For those of you who aren’t familiar with the tradition, each night before bed Apogee groups go over the Apogees (highs) and Perigee (lows) of their days. The members of our 13 trips currently in the field have worked hard this summer, and have compiled a lot of A’s and P’s over the course of their time in the field! Today’s Apogee might have been successfully completing the group’s hardest climb yet, or making a new friend in the group. Read on to get a glimpse into some of the Apogees that these lucky and hardworking kiddos got to experience today!
AKMCA started their day with one of the most scenic drives in Alaska (in our opinion) down the Turnagain Arm and through Chugach National Forest. They had a morning of wildlife-spotting, as eagles, beluga whales, and seals frequent the Arm and bay. The group enjoyed a few hours of meaningful service with the Kenai Watershed Forum before exploring Seward– an adorable port town on one of the tips of the Kenai Peninsula! Unfortunately, we weren’t able to snag a group photo of the day, but these two photos were two fun not to share!
Today AKMCB headed off to explore the Alaska backcountry! The group had a five mile hike weaving through fields and down a valley to their lakeshore home for the night. Their campsite is snuggled between not one but TWO of the beautiful teal blue alpine lakes Alaska is famous for– we’ll hear tomorrow whether they were warm enough to dip their toes in!
CCM had another awesome day of backcountry hiking today! They started at the coast and were rewarded by stunning views of Point Reyes shore as they gained elevation over the course of the day. They got into camp early enough for group games and a leisurely dinner. We’re looking forward to seeing pictures of the fun when the group gets enough service to send ’em when they emerge!
CS had a jam-packed day beginning with clearing a path for a new trail, pulling weeds, and picking up trash. Next up, the group went for a quick wade at the Cañon Blanco and continued to explore the area with a hike. They capped off the day with a game of Fish Bowl and a delicious dinner. I think I see a few Apogees in that itinerary!
CRMC woke up in paradise! They ate breakfast prepared by Mama Rosa, their host mother, then headed straight to volunteer in the gardens. The group got to work building wooden boxes for planting the organization’s hydroponic garden– a method of growing plants using mineral nutrient solutions in water without soil. After their morning volunteering, the group had the afternoon to themselves to explore all the eco-lodge has to offer, including wading in the Savegre River, a nature walk about plant medicine, tortilla making, and a night hike! Since they are so deep in the rainforest and the limited solar powered wifi is pretty spotty, we did not get a photo today, but we know there will be lots when they hike out on Saturday!
Sound the alphorn, it’s Alps Day for ECC1! Biking through the highest mountain range in Europe is no easy task, but this group conquered the hills with impressive strength (look at those muscles!!) and skill. The group was rewarded with stunning views along their way, and a coasting ride downhill after lunch.
ECC2 had a victorious climb into the mountains of Austria today! Tomorrow, they cross the Alps!
ECC3 rode into Austria today! They had another sweet day of riding, with a climb in the morning and an easier afternoon. The group is staying in Bregenz tonight– the capital of Vorarlberg, the westernmost state of Austria. The city is located on the shore of Lake Constance, the third-largest freshwater lake in Central Europe!
IMC celebrated their last day in style with one final jump on the trampoline! Apogee’s first group of Icelandic explorers head home today with loads of new outdoor skills, friends, and memories of frolicking in the Nordic hills. See you later, IMC!
There is nothing better than a beautiful day in Baxter State Park: feeling the wind in your hair in the 100 Mile Wilderness, taking a lunch break at a beautiful lake, and gazing at the majesty of Mount Katahdin. If that isn’t enough, this group is getting the best whether Maine has seen all summer! We’re looking forward to getting to see their pictures when they emerge from the backcountry.
PMC leaders reported that the group had a great and challenging first day on the Carros de Foc! The group hiked 9 miles to their first refugi, and stopped for a lunch break to take in beautiful lake views along their way. After lunch they climbed above tree line and had some time to relax before their delicious refuji dinner!
VMA started their day with a morning kayak from North Beach! After their tour by water, the group had the afternoon to explore Burlington and absolutely crushed a Ben and Jerry’s Vermonster in true Vermont fashion. As the least-populous city in the U.S. to be the most populous city in its state, Burlington is a small gem of a city with much to see and do. The group is looking forward to riding to Grand Isle State Park tomorrow!
Today VMB rolled into Burlington, Vermont! Fun fact: Burlington was the site of the world’s first international hockey match in 1886 (which the Canadians won). Instead of hockey, VMB spent their afternoon doing service with a local farm, helping the farm restore crops that had been damaged by flooding in the area. The group is looking forward to kayaking tomorrow, and some well-deserved rest and relaxation in the coming days!