Important Pre-Summer 2022 Information for Recently Enrolled Families!

It always feels a bit surreal, but here we are again on the cusp of another great Apogee summer! We know many of you are double-checking your packing lists, making that last trip to the pediatrician, and ticking off the last of the (many) forms we ask you to complete (thank you!). With the summer upon us, we have a fair amount of information to share here that applies to just about everyone. Please read through the information below and let us know if you have any questions. You are welcome to direct any questions to us at or give us a call at 207-725-7025.

Alumni Families: We have made several substantive updates to our phone call and mail policies – please read through the “Hearing From Your Child” section below as things will work a bit differently this year!

Covid-19 Considerations: Although the situation for vaccinated folks has become much more manageable, Covid is, unfortunately, still with us. In an effort not to dilute important information about our response to the pandemic, we’ve consolidated our Covid-related information here. Please review the information on our website and let us know if you have any questions or concerns. In the meantime, please remember these basics in advance of the summer:

  • Every Apogee student must be vaccinated against Covid this summer;
  • We are asking all students to take a pre-trip Covid test in the 48 hours prior to the start of their trip (we are only asking for the results of those tests if they are positive for Covid);
  • Please send your child with several face masks that can be used in transit and otherwise, as necessary; 
  • International destinations have specific requirements – including, in some cases, booster shots depending on the date of a student’s original vaccination.

Student Cell Phones, Cameras, and Technology in General: Please remember that students will not be permitted to carry cell phones, Kindles, and similar devices for any purpose on their trips. We’re excited for our trips to be a true break from the demands of keeping up with texting and other social media. These technologies are fantastic tools, but they can also detract enormously from the group dynamic we work hard to foster while on trip.

We do expect that most students flying to their trips will be traveling with cell phones – and our leaders will be collecting all phones upon arrival. Your child should know this after signing our electronics policy, but a reminder from you that they will need to give up their phone on arrival will make things much easier for our leaders.

You are welcome to send your child with a disposable or point-and-shoot digital camera to take pictures (GoPro-type cameras are also welcome). Depending on the trip, there will likely be opportunities to recharge cameras – but please remind your child that cameras should never be left unattended while charging.

Hearing From and Contacting Your Child While on Trip: After considerable discussion with families, staff, and students alike, we’ve made some substantive changes from previous years to our phone calls home policy.

We will not be scheduling mid-trip calls home for trips shorter than 10 days. This will apply to the following trips: 

  • Cape Cod & the Islands
  • Colorado’s Rocky Mountains
  • Maine Coast Junior
  • Maine Coast College Essay
  • Maine Coast Photo
  • New England Mountains & Coast

Otherwise, students will make approximately one call home per week (e.g., parents with a student on a two-week trip such as California Mountains & Coast can expect one mid-trip call and parents with a student on a three-week trip such as Alps Explorer can expect two mid-trip calls). Students flying to their trip will always be in touch by phone or text to let you know that they have met up with their leaders, no matter the length of the trip.

When students do call home, our staff will usually be using *67 to keep their cell-numbers private when students use their leaders’ phones. As such the call will likely come through as “Restricted” or “Unknown” number. Students on international trips will usually be using Skype to call you this summer from their leaders’ phones – Skype calls usually show up as coming from “Palmdale, CA.” So – if your child is, for example, in Costa Rica or Austria, their call may well look like it’s coming from California… Thank you for understanding!

If you need to reach your child during their trip, please contact us at 207-725-7025 and we’ll reach out to the group in the field. Please do not contact the leaders directly, even if you happen to have their cell phone numbers.

Sending Mail to Your Child: We’ve made several changes for 2022 here, as well. We’ll detail the mail stops in your Final Trip Information document (more on that below), but the big change is that we will no longer be accepting packages on any of our trips without prior arrangement with us for a needed item (e.g., a needed clothing item or medication).

