Leader Bios 2023: Meet Our Alps Explorer & Pyrenees Mountains & Coast Teams!

Our next batch of Leader Bios covers our Alps Explorer and Pyrenees Mountains & Coast leaders, and – spoiler alert – we think they’re preeeeetty awesome. Read on!

Leader Name: Finnegan Keilty (he/him)Teen European hiking trip leader Finnegan Keilty

2023 Trip: Alps Explorer

Prior Apogee Experience: Costa Rica Mountains and Coast ‘21, Costa Rica Language and Community ‘21, California Mountains and Coast ‘22 

Hometown: Las Vegas, Nevada

School: Carleton College, Class of 2022 

Certifications: Wilderness First Aid, CPR, Lifeguard

Highlights of the past year: Finnegan traveled to southern Poland in the Tatras Mountains on the Slovak border, and he hiked over snowy mountains and got to hang out around epic glacial lakes!

Favorite Outdoor Activities: Biking, climbing, surfing, and hiking

Where you can find Finnegan when he is not adventuring: Finnegan can be found making tasty food in the kitchen, playing (and getting very into) Dungeons and Dragons, or pursuing his most recent hobby of studying everything related to the science of  fermentation (bread, cheese, kombucha, etc.). He is also a “die hard Lord of the Rings fan” – so please direct any and all LOTR trivia questions directly to Finnegan. 

Other reasons why Finnegan is the absolute coolest: Finnegan spent the last year living in Madrid, Spain teaching English to elementary-aged students at a primary school which he has really loved! Before he started with Apogee, Finnegan worked as a biking and kayaking guide in Minnesota. He is also an avid potter and worked in his college’s studio all four years of his undergrad! Plus – Finnegan and Maeve co-led together in Costa Rica in 2021!

Teen European hiking trip leader Maeve DickLeader Name: Maeve Dick (she/her) 

2023 Trip: Alps Explorer

Prior Apogee Experience: Costa Rica Mountains and Coast ‘21, Costa Rica Language and Community ‘21, Northwest Explorer ‘22 

Hometown: Lexington, Virginia

School: Oberlin College, Class of 2021

Certifications: Wilderness First Aid, Lifeguard & CPR

Highlights from this past year: Maeve joined the Stavna Ballet for a first season as a company dancer! She has been both dancing professionally and teaching dance classes. And of course, exploring the Pacific Northwest on her Apogee trip last year! 

Favorite Outdoor Activities: Sunrise hikes, swimming in rivers, sea kayaking, mountain biking with good views, and, of course, hiking. 

Where you can find Maeve when she isn’t on an early morning hike: Maeve is an avid dancer and is constantly finding ways to move! She is also a multi-lingual force as she speaks English, Spanish, ASL, and is working on Italian. 

Other amazing notes about Maeve: This will be Maeve’s third full summer with Apogee, and she is thrilled to be going to the Alps with her original co-leader from Costa Rica, Finnegan, and to have her sister, Faerin, leading the other Alps trip! In non-Apogee news, Maeve taught Spanish at her local elementary school in 2021, she can hula hoop for over an hour without stopping, and while she might be under 5’5”, she has never lost a thumb war.

Leader Name: Faerin Dick (she/her)Teen European hiking trip leader Faerin Dick

2023 Trip: Alps Explorer 

Prior Apogee Experience: New England Support Staff ‘22, Caribbean Service ‘22

Hometown: Lexington, Virginia

School: University of Vermont, Class of 2023

Certifications: Wilderness First Responder & CPR

Favorite Outdoor Activities: Trail running, biking, paddling, climbing, and hiking 

Highlights of the past year: Faerin spent four months of the Fall living off-the-grid camping and doing wildlife research in the bush of Botswana! 

Where you can find Faerin when she isn’t trail running across Vermont: She might be milking cows, baking mouthwatering sourdough bread (and cinnamon rolls!), gardening, skiing, or diving into her new hobby of sugar making! 

