosity, and accountability for the world around us.
- Environmental Stewardship: We are committed to doing our part with regard to responsible recreation. We work to educate our students and staff so they might continue stewardship long after their Apogee experience. Through our hands-on community service projects and the practice of Leave No Trace principles in every group, we are working to mentor and empower the next generation of environmental stewards. Our Environmental Stewardship Initiatives blog post dives more deeply into these important issues, too.
- Acknowledging Our Forebears: As we explore and engage with beautiful places across the world, we’re committed to learning about the history of these lands. For example, our headquarters in Brunswick, Maine, sits on territory historically and presently occupied by the Wabanaki Confederacy, who stewarded this land for generations before us. Moving forward, we plan to incorporate additional historical and education components into each of our programs by providing our staff with tools to respectfully acknowledge those who have come before us.