Day 35: Confidence, Character, and Community-Mindedness

By Shem Dixon

Confidence, Character, and Community-mindedness are what we’re all about here at Apogee. For me, the beautiful thing about “Three Cs” is that they can be pursued and found in so many different ways, and the beautiful thing about the outdoors and adventure travel is that they provide ample opportunities for our students to discover what the Three Cs mean for them. Surveying our pictures from the field today remind me of this, and more so, it reminded me that you can have a whole lot of fun while pursuing these ideals.


Maine Coast Junior (MCJ)

Will and Casey’s adventurers traded hiking boots for bicycle helmets today as they circumnavigated Eagle Lake in Acadia National Park. A confidence-boosting accomplishment if ever there was one for these first-time Apogee Adventurers!

Challenge? Celebration? Exultation? You be the judge.

Cape Cod & the Islands (CI)

Is this a bike tour or a coastal cruise?! True, CI does spend their fair share of time on ferries, but they’re merely a means to an end. That end being biking the length of the Cape, no small feat for these budding cycle-tourers.

Colorado’s Rocky Mountains (CRM)

Tim and Grace (affectionately known to the office as Gracie and Grubes) spoil us with blog pics. It seems that they and their kiddos spoil each other with scrumptious meals from around the world – last night’s Iron chef competition was “totally tantalizing tortellini creations – from little Italy to broccolini!” and this morning they traveled to old Paris for French toast before helping with some trail maintenance.

“In ze morning we made ze French toast.”

Caribbean Service Adventure (CSA)

Emma, Matthew, and the team spent their second day in the Tanama River Valley helping with more trail maintenance. Look at all that green!

Maine Coast College Essay (MCCE)

Jack and Jane collected their burgeoning essayists this afternoon and wasted no time in getting settled into their rustic sea-side cottages. If the setting doesn’t get their creative and narrative juices flowing, Jack, Jane, and Jaed (our master writing instructor) surely will.

Maine’s Downeast Explorer (DEXA)

Clark and Addie are seasoned pros at this point in the summer, meaning they know exactly how to start a trip off right:  a fire, s’mores, and a stunning first hike, Mt. Megunticook.

Maine’s Downeast Explorer (DEXB)

Meanwhile, Austin and Celeste made the most of their equally-stunning day, hiking Camden’s Maiden Cliffs before piling into the van to head to Mount Desert Island and Acadia National Park.

Vermont to Montréal (VM)

Summer sun? Check. Country store? Check. Smiling faces? Check! Must be Carter and Emma’s Vermonsters!

Costa Rica Language & Service (CRLS)

Connor and Anna collected their crew in San Jose yesterday and immediately made the transition by bus to our partner school in Turrialba. Today’s activities included an orientation to the area by foot.

A tiny teach on boot tying.

California Mountains & Coast (CMCA)

CMCA posed and paddled in Tomales Bay today. Sunshine and smiles were in large supply!

California Mountains & Coast (CMCB)

With CMCA exploring the California coast, CMCB headed inland to the foothills of the Sierras, for a day or two of practice hikes before heading into Yosemite National Park.

Coast to Québec (CQA)

CQA was in the Camden area today, where they helped a local land trust with trail maintenance. The blueberry picking they did after volunteering sounds like a fine cap to a stellar-looking day!

CQA built that rock wall they’re sitting on. With their own hands!

Coast to Québec (CQB)

Photographic proof that CQB did indeed make it all the way to the end of the Pemaquid Peninsula (even though Pemaquid Point Light doesn’t make an appearance) yesterday. Their reward for a hard day of riding was ice cream along the shores of Pemaquid Point. Today featured more beautiful coastal riding, and also an impromptu stop at a junk yard sculpture garden.

Montana Service Adventure (MSA)

Every so often, we let our leaders in the field write their own blog “blurb.” Today is one of those days for MSA. Leader Emily says, “I wish we could just lift the curtain made of clouds so everyone could see the majestic mountains ahead of us as we officially enter glacier county! The “good vibes gang hype train” crushed our second challenge day, summiting many hills and the final apogee (an 8% incline) that took us into Browning! We picked up some soup and bread from the grocery store and pushed to camp where we all got cozy with soup and sleeping bags!”

Northwest Explorer (NWXA)

Lindsey and Joby’s crew was into their backcountry campsite by early afternoon according to their scheduled check-in via satellite device. No cell service until they’ve completed their backcountry trek, but we fully expect another treasure trove of pictures when they return.

Northwest Explorer (NWXB)

Sean, Arie, and Co’s last full day on the water around the San Juans appears to not have disappointed. They’ll bid adieu to the bay tomorrow and strike out for the Olympic Peninsula, stopping for a resupply along the way.

Hailing a whale or celebratory fist pumps?

Pacific Coast (PCA)

PCA took some time off the bikes to volunteer in the greater-Eureka community today, helping the organization Food for People sort and package donated food items. Nice work, team!

Pacific Coast (PCB)

Aaaaaaaaand, here’s a late addition from PCB. In the spirit of letting one more trip write their own blurb for the day, I’ve included their tongue-in-cheek caption:  “Saw the real redwoods today – thought they’d be bigger!” In all seriousness though, PCB looks freshly showered and extremely happy to be in camp.

Scottish Highland Explorer (SHX)

Max and Sam’s bonnie lads and lasses officially reached the end of the West Highland Way today! After taking the requisite picture with the sore-footed, but accomplished bronze hiker, they celebrated with waffles.

The official end of the West Highland Way. Even statues get tired feet.

Alps Explorer (AXA)

No blog pictures from AXA today, but we did hear from them that they’re snuggly into camp – hooray!

Alps Explorer (AXB)

AXB celebrated a border crossing with some pretty goofy pictures from the Col de la Seigne. They even managed to get a classic jumping photo with everyone off the ground – no small feat! (Get it… feet?)

America Coast to Coast (ACC1)

Rest days best days! Nothing like some R & R in the capital of Arizona. Our cross country riders got a chance to do laundry and rest their legs. They even found time to do volunteer with Feed My Starving Children, a Phoenix-based organization.

Trading helmets for hair nets.

America Coast to Coast (ACC2)

Today’s riding took ACC2 through Tonto National Forest on their way to Payson, AZ. One day away from a rest day!