Meet our Maine’s Downeast Explorer Leaders!

Got a case of the Wednesday blues? Get over the hump by reading about four spectacular Apogee leaders who will be spending their summers creating new Apogee families in Downeast Maine!


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, a softball coach, and an avid Alabama Football fan. When she headed north to study at Franklin & Marshall college, she picked up a love for the natural environment; she now is the president of the Outing Club, a member of the Environmental Action Alliance Club, and is entering her senior year as a Biology major. She has spent the past 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 time and keeping an eye on their well-being as they navigated the rapids together. As if she didn’t already have a wide variety of cultural experiences, Addie recently spent a semester studying abroad in Bocas del Toro, Panama, where she studied tropical ecosystems, learned to surf, and taught herself to play guitar. While she in Panama, Addie also facilitated a Spanish/English language skill exchange with Panamanian children. As we welcome Addie to Maine this summer, we’re curious what bit of Maine culture she’ll pick up… lobstering, perhaps? Regardless, we know Addie is very excited to create new communities with her Apogee students while they explore the the outdoors together on our Maine’s Downeast Explorer trip.


A true woodsman, Clark Macomber literally lives and breathes the outdoors in that he resides in the Outing Club building at Saint Lawrence University, where he is a rising junior. Clark has a number of outdoor pursuits; he is an avid mountain biker, backpacker, canoeist, winter camping enthusiast, and is a member of the Alpine Ski team at St. Lawrence (which competes with the big guns in Division 1 competition!). Clark is somehow able to balance all of his outdoor pursuits with his studies as an Environmental Science and Economics major. Clark’s love for the wilderness started at a young age, growing up in Holderness, NH in the foothills of the White Mountains. By the time he was in high school, he was already sharing his love for the outdoors with others; as a house leader at the Holderness School, part of his duties included leading backpacking trips for incoming students to help set up a positive and welcoming community. More recently, Clark has worked as a counselor/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 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 he and his Apogee students will have a blast this summer exploring the beauty of the Pine Tree State on our Maine’s Downeast Explorer trip.


Growing up in Concord, NH, Celeste Holland was raised in a close-knit family that encouraged adventure and exploration. In high school, Celeste attended the Holderness School (like Clark, above!), where she found a community that shared her love and appreciation for the outdoors. She spent many afternoons time hiking, skiing, biking, and rock climbing, and four seasons as a member of the Cycling team. By the end of high school, Celeste had stepped into a leadership role, as a trip leader for the school’s Outback program – a ten-day backpacking trip for juniors in high school. After high school, Celeste took a gap year before heading to St. Lawrence University, where she is a rising junior. During Celeste’s gap year she explored farms across the globe through the World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF) program. Celeste’s green thumb and love of nature don’t stop there – she spent this past semester living in an off-the-grid yurt through St. Lawrence’s Adirondack Semester program, giving her an opportunity to truly immerse herself in outdoors living. Back on campus, Celeste is an admissions ambassador, giving tours and writing letters to prospective students. She has also completed her Outdoor Guide Training course through St. Lawrence and is ready to put her skills to use on our Maine’s Downeast Explorer trip this summer! Celeste’s enthusiasm, warm energy, love of nature, and group-minded focus are the perfect combo for her lucky Apogee students!


A rising senior at Colgate University in upstate New York, Austin Sun grew up all the way over on the other side of the country in sunny Piedmont, CA, and spent lots of time traveling overseas to visit family in Taiwan. Austin has maintained strong roots in the United States and Taiwan his life – instilling in him a love for exploring and understanding new places and cultures. Austin fell in love with the outdoors at an early age. He grew up in the Boy Scout system, starting as a participant and continuing to take leadership roles as the years went on. Austin has also dedicated time and energy to giving back, participating in multiple service trips through the boy scouts and serving as the student leader of a high school service trip to Tijuana. Once in college, Austin found community through the Colgate Outdoor Education program. After an intensive staff training, Austin has become a Trip Leader for Colgate’s outdoors program where he teaches skills from ice climbing to river kayaking. He also acts as the welcoming committee for Colgate’s incoming freshman by leading their pre-orientation trips in the Adirondacks. Off campus, Austin has spent summers studying  language in Beijing and taking geology in Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming. And as if his travel credentials needed burnishing, Austin spent this spring semester sailing around New Zealand on a scientific research sailboat! Well-traveled and kind, Austin is passionate about creating positive relationships with his Apogee students on this summer’s  Maine’s Downeast Explorer trips!