Introducing Jack Messerly and Izzy Janzen!

We are so excited to introduce to the Apogee world the two newest additions to our Brunswick, Maine office – Jack Messerly and Izzy Janzen. After working for us as trip leaders for multiple summers, Jack and Izzy are back this spring and summer to help us get ready for a great 2015 season. From logistical work, to leader training, to aiding the start of New England trips this summer, Jack and Izzy will be the friendly faces you’ll likely get to know over the next few months.

Apogee Adventures Leader Jack Messerly

Jack Messerly, hailing from Minneapolis, Minnesota, is a 2014 graduate of Hamilton College where he studied Mathematics and Philosophy. When he wasn’t untangling the mathematical theory of knots, he was spinning tracks as a DJ at Hamilton’s radio station, leading campus tours for prospective students, or out on the rugby field (Jack served as Captain of Hamilton’s formidable rugby team). Additionally, Jack led incoming freshman on weeklong, pre-orientation backpacking trips for Hamilton’s Adirondack Adventure program, and spent a semester exploring the mountains and fjords of New Zealand. Not all-work-and-no-play, Jack has amused many with his free-style rapping – both on and off the trails. Jack joined the Apogee family in 2012 and led hiking trips for three consecutive summers both near and far: New England Mountains & Coast, Maine’s Downeast Explorer, California Mountains & Coast, and Alps Explorer. Throughout his summers, Jack stood out as one of the most competent leaders, an incredible role model, and the king of trail games and riddles.


Philadelphia native (and proud of it), Isabel (Izzy) Janzen is also a 2014 graduate from Hamilton College and graduated with a degree in World Politics. Izzy is outdoorsy by nature, a trait sparked by countless camping trips she took with her dad growing up. She brought her love of the outdoors to Hamilton, where, as a Wilderness First Responder, she led outdoor adventure orientation trips for incoming freshmen with Hamilton’s Adirondack Adventure program. At Hamilton, Izzy was also a co-captain of the womens’ rugby team, and played intramural basketball. In the Spring of 2013, she found herself far from the hills of Clinton, New York, as she studied abroad in Cameroon. In the heart of Africa, she grew more interested in foreign aid and took time to get involved in the community; as part of her semester program, Izzy spent a month living and working with female farmers in a rural village. Izzy also has plenty of experience working with kids of all ages. She spent several summers working as a camp counselor at a day camp in her home state of Pennsylvania, as well as an analytical writing tutor for the Higher Education Opportunities Program, a program for incoming freshmen who need extra academic preparation before entering Hamilton. In 2013, Izzy came on board to lead our Maine’s Downeast Explorer trip and headed out west in 2014 to lead Apogee’s Northwest Explorer trips. Izzy is warm, extremely bright, and one of the funniest people you will ever come across!

Jack and Izzy
Jack & Izzy seeding fields on a sunny California day!

After graduating from Hamilton, Jack and Izzy decided to pack up and drive west, across the country, to Boonville, California. Along the way they hiked and camped at numerous national parks – Badlands, Yellowstone, Grand Tetons, Zion – just to name a few. Once in Boonville they worked on the Anderson Valley Community Farm, a small organic farm, growing a variety of different vegetables as well as raising all sorts of livestock, ranging from pigs and chickens to sheep and dairy goats. They learned how to run a farmers market, milk goats, make cheese, build a compost pile, and much more! Throughout all their time at the farm they continued to hike and rock climb, staying passionate about the world of outdoor adventure. They’re excited to wash the dirt off and be back in Maine as part of the Apogee family!