Day 2: And They’re Off!

By: Annika Nygren

After four exciting trip starts yesterday, we are thrilled to announce the start of seven (that’s right SEVEN) more trips today! Our leaders have hit the roads, airports, hostels and campgrounds to gather their students and begin their travels across the Cape, Maine, Vermont, California, Puerto Rico, Montana, Washington, South Carolina and… drumroll please… the Swiss Alps!!! Woof, that was a mouthful. Let’s check in with all of our leaders and see how the first 24 hours in the field are going.

Cape Cod and Islands (CI): Down in Cape Cod every member of the first trip has arrived safely and leaders Emily and Will have wasted no time jumping into activities and name games. Here they are all lined up with their bikes in preparation for their first ride to the campground!

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New England Mountains and Coast (NEMC): Matt (also known as Cooper or Coops) and Midge are rounding up their students in Weston, MA to prepare for their drive to New Hampshire where they’ll set up camp and cook their first dinner together. Here they are flexing their muscles in preparation for the big ropes course challenge tomorrow morning!IMG_1770

Vermont to Montreal (VM): This group was fully united last night and woke up early this morning for an almost 20 mile ride to their second campsite. The report from the field is that their legs are feeling much better after a dip in some fresh water this afternoon! Here they are post-ride pre-swim.IMG_6616

California Mountains and Coast (CMC): Today this group will be starting their two-day, two-night sea-kayaking adventure on Point Rays National Sea Shore! Luckily another boat will be helping to transport gear and food to their campsites because with two people to a kayak, those things are TIGHT! Nothing our Apogee students can’t handle, though.


 Learning from their instructors the ultimate paddling techniques to best propel them forward for the next 48 hours.


Ready to ROCK.


and they’re off!

Caribbean Service Adventure (CSA): It’s the first full day on trip and our students are already working hard in the Hacienda Verde rain forests doing service. They slathered on sunscreen and their work pants are already caked with dirt… exactly what we like to see and hear! The word on the street is that they have already started making plans for their final mural project… We are looking forward to seeing that in a couple of weeks.

Montana Service Adventure (MSA): Leaders Hannah (Montana… sorry, it was just too easy!) and Chris finally have the whole group together and have been playing games in the airport, getting their energy flowing for their first day of riding tomorrow. Below Chris is with an almost complete MSA family:


Here’s the whole crew in sunny, sunny Bozeman!


Check out those mountains… Wowza Montana.

Northwest Explorer (NWX): Izzy and John’s crew has just assembled in Seattle, they’re happily en route to their campground for the evening.  They’ll share their first dinner as a group tonight, and will get on the road to the Olympics tomorrow!  Here are two shots of the crew getting acquainted with the van! IMG_0105



The gang’s all here!

Pacific Coast (PC): Trevor and Matt are busily organizing gear while Kate and Jeanne wait with some students in the Eugene airport for the rest of the PC students to touch down. Everyone is looking forward to the first night in their tents this evening, perhaps they’ll watch the sunset over the ocean. How nice does that sound?


Leaders Trevor and Matt and PC support staff Christian (as pictured from left to right) loading up the gear for a wild 20 days ahead!


I spy a camelbak… that means somebody’s hydrating! Good move.


And of course, a little warm-up “Wah!” at the airport.

Alps Explorer (AX): Bonjour from Switzerland! We just got a call from leaders Jack and CC saying that everyone has arrived safely and the group is together getting ready to make some fresh tracks on Apogee’s first ever Alps Explorer! Unfortunately they are without internet today, but expect to send us an email with pictures tomorrow. Have no fear, our trailblazers are here (well, technically across the Atlantic Ocean but that didn’t rhyme). Prepare to be jealous of their snow-capped mountain views… it is going to be epic.

America Coast to Coast (ACC1): Leader Josh taking center stage with their campground host in this group photo! Be sure to note the Captain America jersey sported on the right… this group plans to pass it around to their “biggest kudos” recipient each night after A&Ps*. That means said student (or leader!) will get to wear it for the entirety of the ride the next day.


“Avenger’s Assemble!”

IMG_6607The first (of many) early morning rides! Georgia Bound.

Day Two: Complete. Looking forward to another round of trip starts happening all day tomorrow! Based on the photos and messages we have already seen and heard from our trip leaders, it’s going to be another amazing Apogee summer. Tent talks, bike bonding and huge hikes galore! We can’t wait.

*A&P, or “Apogee and Perigee” are a daily Apogee tradition. Each night, every member of the group shares the high point of their day (the apogee) and the low point (the perigee). This is an awesome way for our groups to check-in and come together. This is followed by “major kudos” where a student is selected as recipient for things such as: strong efforts that day, being a big help at camp, or even bringing up the groups energy with a funny joke or story.