Day 21: Harry Potter and the Summer of Apogees

“It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities” – Albus Dumbledore 

Today, we decided to give our Harry Potter fans a treat, because we know first-hand that the Apogee experience is ~magical~. And for everyone else, Happy Friday! We hope you learn a few things about Harry Potter, and if you somehow haven’t read the books or watched the movies, you’ve got to get on that ASAP!

Before we fly into each trip, did you know that the brooms in Harry Potter were crafted from airplane-grade titanium? Pretty cool, right? 


Maine Coast Junior (MCJ)

Time flies when you are having fun (stay tuned for a joke)! Today is MCJ’s last full adventure with community service in the morning and exploring Brunswick in the afternoon! 

How much does it cost to see Harry Potter fly a broomstick?

About a quid each. (Get it? Like Quidditch? We thought it was hilarious.)


Cape Cod & the Islands (CI)

CI’ers biked over, played in the waves, and saw some seals (!) at Marconi Beach – did you also think it said Macaroni Beach? That would be cool and if anyone knows if that exists, please let us know! Marconi Beach is named after Guglielmo Marconi, who completed the first-ever transatlantic wireless communication between the United States and England. Us wizarding folk just stick with owls, the best wireless communication system!



Wowza, Meg!

New England Mountains & Coast A (NEMCA)

We have a fellow Potterhead on our staff, and Anna said that NEMCA was “witching away on the river!” After whitewater rafting in Androscoggin, they were treated to a celebratory cookout. Another tasty tidbit: although most of the food that appeared in the Harry Potter movies was made from painted resin, there were plenty of edible items in the mix for the feast scene in “Goblet of Fire.” Wow! They head back to the coast tomorrow for kayaking – have so much fun! 


New England Mountains & Coast B (NEMCB)

Prefects (aka leaders) Savannah and Giuseppe led their NEMCB group on a nice morning hike, followed by a dip at a swimming hole. Sunscreen mode activated! If we were to guess which group would play quidditch, it would definitely be NEMCB. New Hampshire supposedly is the best place for it! Tomorrow they will enjoy some whitewater rafting and hopefully another beautiful day like today.

Swimming hole selfie!

Pics from yesterday!

Ooo ahh look at those views from the day before!

Colorado’s Rocky Mountains (CRM)

Today, CRM whitewater rafted through the mountains and valleys of Fort Collins in Rocky Mountain National Park on the Cache la Poudre. The Cache la Poudre is Colorado’s only nationally-designated Wild and Scenic River, crowned by the U.S. National Park Service. Did they use the Impervius spell, which makes an object waterproof? Not sure, but we are sure they will have a GRAND time exploring Boulder tomorrow!


Caribbean Service (CS)

This stellar crew helped out a small farm in Lares with gardening today. The farm collaborates with a local school that focuses on teaching the local Taino population English, and reinforcing and preserving their cultural practices. The students enjoyed the hard work outside and are excited for their first beach afternoon today! By looking in the crystal ball, I foresee surfing in their future – how exciting! Keep up the great work CS!


Maine Coast College Essay (MCCE)

Let us all bid farewell to our articulate and eloquent writers (Are those words they used? Did I google them?) We hope you are so proud of all your hard work, and we can’t wait to come to your book signings in the near future. As Hermione Granger would say, “Sonorus!” For our non-Potterheads, “sonorus” means to magically magnify one’s voice, which we know without a doubt MCCE did.


Maine’s Downeast Explorer (DEXA)

DEXA went hiking in Acadia today, where they likely saw tons of birds like eagles, falcons, or owls flying above them. Speaking of owls, here’s a hoot: Four different owls played Harry’s bird, Hedwig throughout the movies! Off to Cadillac Mountain tomorrow, as they begin to prep and train for their big Appalachian Trail backcountry portion.

Posing in front of beautiful Jordan Pond!

Hiking up Penobscot Mountain


Maine’s Downeast Explorer (DEXB)

Bloody brilliant! The sun conquered the forecasted thunderstorms! Jack and Kaia and their sorcerers enjoyed a morning hike to summit Mount Megunticook, followed by a refreshing dip at a lovely beach in Camden. What characters do we think our leaders most resemble? While we think about that, did you know Hermione Granger’s name was taken from Shakespeare’s “The Winter’s Tale”?



