Day 34: Overheard at Camp

As you all know at this point, every summer, after two weeks of intense training, we send our Apogee leaders out into the world and across the globe to lead their trips – bye bye, adios, au revoir, arrivederci, see ya! In co-leader pairs, they embark on their journeys, far and away. They meet their kiddos and journey through distant lands; together, they accomplish great feats.

Out in the wilderness, they think they’re alone. Wherever they are, they breathe in the crisp mountain pines or sink into the salty ocean breeze. What they don’t know, though, might astound them.

Dedicated blog readers, let me clue you in on a little Apo-HQ secret: we’ve got ears in camp! Back in 2001, when Kevin himself led the inaugural Apogee trip, he recruited agents (chipmunks, squirrels, deer, elk, spiders, moose, crickets, bunnies, skunks – you name it!) across the world to help us spy on our Apogee groups. Seventeen years later, the network runs deep. Needless to say, we hear every statement and every question, every whisper and every secret that’s uttered while our Apogee trips are just chillin’ – in oblivious bliss – at camp.

So as to not keep you all waiting, here are all the juicy deets: here’s what we overheard at camp…


Cape Cod & the Islands (CI)

‘Twas a lovey beach day for CI today! Overheard at camp: “Try my banana, honey, mayonnaise, popcorn, and jelly sandwich!” Wow, how generous…

New England Mountains & Coast A (NEMCA)

NEMC spent their rest day doing laundry and monkeying around a nearby playground. We overheard at camp that the group had tons of fun on some new, technologically advanced swings and “the horse thing.” They then headed to Echo Lake for a refreshing dip!


Colorado’s Rocky Mountains A (CRMA)

Today, CRMA  rafted down the Poudre river. The water level wasn’t too high, but their spirits certainly were! The group grabbed lunch at a park near the river before heading back to Estes for games and some down time. Overheard at camp: “Veerrryyy niccceeeeee” (in a British accent).

Colorado’s Rocky Mountains B (CRMB)

CRMB went climbing at Jurassic Park, where their climbing guides had eight different routes and a Tyrolese traverse (a sort of self-propelled zipline) set up! Those who didn’t climb today opted for a competitive game of mini-golfing! Overheard at camp: “You don’t need to buy us all bubble wrap, just enough to cover our hands!” Hmmm… probably could have used some context for that one.

Caribbean Service (CS)

Van time! A classic Apogee bonding experience. Our selfless students have arrived in Puerto Rico – adventure (and community service) awaits! We can’t wait to see what the next couple weeks have in store for this bodacious bunch.

Maine Coast Photo (MCP)

After a wonderful week of capturing moment after beautiful moment, this gang is heading home. Along with the wonderful memories they’ve shared, MCP brought their photo projects home to commemorate their picture-perfect Apogee summer.

Maine’s Downeast Explorer (DEXA)

DEXA has met up and and already embarked on what promises to be an epic adventure through Maine. The crew headed up to Camden, where they are spending their first night camping out under the stars. Leaders Grace and Garth are pumped to show these explorers Acadia National Park, Baxter State Park, and island life over the next two weeks!

Maine’s Downeast Explorer (DEXB)

Finally, the day has come – ‘twas DEXB arrival day! Leaders Erik and Lucia gathered their group and made their way up to Camden, Maine to start their summer adventure. This group has an epic itinerary in store for the next couple weeks – they’ll hike Mount Katahdin, sea kayak, and explore the Appalachian Trail. Is it too late to sign us up? Enjoy your first night of camping, DEXB!

Costa Rica Language & Service (CRLS)

CRLS said their bittersweet goodbyes today. After a wonderful trip full of learning and new adventures, the time has come to take their new knowledge home to share with their family and friends. We hope CRLS keeps its newfound Apo-family in their corazones!

Vermont to Montréal A (VMA)

VMA had an awesome first day on their bikes! Their day was filled with covered bridges and blue skies (but not both at the same time – that would be impossible!). They finished up the day in Branbury with a wonderful afternoon swim at the beach. Overheard at camp: “Putting these bags on [the bikes] is like playing Tetris.” Sounds like fun to me!

