He grew up in Uganda and Eritrea, he calls the shores of Lake Geneva home, he attended high school in Wales, and he is a rising junior at the University of British Columbia. Josh Cutler is our international man of mystery. We are honored to have Josh return to Apogee this summer to lead our Northwest Explorer andMontana Service Adventure after his very successful summer on our Downeast Explorer last year. Probably the only person you’ve ever met who has actually been chased by a hippo, Josh is remarkably down to earth. An avid sailor and adventurer, Josh has taught safe-boating in South Africa, served as a camp-counselor in Italy, trekked through New Zealand, practiced wilderness rescues in Arizona, and worked in an orphanage in the Sudan. At school, Josh has been taken leadership positions with Greenpeace, a boat-building club, and Amnesty International. The oldest of four boys, Josh takes every opportunity he can to work with young people. He can’t wait to head out west this summer with Apogee, and his students are sure to benefit from Josh’s outstanding leadership, his compassion and his truly global perspective. Among other certifications, Josh is certified in Wilderness First Aid and CPR.
We are delighted to have third-year leader, Anna Minckler (pictured here with her third year co-leader, David Cutler), returning to lead our America Coast to Coast trip this summer after leading our New England Mountains & Coast, Northwest Explorer, and Montana Service Adventure trips in past summers. A rising senior at Lafayette College, Anna was born on Kauai, Hawaii and has loved the outdoors from day one. After stints in California and Michigan, her family settled in Fort Lauderdale, Florida where she has now lived for eighteen years. Anna grew up biking to the beach to swim, surf and skim board, passions that continue to this day. A natural teacher, Anna enjoys being a positive role model for young people and thrives on the energy and imagination kids bring to everything they do. Playing Ultimate Frisbee and reading are among Anna’s long list of healthy addictions. She also enjoys hiking with the Lafayette Outing Club and spends hours paddling her sea kayak when home in Florida. Giving back is important to Anna; she has served many hours helping to clean up and preserve Florida’s fragile ecosystem. This summer, Anna is looking forward to sharing stories about her recent semester at sea, sailing from one palm-dotted atoll to another in the South Pacific, encountering docile manta rays, confronting rising sea levels, and listening to the melodious sounds of nesting Red-Footed Boobies in the trees. She hopes one day to combine her passions for travel, teaching and service by joining the Peace Corps. Anna can’t wait to hit the roads of America with her Apogee group this summer. Anna is certified in Wilderness First Aid & CPR.
Though he hails from a small town in western New Hampshire, Pat McManus has his arms open to the whole wide world. Pat is deeply committed to a lifestyle of volunteering and has made engaged service the focal point of his life. After his sophomore year at St. Lawrence University, where he volunteered with Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Pat applied to and was accepted into the Americorps program. He spent an entire year living and working on America’s Gulf Coast, and developing new programs at Boys and Girls Clubs throughout the region. Pat loves working with young people; and particularly loves to watch young people find their voice in new situations. A committed athlete, as well, Pat won numerous scholar-athlete awards in high school, where he played four sports. Now a rising senior at the University of New Hampshire, Pat recently served as a delegate to the Model United Nations Plus-20 Conference. Pat can’t wait to practice his best “buongiorno” with his groups in the hill towns of Tuscany this summer, and his groups are certain to benefit from Pat’s wide-angle perspective! Pat is a certified Emergency Medical Technician.
Given the caliber of leaders that we attract, it is not unusual to have a seasoned camp counselor join us. It is not usual at all, however, to have a camp founder on staff. But that is exactly what we have in returning leader Hannah Gensheimer. Hailing from western Pennsylvania, Hannah started (with her sister, CC, also an Apogee 2012 leader) a day camp for neighborhood children in 2003 and has been running (and growing) it every year since. It is now one of the most popular summer camps in her area! And no wonder, as her Coast to Quebec groups discovered last summer, Hannah is one of the warmest, most thoughtful, and funniest people you’re likely to run across in a long time. Last year’s Apogee groups and Hannah’s lifelong experiences with young people shape the perspective that she will bring to her Pacific Coast groups this summer. Hannah graduated from Bucknell University this spring, where she double-majored in Psychology and Political Science. Hannah loves to travel and has visited a number of countries in Europe with her close-knit family and studied abroad in New Zealand. Additionally, Hannah is enormously service-oriented; she has served in an AIDS orphanage in Honduras and has spent a recent Spring Break working on a Habitat for Humanity project in Florida. Hannah is looking forward to spending two months volunteering with children in Argentina after her Apogee summer. As busy as she is, Hannah makes time for adventure, too — two of Hannah’s favorite memories are sky-diving over glaciers and dancing on stage with the Village People. Suffice it to say, Hannah’s students are going to love getting to know her this summer! Hannah is certified in First Aid and CPR.