Costa Rica Mountains & Coast (CRMC)

Knowing that our CRMC’ers are continuing to use their bilingual abilities today, we thought we’d give you this fun fact: Did you know that the Harry Potter books have been translated into about 80 different languages?! Maeve and Finnegan gave us the inside scoop on today’s fun: “A quick jaunt through Manuel Antonio National Park introduced us to basilisks [magical serpents from HP], sloths, iguanas, howler monkeys, various lizards and crabs, and a white tailed deer! Now we’re off to Savegre and the mountains!”



California Mountains & Coast (CMC)

CMC’s day started with community service and followed with resupplying and prepping for the backcountry. Tomorrow they head to the wonders of Yosemite, so we know they dream of Half Domes and El Caps tonight. Sleep tight CMC and enjoy the flora and fauna, especially the ancient Sequoia trees that look like the Forbidden Forest! Don’t forget to pack your wands and Hogwarts uniform!

The tiny wheel returns!



Alaska Mountains & Coast A (AKMCA)

Galloping Gorgons! After completing their first backcountry section yesterday, Julian, Mandy, and their wizards-in-training are headed back again! This next expedition promises to be super rewarding with great wildlife visibility! We can’t wait to hear (and see pictures hopefully!) about their next few days exploring the Chugach National Forest. We received lots of pictures today to share with you all!


Returning from a great 12-mile, 2 day backpacking trip with perfect weather.


Lunch stop on hike into crows pass

Alaska Mountains & Coast B (AKMCB)

Cami-ihi (hello, good to see you)! AKMCB enjoyed their morning paddle and ferry back to the Seward mainland and then headed back to basecamp. Perhaps they’ll use the Aguamenti spell to fill their water bottles with fresh drinking water…or they could just go to the hose. Tomorrow is an exciting day as AKMCB takes on ice climbing, so stay tuned!

Northwest Explorer (NWXA)

Busy, busy Dumbledores! (You didn’t know Dumbledore was the 18th-century word for bumblebee?) After some refreshing freshwater rafting, our fearless warlocks headed to their last campground of the trip. Crazy how the time has gone by, but we hope they are ready to make the most of it – can’t be sleepless in Seattle just yet! 

Quidditch oars! We love it!

Dab on it, Emma!

Backcountry views!

Home Sweet Van!

Unreal sunset views from the backcountry!


Northwest Explorer (NWXB)

Six points for Gryffindor! After a glorious six-day expedition in the backcountry, NWXB made it back to their lovely 15-passenger van. Imagine how good that A/C felt! They then dashed to their campsite, where they’ll appreciate some calm frontcountry camping before their final full day tomorrow. 






Northwest Explorer (NWXC)

*British accent* Dobby is free! NWXC also emerged from the backcountry at last, surely with many a tale of their magical adventures and encountered creatures. Back to civilization, where they will prepare for some sweet Seattle exploration. No Quidditch or broom-riding here, but maybe they’ll catch one of Seattle’s famous skimboarding competitions!

Pacific Coast (PC)

I’ll bet my wand that it was sooo groovy to bike into San Fran today after biking about 700 miles of Oregon and California coastline. We can only imagine how incredible it must have felt crossing the Golden Gate Bridge, knowing they had finished their riding. Way to go PC, enjoy your exploring and celebratory dinner tomorrow! 

Ow oww! They really dressed well to bike well!

America Coast to Coast 1 (ACC1)

You don’t mess with Texas, and Texas didn’t mess with our ACC1’ers as they excelled on the bikes once again! Did you know the Harry Potter films’ makeup artists applied the lightning bolt scar 5,800 times over the course of 8 films? We wonder if they would have to apply it more or less if Harry were biking across America… Guess we’ll never know! 

We love to see all the bright and high visibility clothing!


America Coast to Coast 2 (ACC2)

Albus Dumbledore once said, “We are as strong as we are united.” Which is fitting, since today was ACC2’s last day biking through the Natural State (aka Arkansas), and they blew through it like a herd of Hippogryphs! Tomorrow, they fly into Texas after crushing 90 miles today. This squad is one in a MELON!