Support Staff and Leader Profiles: Alex Doig, Annika Nygren, Jack Messerly, & Caroline “CC” Gensheimer

We are so excited to welcome Apogee new-comers Alex Doig and Annika Nygren to the family!  Alex and Annika will be joining us as the go-to-doctors-of-many-fields northeast support staff! They’ll meet hundreds of families as they help out on trips, climb mountains, visit Quebec City and Montreal and field phone calls in the office – in short, these amazing staffers are going to keep the Apo-wheels rolling! And – also profiled below but working an ocean away this summer – are two Apogee phenoms that need no introduction. Coming back to lead together for their third year, Jack Messerly and Caroline “CC’ Gensheimer will be leaving the comfort of the good, old USA for the gorgeous Alps and the adventure of a lifetime!

ALEX DOIGApogee Adventures Support Staff Alex Doig

A rising Junior at Hamilton, Alex Doig is going to be an amazing addition to our New England support staff this summer! Hailing from Concord, Massachusetts, Alex has always had a passion for being in the outdoors. The grandson of two Eagle Scouts, Alex’s love for adventure and the outdoors is in his blood, and Alex became a Boy Scout himself at the age of eleven and an Eagle Scout several years later. Today, Alex spends much of his free-time outside chasing various feats of endurance; some of these feats including a running relay-race stretching the length of Vermont, and a 90-mile canoe race. Alex is currently studying Geoscience and is a leader for Adirondack Adventure, Hamilton’s eight-day outdoor program for incoming students, and an avid member of Hamilton’s Outing Club. He has certainly taken advantage of the opportunities offered by the Outing Club; last winter, Alex travelled with Hamilton’s Outing Club to the Ecuadorian highlands and the Amazon rainforest.  Alex is looking forward to traveling across the Northeast this summer, learn new outdoor skills, and meet great people, both Apogee students and leaders.

Apogee Adventure Support Staff Annika NygrenANNIKA NYGREN

Annika Nygren is a rising Junior at Amherst College.  She is a go-getter and is going to play a huge role on our New England support staff this summer. Annika was born in Danderyd, Sweden, but now calls Sudbury, Massachusetts home. Annika comes from a very tight-knit family, including her parents, little sister, and grandmother. Growing up, she enjoyed her times skiing with her family and traveling throughout the United States and Europe. At Amherst, Annika is a member of the varsity field hockey team, and when she is not practicing, reading or doing homework, Annika loves baking, taking photos of sunsets, and dancing to Hall and Oates (we still like her, despite this last one…). Annika has plenty of experience working with kids; she was a ski instructor at Sunday River in Maine for four years, as well as a field hockey coach. She knows how to balance her role as a teacher, friend, and mentor in a way that will make her a true asset to our leaders, directors, and the students she will work with this summer.

JACK MESSERLY Apogee Adventure Leader Jack Messerly

Apogee alum and proud Minnesotan Jack Messerly is, if you will forgive the pun, a Jack-of-all-trades.  A 2014 graduate of Hamilton College, Jack double-majored in Math and Philosophy.  Jack spent the spring of his Junior year studying abroad hiking, kayaking and rock-climbing in New Zealand (he promises us he took classes, too…).  At Hamilton, Jack was frequently found spinning tracks as a DJ at the college’s radio station, leading campus tours for prospective students, and playing rugby (Jack was the Captain of Hamilton’s rugby team).  Additionally, Jack has led incoming freshmen on a weeklong, pre-orientation backpacking trip for Hamilton’s Adirondack Adventure program.  On the trail, his Alps Explorer groups should encourage Jack to “get down” and do some freestyle rapping, which is, along with his camp cooking, another of his many skills.  Jack’s Apogee groups quickly learned that he has an expansive palate; he claims that he’s yet to find a food he does not like, including an all-in-one peanut butter, Nutella and pepperoni sandwich.

Apogee Adventure Leader Caroline GensheimerCAROLINE “CC” GENSHEIMER

A family-oriented world-traveler, third-time returning leader Caroline (“CC”) Gensheimer has explored Europe, the United States and Central America.  She has had a monkey perch on her shoulder, studied under blossoming chestnut and quince trees in Paris during an idyllic spring semester, and sea-kayaked alongside whales in Alaska’s glacier-rimmed fjords. This summer, however, the frosted peaks of the Swiss Alps will be her home as CC leads our Alps Explorer trips. A native of western Pennsylvania and a 2014 graduate from the College of William and Mary, CC will be spending her summer hiking with her students through Europe before trading in her boots and working for IBM in the fall.  At William and Mary, CC was president of her sorority and spent time tutoring at the local middle school.  Her passion for working with young people started early, when CC and her sister (famed Apogee leader and Assistant Director Hannah Gensheimer) founded a successful summer camp for children in her hometown.  In high school, CC was captain of her school’s varsity tennis team but always maintained an interest in the true outdoors.   Her love for the outdoors blossomed over summer wilderness trips, especially her wilderness leader training program in Alaska.   CC can’t wait to share her skills and passion for outdoor living with her Apogee groups this summer.