Leader Bios: Meet Skyler, Jonathan, Olivia & Garth!

Skyler Cummings – Maine Coast College Essay

Born-and-bred Mainer Skyler Cummings joins us this summer to lead trips a mere half hour away from where she grew up! This bodes well for her Apogee students, as she’s sure to have some local tips and tricks to share with her Maine Coast College Essay groups. Skyler is a rising junior at Wesleyan College, where she’s pursuing a degree in History. When she’s not hitting the books, Skyler might be found performing at a local venue near campus — that’s right, folks, Skyler plays the bass guitar in not one, but two female rock bands! Skyler has always loved working with students — she’s nannied since she was 14 and has tutored English Language Learning (ELL) students since 2015. Additionally, Skyler spent the summer of 2017 as the head counselor at a summer camp, where she not only taught classes and worked with students, but also supervised a full counselor staff! Skyler has always had a knack for good writing, and in addition to her work as a writing tutor, she spent two years as the editor of her high school’s newspaper. Skyler transferred to Wesleyan after her freshman year, so she’ll have an extra keen eye for her students’ college essay, since she’s successfully applied to college more than once. The combination of Skyler’s love for Maine, writing, and working with students makes her the perfect fit for our MCCE trips this summer!

Jonathan Zelinger – Maine Coast College Essay

As you’ll discover below, West Hartford, Connecticut’s own Jonathan Zelinger is a true jack-of-all-trades. We’re delighted that, as a leader of our Maine Coast College Essay trip, Jonathan’s principal love is for writing in its many different forms. Jonathan recently helped organize and create content for the Brooklyn Book Festival, he has worked as a newspaper reporter in Kauai, Hawaii, for the island’s sole newspaper, and he taught after-school creative writing classes for middle schoolers through all four years of college (Jonathan is a newly-minted graduate of Franklin & Marshall College). On top of that, he served as a writing tutor for peers in college, an SAT tutor for college hopefuls, and worked for F&M’s admissions office. If you can’t already tell, Jonathan loves working collaboratively, especially with students. To round out his experience working with youth, Jonathan has also served as a head counselor at a day camp, a basketball coach, a rowing instructor, and an ice skating instructor. While he may not get the opportunity to show off his ice skating skills this summer, he can easily demonstrate another talent of his to his MCCE students: baking! Jonathan worked at a pastry shop in Bath, England, where he learned all sorts of tricks of the trade. We can’t wait to see how all of Jonathan’s vast experiences combine to create a rich experience for his Apogee students this summer!

Olivia Sackler – Alaska Mountains & Coast

Third-year Apogee leader Olivia Sackler’s passion for the outdoors runs deep; she is an active hiker, biker, sailor, snorkeler, and conservationist! A 2018 graduate of the College of Charleston, Olivia holds a degree in Geology with a focus in Environmental Geology, and her field studies have brought her to the Galapagos Islands, South Africa, and even an eco-village outside Asheville, NC. Beyond her travels with the Geology Department, Olivia has spent her summers traveling since she was twelve. She has hiked all over New England (both in her younger years and as a leader two summers ago on our New England Mountains & Coast and Maine Coast Junior trips), backpacked through Yellowstone, biked from Seattle to San Francisco, sailed from Saint Martin to Trinidad, adventure toured through Banff, Canada, and done community service while hiking through Fiji. Olivia takes great pleasure sharing outdoor experiences with others, something she has done both as a trip leader with Apogee, a day camp counselor, and as a pre-orientation trip leader and co-president of the Outing Club at the College of Charleston. Over the last year, Olivia has led our California Mountains & Coast trips and spent many months traveling and working throughout Thailand and Southeast Asia. We can’t wait to have Olivia back for her third summer as she heads up to the Last Frontier to lead our Alaska Mountains & Coast trips this year!

Garth Robinson – Alaska Mountains & Coast

Apogee veteran Garth Robinson hails from Newburyport, Massachusetts, where he grew up exploring the beaches, marshes, and deep woods of nearby state parks. With long-held fondnesses for both reading and the natural world, Garth found that the quiet, solitary adventures he’d embark upon as a kid contributed directly to his love for storytelling early on. Now a recent graduate of Hamilton College with a degree in Creative Writing, Garth finds his passion for the outdoors and for connecting with people to be ever-expanding. At Hamilton, Garth was a Trip Leader for the Adirondack Adventure Orientation Program and also regularly led excursions as a Leader for the Outing Club. Back in the summer of 2016, Garth worked as a guide on Alaska’s Matanuska Glacier, where he admired the deep crevasses, towering seracs, and the rippling horizon of mountains and ridges. Needless to say, Garth’s summer in Alaska only deepened his reverence for nature. Most of all though, Garth enjoyed connecting with students and children during his tours and found his interactions with young people to be most rewarding. We loved having Garth on our team last summer as he lead our Maine’s Downeast Explorer trips, and we know his students will enjoy his company and storytelling prowess as he heads back to Alaska on this year’s Alaska Mountains & Coast trips!