Leader Bios: Meet Liana, Connor, Emmaline & Parker!

Liana Margolese – Pyrenees Mountains & Coast

Liana Margolese seems to have inherited the travel bug from her parents. When she was nine years old, her family took a two-month road trip in an RV, visiting national parks, cities, and, in her words, “way too many battlefields.” Since then, Liana has gone on countless adventures throughout the country exploring places both close to her Massachusetts home and further afield (including a 30-day backpacking trip in Alaska!). In addition to being an experienced traveler, Liana is also a seasoned leader. In high school, Liana led winter camping expeditions, taught cross country skiing, and led ropes course activities for peers as a student leader in the school’s Outdoor Pursuits program. She has since continued to engage in outdoor leadership activities at college; as a student at Cornell, Liana served as a rock climbing, paddling, and cycling instructor; a guide for Cornell’s wilderness pre-orientation program; and worked for the Cornell Outdoor Education center as their Student Representative and gear specialist. Liana spent last semester studying abroad in Cantabria, Spain and took advantage of the travel opportunities it afforded – she visited France, Italy, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, and Ireland! In addition to her school-year activities, Liana has worked as a counselor and the director of boating at Wohelo Camp on the shores of Lake Sebago here in Maine. At Wohelo, Liana was responsible for coordinating the canoeing, kayaking, and rowing programs; planning the boating curricula for 100+ students; and overseeing the counselors who were teaching boating classes. Liana returns to Apogee after spending last summer working for Apple and furthering her skills on their hardware team (she’s a recent Cornell grad with a degree in Mechanical Engineering). She loved leading our Coast to Québec and Maine Coast Junior trips two summers ago, and is excited to be back on the Apogee team to lead this year’s Pyrenees Mountains & Coast trips!

Connor Chess – Pyrenees Mountains & Coast

Growing up in suburban Washington, DC with four siblings, Apogee veteran Connor Chess was raised as a team-player with an eagerness to explore the world. And explore he has – Northern Europe, Brazil, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Spain, and Peru are just a few of the destinations on his impressive list! While he flexed his acting chops in high school, Connor focused primarily on sports, playing football and lacrosse. He continued his dedication to athletics by playing football at Washington & Lee University, and it’s only since graduating from W&L in 2017 that Connor has returned to his thespian roots. Connor’s interests aren’t limited to athletics and acting, however, his extensive travels have helped him realize that he loves working with kids and playing in the outdoors. Whether teaching English to high schoolers in Costa Rica, living and working in Argentina for a summer after studying there, or exploring the natural wonders of the places he visits by foot, bike, kayak, or surf board, Connor seeks to create deep connections with the people, places, and cultures he interacts with. Connor’s love of teaching and team-building, along with his boundless warmth and enthusiasm, make him the perfect fit for any Apogee family, and we’re excited to put his Spanish-speaking skills and extensive experience abroad on display for the third summer in a row! Connor thrived on our Costa Rica Language & Service trip his first summer, loved leading our inaugural Costa Rica Mountains & Coast last summer, and is psyched to head to Spain this summer for our Pyrenees Mountains & Coast trips!

Emmaline Keene – Costa Rica Mountains & Coast

Emmaline Keene grew up in rural New Hampshire, where she spent her winters snowshoeing through the woods and her springs “tapping” the trees to make her own maple syrup. Needless to say, she grew up spending a lot of time in the outdoors, and we’re excited to help her continue that trend this summer on our Costa Rica Mountains & Coast trips! Emmaline is a rising senior at Hamilton College in Clinton, New York, where she is a double major in Psychology and Hispanic Studies. She doesn’t let her academic workload keep her from getting outdoors, however, as she (voluntarily) wakes up at 4:30 AM many mornings to train with Hamilton’s Marathon Canoe Racing team! Emmaline is also a trip leader for Hamilton’s Outdoor Orientation Program, where she leads wilderness trips for incoming first-year students. Not only did Emmaline lead these trips, but she also served as an Assistant Director for last year’s Wilderness Orientation Program, coordinating the logistics for 29 different itineraries! During her time as an Assistant Director, Emmaline also found it part of her responsibilities to lead a week-long boating program for eleven and twelve year-olds. Aside from her outdoor-related pursuits at Hamilton, Emmaline sings in an all-female a cappella group on campus. Emmaline comes to Apogee fresh off of a semester abroad in Madrid in a language-intensive program, so perhaps her students can convince her to sing a little ditty en español as they explore the Costa Rican rainforest together!

Parker Densmore – Costa Rica Mountains & Coast

Whether he’s backpacking, cycling, and water skiing in the summer, or on- and off-piste skiing in the winter, Parker Densmore is always on the move. A freshly minted graduate of Saint Lawrence University, Parker studied Geology and Film and Representation Studies during his time at school in Canton, New York. At Saint Lawrence, Parker shared his love of the outdoors with his peers by leading backpacking, canoeing, and skiing trips, and served as the secretary of SLU’s Outing Club. Parker also competed on the Alpine Ski Team at school and was a member of the Ultimate Frisbee Team. Parker claims he could ski before he could walk, and he uses that innate knowledge of the sport to be a ski coach for multiple youth ski teams! He has spent past summers working as a camp counselor in Vermont and, before that, was a ranch hand/assistant horse guide/assistant horse-riding instructor in Wyoming! Parker spent his most recent summer here with us at Apogee, leading our Maine Coast Junior and Colorado’s Rocky Mountains trips. We’re thrilled to have Parker back for round two, and we’re sure his students will have a blast exploring with him on our Costa Rica Mountains & Coast trips this summer!