We couldn’t be more thrilled to have Isabella (Isa – “eeee-sa”) Caliandro, of Concord, Massachusetts, back for another summer leading our California Mountains and Coast trips! Isa not only led our New England Mountains & Coast and Maine Coast Junior trips last summer, but was also a student in 2009 and 2010 on our erstwhile Vermont Hiker and Northwest Explorer trips. After her two summers with Apogee, Isa spent her Junior year of high school at the High Mountain Institute, a school in Colorado that combines academics and the natural world. Her love for the outdoors and travel grew further after her high school graduation when she took a gap year before starting college. During her gap year, Isa rock-climbed in Chamonix, France, hiked the Tour du Mont Blanc, and then traveled to Wales and England where she worked on organic farms. To finish off her year, Isa completed a large portion of the Appalachian Trail. To say the least, Isa knows how to live life to the fullest! Isa is now a rising Junior at St. Lawrence University in upstate New York where she is majoring in Environmental Studies. Away from the books, she plays the ukulele, knits, and cooks up a storm in the kitchen! Isa has also had plenty of experience working with kids; for years, she has taught pottery classes for kids and led cycling trips for the Long Island (Maine) Community Center’s Adventure Club. Isa is very much looking forward to getting to know her Apogee students while further perfecting her “camping stove cake” this summer!
Colorado-native and guacamole-connoisseur David Munger will be hopping aboard the Apogee ship this summer as a leader for our California Mountains and Coast trip. The Rocky Mountain State provided ample opportunities for David to get outside and foster his love for the outdoors with his parents and older sister. After growing up and exploring during his youth in Colorado, David gave back to his home state as a Colorado Outward Bound School Instructor last summer where he learned valuable skills of learning to live in the wilderness. While working as both a field and logistics staff member, David led a breathtaking 15-day alpine backpacking trip for 12-13 year olds. David also has unique experience leading international service and conservation trips in Guatemala for high schoolers – que bueno! David comes to us as a 2016 graduate of Hamilton College where he studied Philosophy. David committed much of his time to Hamilton’s pre-orientation program, Adirondack Adventures, as both a trip leader and the Student Assistant Director. David also spent plenty of time serenading the Hamilton campus alongside his fellow a capella singers. While an adventurous land-lover, David is also a man of the deep blue sea. David spent a semester working on a 135-foot sailboat performing oceanographic research, hoisting the sails, and enjoying the cool breeze in New Zealand. David’s goofy accents and affinity for teaching made him a hit with his campers, and will be sure to do the same for his Apogee students this summer.
We can’t wait to have Jessica “Jessi” Crowley back again as a part of the Apogee family this summer as she leads our California Mountains and Coast trips! Born and raised in Seattle, Washington, Jessi feels right at home in the outdoors. Growing up, Jessi spent much of her free time camping, hiking and climbing around the glorious wilderness of Washington with her parents and two brothers. Jessi didn’t pause her passion for exploring the outdoors when she flew across the country to attend Hamilton College in upstate New York, where she just received her diploma! For the past few years, when she wasn’t working towards her Psychology major, Jessi could be found leading pre-orientation trips in the Adirondack wilderness for incoming freshmen or singing as a dedicated member of an anonymous a capella group that does flash mob performances around campus. Additionally, Jessi loved playing Ultimate Frisbee and has been an avid player for much of her life. Over the years, she has transitioned from being on a nationally-ranked youth team to being a Co-Captain of the Hamilton Women’s Ultimate Frisbee team – a group Jessi proudly led to Nationals for the first time in the team’s history! On top of it all, Jessi enjoys travel and working with kids. In high school, Jessi went on a global service trip to Uruguay where she taught math, science, and dance to 11- and 12-year olds and last summer, Jessi brought her positive energy with her as she led our Downeast Explorer and Vermont to Montreal trips. Jessi is fun, kind, and filled with infectious enthusiasm, and her Apogee students are going to have a great time getting to know her both on the trails in Yosemite and over the cresting waves of the California shore!
As a man of many travels and an unmatched passion for the outdoors, Nick Cunetta is a perfect fit to lead our California Mountains and Coast trips! While a freshman in high school in Seattle, Washington, Nick took part in an outdoors survival trip that ignited his curiosity to get outside. Following this trip, Nick became involved in his high school outdoors club, keeping him busy as he also edited the school newspaper and served on the student government. With all of these experiences in his back pocket, Nick took a “gap year” to find his way to unique vistas across the globe while he backpacked through Alaska, the Himalayas, Italy, and the Scottish highlands. While navigating the local geography, Nick even picked up a conversational proficiency in Nepali, Italian, and Arabic! Nick describes his travels with incredible gratitude and hopes to create opportunities for his students to experience a similar appreciation for adventure. When not strapping on a hiking backpack during his gap year, Nick spent 8 months teaching English to 5-13 year olds in Thailand. As a nature and geocaching camp counselor last summer, Nick discovered a natural curiosity, excitement, and sense of humor in students that lead him to want to be an Apogee leader. Now a rising Sophomore at Tufts University studying Geologic Sciences, Nick spends his time outside of the classroom long-distance running on the Tufts Marathon Team. Nick will be a true outdoorsman joining the team this summer, and he couldn’t be more excited to share his love for the wilderness out West with his students!