By Tim Gruber & His Fellow Extra-Terrestrials (with apologies for all of the Star Wars references you’re about to read…)
In galaxies near and far across the universe, Apogeers are busy hiking, biking, kayak, serving in their local communities and forging friendships through these shared escapades. Rebel spaceships, striking from a hidden base, have won their first victory against the evil Galactic Empire. During the battle, Rebel spies managed to steal secret plans to the Empire’s ultimate weapon, the DEATH STAR, an armored space station with enough power to destroy an entire planet. Woah, sorry my Apogee and Star Wars worlds are clashing, quite common travesty.
Maine Coast Junior (MCJ2): Following a hearty breakfast, our MCJ2ers boarded the Millennium Falcon and zipped over to Mount Desert Island and Acadia National Park – the galaxy they will call home for the next few days. After a few rounds of Mafia (seen below) our fearless leaders, Michael and Jess led our MCJers for an afternoon hike!
“T’was a dark and stormy night when the Mafia came to town…”
Maine Coast College Essay (MCCE1): Our future Pulitzer Prize winners, did a little peer critiquing and editing of their college essays today at Bowdoin’s campus followed by a final dinner in Portland! I think our former Apo Leader Qui-Gon Jinn (and sometime Jedi) said it best when he said “MCCE’s focus (and fun) will determine their reality.” And Eliza and Greg reported, somewhat more coherently, a great afternoon of sharing essays that folks can really be proud of.
“Whether tis nobler in the mind to suffer, the slings and arrows of outrageous…”
“Wait, Anakin Skywalker is….?”
Use the Force – and you can just feeeel all the deep thoughts…
Cape Cod & the Islands (CI2): Our Cape Cod & the Islands group teamed up with Owen and Beru Lars at their farm in Tatooine to do some service work today! Although they did not run into R2-D2, our Grace and Henry’s SpaceRacers got a crash course in sustainable agriculture and ins-and-outs of farm life!
Don’t worry Ma! We put sunscreen on!
New England Mountains & Coast (NEMC1): The Death Star has been destroyed and our NEMC1 battalion drove Imperial forces out just in time to kayak off an island near Tatooine. No better way to spend the second their last day together! Dinner in Portland tonight and goodbyes tomorrow!
“Use the force Luke.”
“Kayak training from a Jedi master.”
Caribbean Service Adventure (CSA2): Sam and Zach took their young Padewons to the rainforest today for some training in trail work, trading light sabers for more appropriate trail maintenance tools. After putting in some serious sweat and hours in the Tanama forests, these Jedi warriors earned their explorations of the valley in the afternoon. This crew is definitely on the “Good” side!
Exploring Tanama Valley!
Vermont to Montreal A (VMA2): Led by fearless Jedi Knights, Ariel and Red, our Vermont to Montrealers continued their trek toward the Canadian border. They biked through Middlebury College, school-year home to several proud Apo leaders!
Maine’s Downeast Explorer A (DEX2A): In the far reaches of space, DEXA has escaped the clutches of the Empire…Unfortunately Luke Skywalker wasn’t able to enjoy the same views as our DEX A group atop Megunticook.
It may have been foggy, but our DEX A doesn’t believe in a no-win scenario.
The Force is strong with this group.
High above Camden, the fog, and the Imperial Forces
Maine’s Downeast Explorer B (DEX2B): While DEXaA took on Megunticook, Princess Lea sent our Shannon, Jared, and their DEXB group on a separate mission to Maiden Cliffs where the sun glimmered oh so brightly on this group!
Instructor Yoda taught some of our girls how to levitate!
Rebel group just outside their base.
Costa Rica Language & Service (CRLS2): One of the most crucial elements of becoming a Jedi involves learning Spanish, which is exactly what our Costa Rica Language and Service trip did this morning in Turrialba! Upon attaining fluency, they strolled through some of the local farms, utilizing their Spanish skills of course, followed by some classic Apogee games!
California Mountains & Coast A (CMCA2): Our CMCAers channeled the Force off the trail, tested their hand at sea kayaking, and became Ninja masters in the process! Looks like our fearless leader Mungy enjoyed some hot sauce with his lunch today!
Jedi Knights prepared to kayak
Seaside dining – How’s that hot sauce taste Dave?
California Mountains & Coast B (CMCB2): We will be hearing from Nick and Jess’ ewok tribe as soon as they emerge from their dwellings in the Giant Sequoias in Calaveras! After hiking amongst these tall trees they will be able to relay all of the “oohs” and “ahhs” once they get back into range of the spaceships. Roger that!
Montana Service Adventure (MSA1): Having given back to the communities of Montana, our Montana Service Adventure completed their final day of biking today and flew into Whitefish! Unfortunately, their Flux Capacitor malfunctioned and they were unable to rewind time and do the trip all over again (that would be sweet)! Tomorrow our Apogeers get to spend their final day exploring the cool little cowboy town of Whitefish!
“The Goon Squad”
Northwest Explorer (NWX1): In the Northwestern reaches of the Galactic Empire’s jurisdiction, our NWXers bid a tearful farewell to Cypress Island. If you’re in need of a seesaw, look no further, our NWXers have the trade covered per their activities last night!
Ack – more space aliens!
Balance looks about right to us…
Pacific Coast A (PC1A): Today was a grand day for both of our PCA groups as they earned their stripes on the last day of biking! If you were on the Golden Gate Bridge today, you may have felt it quake a little bit. No it was not an earthquake, it was our very own Apogeers biking across the Bridge and into San Francisco!
Snacks with a view!
Pacific Coast B (PC1B): “When the lights go down in the city. And the sun shines on the baaaaay. Do I want to be there in my city….” Unfortunately our Journey friends were unable to provide a musical accompaniment for our PCB’s bridge crossing today but I’m sure that tune was vibrating in their ears on this part. Today was also the last day of biking for our PCB group and they will get to explore the lovely city of San Francisco tomorrow!
Scottish Highlands Explorer (SHX1): Long time Apo leader, Chewbacca, met up with our Scottish Highlands explorers group and conducted them via train to Edinburgh for the final days of their trip! Mr. Sun greeted our Scottish friends for the day in the Royal Botanical Gardens! Although the trip may be ending in a few days, they will never take away our….freedom? Friendships? You get the point.
We see you, Matt…
Alps Explorer (AX1): Our Alps explorers are on to the final frontier, Geneva, upon completing the Tour du Mont Blanc today! Upon arrival our Alpine explorers got a nice dinner and spent some time walking around Lake Geneva!
Full circle – back in Trient!
Europe Coast to Coast (ECC): The collective Force and energies of Mia, Tim, Nate and the whole contingent of ECCers is what gives this group their power…get the Star Wars reference? Nancy is a gorgeous city with both “old town” and “new town” areas which create a nice combination of European History! A hilly day of biking isn’t complete without crepes!
America Coast to Coast 1 (ACC1): Traveling at lightning speed this summer, our ACC1ers flew like Anakin in their pods further into Texas today! While the Force may have a strong influence on the weak-minded, making it this far is mighty impressive and our ACC1ers get a well earned rest day tomorrow!
America Coast to Coast 2 (ACC2): You truly do not comprehend the power of the Force until you have a donut stop mid ride. Yesterday our ACC group did some awesome biking! Today our second ACC group biked some more, and tomorrow, you know what they’ll do? Yep! You guessed it! Biking! But hey, how many people can say they biked across the country with a fantastic group of people? Let alone Lucy and Dixie?!
Ain’t no donut like a Dany’s donut!