Blog Policies: We update our blog every day during the summer. We try to post pictures from each group every day they are in the field. That said, we may not be able to post pictures from a particular trip because that group may be out of cell phone range, in the backcountry, etc. In that case, we promise that “no news is good news.*” Note that pictures on the blog are from leaders’ cell-phones that they text to our office – so they’re only as good as the phone cameras they are using. Most days, our blog post should be posted between 7:00 and 8:30 PM on the east coast.

* Our leaders carry satellite communication devices on those trips that regularly operate outside of cell service – they’re able to be in touch 24 hours a day in the event of an emergency.

A note on our students’ privacy and the blog: Please know that we take our students’ privacy seriously. Because our blog is open to the public, we are always vague about a trip’s whereabouts. When posting an update, we may say something like, “our Maine’s Downeast Explorer trip is off to a great start in Freeport, Maine today,” but we will not say, “here’s a picture of our Maine’s Downeast Explorer group enjoying dinner at Recompence Campground in Freeport, Maine tonight.” Similarly, we will usually not refer to students by name at all in our summer blog – if we do refer to a student, it will be by first name only.

One of the easier ways to keep up with the blog is to like us on Facebook (@apogeeadventures) and Instagram (@apogee.adventures) – we post to both sites daily during the summer, so you can find your daily dose of the Apoblog in your newsfeed (if that’s what they’re still calling it, that is). Indeed, we’re trying out our first seasonal hashtag this summer – please search #apogee2022 to look for our summer posts. Feel free to use it to tag those great pre- and post-trip pics (e.g., those sweet before and after pics of hiking boots – #classic!).

Food Allergies: Many students are coming on their Apogee trips with severe, and in some cases, life-threatening, food allergies. We do our best to work with families to accommodate these students (and the rest of their group) so that they can enjoy a great trip without fear of an allergic or anaphylactic reaction. Please know that we will be running some of our trips as “nut free” or “nut sensitive” (we’ll usually be more specific – such as “tree nut sensitive” or “peanut free”) in order to accommodate these students. If your child is in one of these groups, we will email you ahead of time and ask that you do not send your child with any food that contains these ingredients. On behalf of the families affected by these allergies, thanks very much for your understanding!

Final Trip Information: We are in the process of emailing our final trip information packets to those families with trips starting in June. We will be emailing these to you directly rather than posting them to CampMinder.* These packets include a detailed itinerary, a list of participating students’ first names, biographical information about our leaders, Covid-specific protocols for trip start days, mail stop information, and packing and travel information (which includes specific drop-off and pick-up information for trips starting in the northeast).

* Those families in our second, third, and fourth round of trips can expect to receive this information two to four weeks before your child’s trip starts.

We do not include students’ last names in our final trip information packets so that students can arrive at Apogee with a “blank slate” – in other words, they don’t have to worry that other participants have pre-judged them based on their social media profiles. 

Families with students on international trips: We will include information specific to Covid and any relevant entry requirements (e.g., whether the destination country requires a booster shot, etc.) in these Final Trip Information emails. 

Incident Notification Policy: In the event of an accident or illness on trip, we will inform you about any administration of care requiring more than rudimentary first aid. The vast majority of incidents during the summer are exceedingly minor. Nonetheless, if our staff apply significant first aid or take your child to see a doctor for any purpose, we will do our best to notify you by phone as quickly as possible. This means we won’t be in touch every time we apply a band-aid to a blister, but we will err on the side of letting you know when we’ve treated your child. After we’ve notified you initially, we will stay in touch as the situation warrants.

Early Bird Announcement: We are delighted to let you know that we will be opening enrollment to alumni families for our 2023 season in mid-July. Alumni families will enjoy not only first dibs on 2023 trips and programs, but also a $300 trip discount if you enroll by the end of Sunday, September 11, 2022. Look for a more detailed email and blog post regarding our early enrollment program in early July.

Please be in touch by email,, or phone, 207-725-7025, if you have questions about the above or anything else in advance of your child’s trip.

Thanks very much – we are looking forward to a great (return to) summer!

Chad, Kevin, and the Apogee Team