Leader Bios! Meet Clark, Addie, Nicholas, and Emma!

clark and addie and nicholas and emma
went up to the mountains(to solve a dilemma)
and clark discovered a marmot that chirped
so loudly he couldn’t remember his name,and
addie befriended a silly sea otter
whose pups amid the kelp frolicked;
and nicholas was chased by a slippery thing
which raced sideways while blowing bubbles:and
emma came home with a smile on her face
the smallest of gestures a radiant grace.
For whatever we travel(and wherever we roam)
it’s always our leaders who guide us back home

Written in honor of E. E. Cummings’s 123.58th birthday

Clark Macomber – Northwest Explorer

After an amazing summer leading our Maine’s Downeast Explorer trip in 2017, Clark Macomber is back for another fun-filled Apogee summer this year! Clark has a number of outdoor pursuits: he is an avid mountain biker, backpacker, canoeist, winter camping enthusiast, and a member of the Alpine Ski Team at St. Lawrence University (which competes with the big guns in Division 1 competition!). Clark is somehow able to balance all his outdoor pursuits with his studies; now a rising senior at St. Lawrence University, Clark studies Environmental Science and Economics. His love for the wilderness started at a young age, as he grew up in Holderness, NH in the foothills of the White Mountains. By the time he was in high school, Clark was already sharing his love for the outdoors with others; as a house leader at the Holderness School, his duties included leading backpacking trips for incoming students to help establish a positive and welcoming community. More recently, Clark has worked as a counselor and environmental leader at the Junior Squam Lakes Association summer camp (JSLA). As a counselor for the JSLA, Clark led groups of teens on week-long hiking and canoeing trips and helped facilitate activities and games for his campers. While he has spent much of his life exploring the wilderness of New England, Clark has also traveled to an impressive variety of destinations. He has hiked through Denali National Park and the Eastern Alaskan Range, and his skiing prowess has further taken him to destinations such as Japan, France, Switzerland, Italy, and New Zealand! While he may not be able to show off his slalom skills this summer, we’re certain that Clark and his Apogee students will have a blast this summer exploring the beauty of the Pacific Northwest on our Northwest Explorer trip.

Addie Irvin – Northwest Explorer

From Birmingham, Alabama, to Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Addie Irvin absorbs her surroundings and picks up new hobbies and interests from the many places she’s lived and traveled. Growing up in the heat of Birmingham, Addie was a gymnast, softball coach, and avid Alabama Football fan. When she headed north to study at Franklin & Marshall College, she picked up a love for nature and the outdoors; during her time at Franklin & Marshall, Addie studied Biology, served as President of the Outing Club, and was a member of the Environmental Action Alliance Club. Before leading Apogee’s Maine’s Downeast Explorer trip last summer, Addie spent the previous two summers in Canon City, CO, where she worked as a whitewater raft guide and fell in love with the rushing water, bighorn sheep, and vast canyons of Colorado. As a whitewater guide, Addie frequently worked with groups of young students, facilitating fun bonding and prioritizing their safety as they navigated the rapids together. As if she didn’t already have a wide variety of cultural experiences within the US, during her time at Franklin & Marshall, Addie spent a semester studying abroad in Bocas del Toro, Panama. There, she studied tropical ecosystems, learned to surf, and taught herself to play guitar. While she was in Panama, Addie also facilitated a Spanish/ English language skill exchange with Panamanian children. We’re delighted to have Addie back on the Apogee team this summer, and we know she is thrilled to create new communities with her Apogee students while they explore the the outdoors together on our Northwest Explorer trip.

Nicholas Bollen – Northwest Explorer

Wrapping up his final year of a Master’s program in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Colorado (CU), Nicholas Bollen is a genius with a love of the outdoors. Nicholas grew up in Aurora, Colorado, with the Rocky Mountains in his backyard. His twin sister (who he readily admits is two minutes older than he is) was his adventure partner as they grew up hiking and biking together. It was Nicholas’ love of adventuring that spurred his desire to become a mechanical engineer; for his senior project in high school, Nicholas built a bike frame out of bamboo, then researched how bamboo bicycles could be used as a resource for the people of Ghana. Not to be pigeon-holed as your stereotypical library-dwelling engineer, Nicholas took a class in African Dance, which he touts as the best course he has taken in his college career. He mixes in those newfound moves with his other favorites – the two-step and salsa! During his time at CU, Nicholas has continued his outdoor pursuits as a wilderness trip leader for the outdoor program and has kept up his love of biking by serving as an officer for the CU Cycling Team. In addition to his outdoor leadership work at CU, Nicholas has also volunteered at Camp Barnabas in Missouri, where he helped facilitate high ropes course activities, canoe trips, and overnight camping trips for students and adults with special needs. Nicholas had a blast last summer leading a biking trip for us out west, and we’re thrilled that he’ll be joining us for yet another trip this season. We’re sure that with all his outdoor experience, Nicholas will be able to engineer (haha, get it?) a fantastic summer for his Apogee students as they hike, backpack, sea kayak, perform community service, and revel in the spectacular Washington landscape on Northwest Explorer!

Emma Newmann – Northwest Explorer

Emma Newmann loves to explore all parts of the world – on land and at sea! Emma has taken part on extended backcountry canoe trips each summer since she was eleven, instilling in her a desire to see nearly untouched parts of the Earth that has continued over the past decade. Emma has since taken this to extremes: she has canoed twice in the Arctic Ocean and also sailed 2,236 nautical miles from American Samoa to Tonga, to Fiji, to New Zealand on a SEA Semester study abroad program in college. A senior at Colgate University majoring in Environmental Geography and minoring in Anthropology, Emma has put her love of the outdoors to practice on campus as well. Having gone through Colgate’s extensive Outdoor Education program, Emma is now a Staff Trainer and helps teach skills to the next generation of students. She also gets out in the field and leads trips for Colgate Outdoor Education that range from backpacking and winter camping to canoeing and rock climbing. Emma also worked at a camp for four summers, where she led twenty-day canoe trips for kids aged twelve to eighteen. Last summer, she studied forest conservation as a Student Researcher in the Northern Highlands of Ethiopia. Emma also has a passion for music; she’s a member of an a cappella group on campus, Colgate Resolutions, and also serves as an Assistant Director for Colgate Broad Street, a student-run vocal jazz performance, where she arranges music and directs performers. With all of her experience on water, camping, and backpacking, Emma is the perfect fit to lead our Northwest Explorer trips this summer!