Fast Faerin Facts: Faerin is very involved with the Cooperative for Real Education in Agriculture Management (aptly abbreviated as CREAM) program through UVM which is their student-run dairy herd. Through this program, she has calved over two hundred cows! Moreover, the cows she works with produce the milk for beloved brands such as Cabot cheese and Ben and Jerry’s ice cream! Additionally, Faerin has utilized her passion for running and working with kids to coach cross country and is thrilled to be working with students again this summer – especially as her sister, Maeve, leads the other Alps trip!

Teen European hiking trip leader Megan McKeownLeader Name: Megan McKeown (she/her) 

2023 Trip: Alps Explorer

Prior Apogee Experience: Maine’s Downeast Explorer ‘22, New England Mountains & Coast ‘22

Hometown: Verona, New Jersey

School: University of Vermont, Class of 2020

Certifications: Wilderness First Responder, Lifeguard & CPR

Favorite Outdoor Activities: Birding, biking, and backpacking. the three B’s! Oh, and swimming and hiking, of course!

Highlights of the past year: Megan traveled throughout Europe (and got excited about her upcoming Apogee Europe time, too!) 

What is Megan doing with her time when she’s not outside: She can be found printmaking, making and sharing food with friends, and studying (and winning) the 2022 board game of the year, Wingspan (the hit game all about birds). To solidify in the ranks as one of Apogee’s most dedicated ornithologists, she has seen 352 different bird species! Oh, and let’s not forget her other hobby of watching Jeopardy every night. (She crosses all of her fingers and toes each night for categories on birds.) 

Why Megan is just one in a million: Megan spent two years working at an outdoor preschool in Washington, and this past year, she has been teaching students at an outdoor science school in the Redwoods on the California coast. This school is a 100% time outdoors school which we think is just pretty neat! 

Leader Name: Elle Lambert (she/her)Teen European hiking trip leader Elle Lambert

2023 Trip: Pyrenees Mountains and Coast

Prior Apogee Experience: Costa Rica Mountains & Coast ‘22

Hometown: Virginia Beach, Virginia

School: University of Virginia, Class of 2023

Certifications: Wilderness First Aid, CPR, Lifeguard

Favorite Outdoor Activities: Open-water swimming, running, and hiking (and spending as much time as possible in her hammock!) 

Highlights of the past year: Elle had quite the highlight reel of enjoying lots of sunrise hikes in Shenandoah National Park, ran a half marathon with two days notice, and also went dogsledding in Montreal!

Where you can find Elle when she isn’t in the water: Elle loves sunrise hikes so much and is constantly on the hunt for the best spot. On top of that, you can find her usually humming a tune or listening to music – more specifically, Bob Dylan. This past year, Elle was in the top 0.1% of all Bob Dylan Spotify listeners which is no small feat!  

More reasons to love Elle: Elle spent 2021 working as an intern and substitute teacher in an elementary school. Additionally, this past year, she has been volunteering in an English as a Second Language elementary classroom in Charlottesville. She’s not stopping there, though! She has loved getting to work with students so much that next year she will be working as an English teacher in Spain!

Teen European hiking trip leader Ellie ChurchillLeader Name: Ellie Churchill (she/her)

2023 Trip: Pyrenees Mountains and Coast

Prior Apogee Experience: Vermont to Montreal ‘21

Hometown: Richmond, Vermont

School: University of Virginia, Class of 2023

Certifications: Wilderness First Responder, CPR, Lifeguard

Favorite Outdoor Activities: Skiing, running, hiking, and paddling

Highlights of the past year: Last summer, Ellie studied abroad on the southern coast of Spain. She was able to explore the desert and the Mediterranean while living with a host family.

Where you can find Ellie when she isn’t on the slopes: Hailing from Vermont, Ben and Jerry’s is basically in Ellie’s blood – so she’s constantly on the lookout for new flavors. Additionally, Ellie has captained her D1 Cross Country and Track and Field teams at UVM which is truly impressive. 

More reasons to love Ellie: Ellie loves getting to work with students, and during her time at UVM has found numerous ways to spend time with kids. She tutors math, has taught ski lessons, flute lessons, and mentored peers on her cross country and track teams! On top of her dedication to working with youth, Ellie finds lots of different ways to stay busy and learn new hobbies, such as doing anything craft-related or defending her reigning title as Cornhole (and other miscellaneous lawn games) Queen.