Leader Bios 2024: Our Pacific Coast, Cape Cod & the Islands, and Vermont to Montreal Crews Are Here!

This marks the second and final batch of Leader Bios for biking trip leaders and staff, with this post featuring the awesome folks working on our Pacific Coast, Cape Cod & the Islands, and Vermont to Montreal trips!

Leader Name: Jordan Johnson (he/him)Teen summer bike touring leader Jordan Johnson

2024 Trip: Pacific Coast

Prior Apogee Experience: Vermont to Montreal ‘23, Cape Cod & the Islands ‘23

Hometown: Arcata, California

School: Cal Poly Humboldt, Class of 2020

Certifications: Wilderness First Aid, Wilderness Swim Safety & CPR

Favorite Outdoor Activities: Kayaking, biking, and skateboarding

Highlights of the past year: Jordan has done a century ride of 100 miles in every season this past year – and he is excited to complete his summer century soon! He also emcee’d Humboldt County’s Emerald Triangle Skateboarding Contest. 

Where you can find Jordan when he’s not adventuring: Jordan enjoys cooking and baking, and he is currently learning Dutch! This spring he held the first clinic for a passion project he has been working on with the City of Arcata Recreation Division, called Shred Scouts – a youth program focused on developing community and empowering youth through skateboarding and outdoor skill development. 

Other reasons we think Jordan is the bee’s knees: A native of one of the towns that our Pacific Coast groups will pass right through, Jordan has actually biked to San Francisco on his own via a very similar route to the route that our students will ride this year! After leading Apogee trips in New England last year, he is very excited to share his home state with his students this summer! Jordan has also been the director of several local summer camps, and in previous summers he has gotten to interview visiting professional skateboarders for various publications. 

Teen summer bike touring leader Jocie FunderburkLeader Name: Jocie Funderburk (she/her)

2024 Trip: Pacific Coast

Prior Apogee Experience: Vermont to Montreal ‘23

Hometown: Bozeman, Montana

School: Warren Wilson College, Class of 2025

Certifications: Wilderness First Responder, Wilderness Swim Safety & CPR

Favorite Outdoor Activities: Biking, hiking, cross country skiing and pretty much anything else outside

Highlights of the past year: Jocie traveled to Ireland for spring break and explored the city of Derry and the Giants’ Causeway! 

Where you can find Jocie when she’s not on her bike: She loves to garden! Jocie works as the Market Manager of her college’s campus garden, and she spent last semester volunteering at a local community garden. She also loves crafting (especially crocheting) and cooking (especially pies).

Further proof of Jocie’s awesomeness: She absolutely loves working with kids – last summer she led Apogee’s Vermont to Montreal trip, but in past summers she led all-female mountain biking camps, and she coaches nordic skiing in the winters. In Fall 2023, she competed in the Collegiate Mountain Bike Nationals Championships, where she unofficially won the most style points thanks to her fabulous outfit of a tutu and sparkles that she rode during her race! She has also been to 13 countries, most recently Ireland, Indonesia, and Singapore! Last, but certainly not least, Jocie is a five-time Apogee student, completing biking trips in Maine, Cape Cod, Montana, and both Europe Coast to Coast and America Coast to Coast!

Leader Name: Sam Yolles (he/they)Teen summer bike touring leader Sam Yolles

2024 Position: Pacific Coast Support

Hometown: Belvedere, California

School: Colorado College, Class of 2025

Certifications: Wilderness First Responder & CPR

Favorite Outdoor Activities: Going on a Soundwalk, skimboarding, and trail running

Highlights of the past year: Sam is a music major, and he recently traveled to Bali, where he conducted research on local composers of traditional gamelan music. 

Where you can find Sam when he’s not playing or studying music: Sam certainly keeps himself busy at school! In addition to being the President of both the Colorado College Hillel organization and Running Club, he is also a freshman mentor, performs with local performing arts groups at his school and in Denver, and has led backpacking trips for other students. 

Some more fun facts about Sam: He loves learning – he’s currently learning his fifth language this semester during his study abroad program in China! He has also competed in cross-country mountain biking competitions in both college and high school. Sam can’t wait to meet his students and foster an incredible community on their biking adventures this summer!

Teen summer bike touring leader Kaelyn DeCorteLeader Name: Kaelyn DeCorte (she/her)

2024 Trips: Cape Cod and the Islands and Vermont to Montreal

Hometown: Southampton, PA

School: Wake Forest University, Class of 2026

Certifications: Wilderness First Aid, Wilderness Swim Safety & CPR

Favorite Outdoor Activities: Backpacking, camping, paddle boarding, and waterskiing

Highlights of the past year: Kaelyn studied abroad in Tours, France! Back in the states, she also went on some awesome backpacking adventures in the Smokies.

