Lace up those hiking boots because the White Mountains are calling! And who better to answer the call than Isa Caliandro and Aaron Pomerance. Isa, Aaron, and their hearty crews will be exploring the hills of New Hampshire and the coast of Maine with their students on our New England Mountains & Coast trip this summer! And along the rural back roads of beautiful Vermont will be none other than superstars Anna Kaplan and Freddy Randall. With their groups, this dynamic duo will cycle through green pastures, kayak Lake Champlain, and even pick up a little French as they cross into Canada on our Vermont to Montreal trip.
We are thrilled to have Isabella (Isa) Caliandro, of Concord, Massachusetts, leading our New England Mountains & Coast trip this summer! While this is her first year as a leader, she is not new to the Apogee family; Isa was a student in 2009 and 2010 on our Vermont Hiker and Northwest Explorer trips. Following her two summers with Apogee, Isa decided to follow her adventurous side and a semester of 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 continued following her high school graduation as she took a gap year following 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 know’s how to live life to the fullest! Isa is now 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 perfecting her “camping stove cake” this summer!
Aaron “Pom” Pomerance is a Psychology major and Communication Media Studies minor at Tufts University. Born and raised in Weston, Connecticut, Aaron comes from a very close-knit family. He has always been on the move – whether playing linebacker out on the football field or working in the ambulance as a volunteer EMT. At Tufts, Aaron writes and edits for the Tufts Daily newspaper, plans events for Tufts Chabad (the Jewish Community House on campus), and leads hiking trips with the student-run Tufts Mountain Club. Aaron also likes to work on his outdoor journalism website, rock climb with his friends, and work with kids. His enthusiasm for working with youth in the outdoors inspired him to lead backpacking trips for Camp Moosilauke in Orford, New Hampshire. His amazing summer leading and working closely with middle-school aged students led Aaron to Apogee – and we’re delighted to have him on our New England Mountains & Coast trip. Aaron can’t wait to share his love of the outdoors – and his goofy sense of humor – with his Apogee students this summer!
Anna Kaplan, of Princeton, New Jersey, is an experienced outdoors-woman, and 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”). 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 a rising Senior at Tufts University, where she studies Biology and looks forward to graduating in 2017 with a Masters in Public Health from Tufts School of Medicine. At Tufts, Anna also 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. Last summer, Anna took 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 is going to be an amazing addition to the Apogee team, and is looking forward to getting to know her students as they hang out around camp and play games under the stars on our Vermont to Montreal trip.
Freddy Randall, brother of beloved Apogee leader Noah Randall, is a new member of the Apogee family this summer, and he’s on board to lead our Vermont to Montreal trip! We are ecstatic to have Freddy, a rising Junior at Maine’s Colby College make his way over to Brunswick. At Colby, Freddy is a member of the men’s soccer team and a double major in Economics and Environmental Studies. The youngest of four, Freddy loves his siblings “more than anything.” Freddy grew up with a great appreciation of 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 Freddy grew up as a camper and later moved on to become a dedicated counselor. Freddy has spent his last two 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. 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 multitude of extracurriculars or hard at work studying, he enjoys his free time by hiking, playing frisbee, or setting up slacklines or slip ‘n slides on the quad. Freddy spent this past January living on the beach in the U.S. Virgin Islands and working for the US National Park Service. What a lucky duck! 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! Freddy is engaging, caring, spunky, and above all, tons of fun. We are overjoyed to have him with us!