Vermont to Montréal B (VMB)

VMB mounted their metal steeds for the first time today and took to the open road. They took a break from their smooth ride from St. Catherine to Bomoseen to stop for a nice family lunch. Overheard at camp: “There were chipmunks that ate lunch with us.” (Apo-chipmunks, unbeknownst to you, VMB).

Costa Rica Mountains & Coast (CRMC)

Our CRMC students have arrived and are already out and about, exploring the great biodiversity of Costa Rica! Overheard at camp: “Crocodiles!!” (… on a billboard, it would appear? Fortunately we don’t see any in this photo).

California Mountains & Coast (CMCA)

CMCA paddled down the bay at Point Reyes National Seashore (above the San Andreas fault line!) soaking in the California sun on their first full day together. Stomachs are happy, arms are swole [Editor’s note: slang for “buff”], and stoke is high with the legendary Apo-photographer Gabe by their side. Overheard at camp: “It’s like the English countryside, but on water!”

California Mountains & Coast (CMCB)

CMCB spent the day doing heart-warming service at a food bank. After a morning of helping the community, they went for a beautiful hike along Bull Point Trail in Point Reyes. Overheard at camp: “I can barely comprehend how good you are at roasting marshmallows.” Now that, my friends, is high praise!

Northwest Explorer (NWXA)

It’s official! NWXA has entered the backcountry! We can’t wait to see what the next few days hold in store for them when they emerge – sadly, backcountry means no photos for us, blog fans.

Northwest Explorer (NWXB)

NWXB started their morning off right with a hearty breakfast of pancakes and bacon on the beautiful Cypress Island. They spent the day paddling out to a secret harbor via some exciting currents. Hard to say which was better: their beautiful paddle today, or their sunset hike last night.

Pacific Coast (PCA)

PCA went rolling through the Redwoods today. They biked a cool 55 miles before pulling into camp for the night. They even enjoyed a nice little ice cream surprise at lunch to break up their day! They topped it all off with a dip in the campground pool. Overheard at camp: “Who let the pods out? Bark Bark Bark?”

Pacific Coast (PCB)

PCB didn’t have enough service to send out photos, but we are happy to report that they are “in camp and all good!” as we overheard, well, in camp!

Scottish Highlands (SH)

SH “hiked Conic Hill today,” as we overheard at camp. At the top of the Hill, they enjoyed the most scenic of vistas. Do y’all see that giant ripple in the water behind them? Could it be the Loch Ness monster? Guess we’ll never know…

Alps Explorer (AXA)

AXA was awoken this morning at their Refugio by freshly baked croissants and delicious jam. They covered 18 kilometers of beautiful up-and-down ridge hiking overlooking Chamonix. At the end of their day, AXA explored Chamonix and ate some delicious food before taking the bus to their final destination in Les Houches. They finished up their night with some delightful tortellini and mouth-watering raspberry pie! Overheard at camp: “Oh baby… that’s steep!”

Alps Explorer (AXB)

AXB trekked 20 kilometers today the head of Val Montjoie and beyond, into the Vallee des Glaciers and the hamlet of Les Chapieux. Word on the street is they passed near Notre-Dame de la Gorge, a popular pilgrimage chapel, on their way. Overheard at camp: “We’re literally above the clouds right now.”

America Coast to Coast (ACC1)

ACC1 buckled their seatbelts (… bikebelts?) this morning for a rollercoaster of hills today. After 87 miles up, down, and all around, they finally pulled into beautiful Phoenix, Arizona. They look forward to a fun rest day exploring the city tomorrow. Overheard at camp: “Big bird making big moves.”

America Coast to Coast (ACC2)

ACC2 rode to Heber, Arizona today, covering a rolling 86 miles in the process. Overheard at camp: “We are all dreaming about In-N-Out and San Diego.” For the number of miles they’ve covered thus far, we can’t say we blame them for dreaming of food.