Where you can find Kaelyn when she’s not on the water: Kaelyn loves spending quality time with her friends and family. She also loves traveling, watching soccer, and reading! And at Wake Forest, Kaelyn works as a tour guide.

Other awesome things to know about Kaelyn: Over the years, Kaelyn has taught kids how to swim during the summer. Her study abroad program in France wasn’t the only time she’s lived abroad, either, as she lived in Australia when she was three! Kaelyn has a big family; she’s one of five kids (including four brothers) and has 23 first cousins! At home, through babysitting jobs, Kaelyn eventually developed her own summer camp for the kids of parents who worked, and has created a repertoire of games she uses in the trips she leads today. Kaelyn works as a trip leader at Wake Forest, leading trips ranging from backpacking to whitewater kayaking. She also is part of the Sustainability Group at Wake Forest.

Leader Name: Seth Grauer (he/him)Teen summer bike touring leader Seth Grauer

2024 Trips: Cape Cod and the Islands and Vermont to Montreal

Hometown: Salt Lake City, UT

School: Carleton College, Class of 2026

Certifications: Wilderness First Aid, Wilderness Swim Safety & CPR

Favorite Outdoor Activities: Biking, skiing, and frisbee

Highlights of the past year: While finishing up his second year of college, Seth studied abroad as part of an architecture studies program throughout Europe. Camping in Capitol Reef National Park was another huge highlight, too.

Where you can find Seth when he’s not throwing a frisbee: Hanging with his dog, reading, or spending time with his friends.

A few more reasons why Seth is so cool: If you need any salsa recommendations, ask Seth; he’s worked at a salsa shop for three summers! Seth cares a lot about the environment and is the Vice President of the Environmental Club at Carleton where he helps to lead various events like waste audits and pop-up thrift stores across campus. Seth also works as a Program Lead for Carleton’s Food Recovery Network, where he takes unused Carleton food and donates it to unhoused people. Sam also interned for a company that provides ACT tutoring to high school students. When not helping out the environment, tutoring, or working on his salsa skills (the food, not the dance), Sam loves to geek out about F1 racing.

Teen summer bike touring leader Winter HeatonLeader Name: Winter Heaton (she/her)

2024 Trip: Vermont to Montreal

Hometown: Victor, Idaho

School: Middlebury College, Class of 2026.5 

Certifications: Wilderness First Aid, Wilderness Swim Safety & CPR

Favorite Outdoor Activities: Backpacking, skiing, biking, and swimming

Highlights of the past year: Winter was able to explore Teton Valley this winter and show her friends all of her favorite backcountry skiing spots on the Teton Pass! She also had a blast hiking with her friend in Glacier, Montana.

Where you can find Winter when she isn’t exploring: Winter can be found painting, drawing, trying her hand at ceramics or bouldering, or hanging by the lake with friends and family. 

More cool things about Winter: Before starting school last winter, Winter spent a few months mountaineering in the Garhwal Himalaya where she discovered her knack for high-altitude backcountry baking! Winter also completed her first season as a ski patroller for the Middlebury College Snow Bowl and is stoked for many patrol seasons to come. For the past few summers, Winter has worked at an architecture summer camp at her local elementary school. She also helped run a public art trailer that spread art to community members at local parks and farmer’s markets. We can’t forget to mention that Winter is a two-time Apogee alumnus participant, too! She went on both our Caribbean Service: Puerto Rico and Colorado’s Rocky Mountains trips.

Leader Name: Nathan Strope (he/him)Teen summer bike touring leader Nathan Strope

2024 Trip: Vermont to Montreal

Hometown: Palo Alto, CA

School: Vassar College, Class of 2024

Certifications: Wilderness Advanced First Aid, Wilderness Swim Safety & CPR

Favorite Outdoor Activities: Biking, climbing, backpacking, and laying in the grass on a sunny day

Highlights of the past year: Nathan co-led a backpacking trip that went through four states in four days!

Where you can find Nathan when he’s not on the trail: He’s probably golfing, playing ultimate frisbee, cooking, and hanging with friends. 

Additional super awesome facts about Nathan: In addition to being an active member of the Vassar Climbing Club, Nathan served as co-president of the Vassar Outing Club. Before his time with Apogee, he spent several summers working as an Assistant Teacher, teaching classes ranging from sports to tea crafting and cooking to arts and crafts, and he was also a Head Counselor at a sports camp. After this summer, he will be moving down to Cambridge, MA and starting an environmental consulting job. No stranger to the bike, Nathan has completed multiple 100+ mile rides. This summer, Nathan is so excited to watch and support young adventurers as they connect with the natural world in a  new way!