Veteran Apogee leader Anna Kaplan of Princeton, New Jersey, is an experienced outdoors-woman, an EMT, a fantastic older sister, and the proud daughter of two loving parents. Anna has learned so much from her parents – inheriting her love of gardening from her mother and her musical talent from her father (Anna plays bass in a popular cover band called “Market Basket”). In addition to playing music, Anna also has a blast broadcasting music on a weekly radio show for the Tufts freeform station. Although everyone in her family has varied interests, Anna’s family has always supported her love of learning and passion for the outdoors. Anna is in a five year program at Tufts University, majoring in Biology with the goal of finishing her fifth year with a Masters in Public Health from Tufts School of Medicine in 2017. At Tufts, Anna gained a lot of outdoor leading experience through leading trips for Tufts’ Mountain Club, playing rugby, and taking plenty of trips with friends that share a love for adventure. Anna is fun, charming, and connects wonderfully with kids – a skill that she honed after her summer working as a camp counselor in New York in 2013 at the same camp she attended for six years as a camper. Anna has taken summer college courses at the College of New Jersey, worked as a lifeguard and swim instructor, and even made time to hike 100 miles of the Appalachian Trail from Gorham, New Hampshire, to Rangeley, Maine. Anna was an amazing addition to the Apogee team last year on our Vermont to Montreal trips. This year, Anna is not only looking forward to riding through Big Sky country but is also excited to create WhisperLite culinary masterpieces with her students on our Montana Service Adventure trip!
Freddy Randall is a returning member of the Apogee family this summer, and he’s on board to lead our Montana Service Adventure! Freddy is a rising Senior at Maine’s Colby College where he is a member of the men’s Soccer team and a double major in Economics and Environmental Studies. Freddy recently returned from a stellar semester abroad in South Africa, encountering new wildlife, climates and cultures. The youngest of four, Freddy grew up with a great appreciation for the outdoors, spending vacations traveling and camping with his family. One family trip consisted of spending an entire summer adventuring across the country exploring and camping at different national parks along the way. Freddy’s parents are former directors of a much-loved summer camp in New Hampshire where he grew up as a camper and later moved on to become a dedicated counselor. Freddy also spent two of his summers working as a counselor at a day camp in Cambridge, MA by day, and a parkour instructor for children and adults by night. Freddy is constantly active and engaged – coaching, teaching, and leading wherever he goes. On top of it all, Freddy is also a Mentor in Violence Protection (MVP) facilitator at Colby which discusses men’s violence against women. When Freddy isn’t involved in his myriad extracurricular activities or hard at work studying, he spends his free time hiking, playing Frisbee, or setting up slacklines and slip ‘n slides on the quad. Need an excuse to hang out with Freddy? Invite him to grab a scoop of his favorite – Moose Tracks – ice cream and he won’t be able to resist! Last year, we were lucky enough to scoop Freddy up to lead our Vermont to Montreal trips. As an engaging, caring, and spunky leader, we couldn’t be more overjoyed to have him back to lead for another summer!
This summer’s Northwest Explorer students are going to love getting to know Erinn Geyer! A native of Concord, Massachusetts, Erinn has since moved a few miles down Route 2, and graduated this Spring from Tufts University in Boston. At Tufts, Erinn majored in Clinical Psychology and has taken on double majors in Childhood Development and Communications/Media. Her real love, however, is the outdoors – and her significant early exposure to the backcountry came on Apogee’s own Northwest Explorer in 2008. Ever since, Erinn’s been hooked – and what better chance to share her passion for the outdoors than on a trip she loved as a student! At Tufts, Erinn is the Vice President of the Tufts Mountain Club, the largest student-run organization on campus. She is also deeply involved with Tufts’ Wilderness Orientation program for incoming freshmen and after participating before her own freshman year, Erinn led trips before her sophomore and junior years. Erinn also chases adventures off of campus. A graduate of the National Outdoor Leadership School, Erinn has hiked throughout the Alps, the Grand Canyon, and California’s High Sierras and Yosemite National Park. Additionally, Erinn spent the spring of 2015 studying abroad at the University of Otago in New Zealand – where, naturally, she found time to enjoy New Zealand’s stunning outdoors. Erinn also has an artistic side as she is a member of Tufts’ Dance Cooperative and a writer on one of Boston’s food blogs. Erinn is excited to “give back to a program that helped shape my identity and my passion for the outdoors” as she helps her Apogee students nurture their own passion for outdoor adventure and respect for the environment this summer!
We are thrilled to have Chicago’s own John McBratney join us for another summer to lead our Northwest Explorer trips! John epitomizes what it means to be adventurous and outdoorsy – and he especially thrives around bodies of water, perfect for the sea kayaking he’ll be doing around the beautiful San Juan Islands this summer. Before he led students to beautiful peaks and along rocky coastline on our Maine’s Downeast Explorer trip last summer, John spent his time outside of school bobbing around on Lake Michigan where he served as a sailing instructor and camp counselor in his home town of Evanston, Illinois. John comes from a family of five that loves to travel. Their supportive and fun household has traveled to all ends of the globe together – from Canada and Scandinavia to Hawaii and the Mediterranean. A graduating Senior at Hamilton College in upstate New York, John is Captain of Hamilton men’s Water Polo team and serves as a trip leader for Adirondack Adventure, the college’s outdoor-oriented pre-orientation program. In his free time at Hamilton, John is a founding member of an a capella group for “shower singers,” and an aspiring architect and interior designer during moments of procrastination. Vibrant, energetic, and passionate about the outdoors – John perfectly represents the Apogee spirit and we can’t wait to have John lead his fellow travelers through the wild-flower covered mountains and beautiful waters of the Pacific Northwest this summer!