Hello, Apogee 2023 –
With the school year wrapping up and the summer just about upon us, we are very much looking forward to starting our first round of trips in just a few weeks! Before things really get going, we wanted to share the following important summer policies that will apply to all of our 2023 students and families.
Please take several minutes to read through the policies and expectations below and let us know if you have any questions. We have honed these through years of experience and we are certain our students are happier and healthier as a result.
Student Cell Phones, Cameras, and Technology in General: Please remember that students will not be permitted to carry cell phones, Kindles, and similar electronic devices on their trips. We love the fact that our trips provide a true break from the demands of keeping up with texting and other social media. These technologies are fantastic tools, but they can also detract enormously from the group dynamic we work hard to foster while on trip.
That said, we do expect that most students flying to their trips will be traveling with cell phones – and our leaders will be collecting all phones upon arrival. Your child should know this after signing our electronics policy, but a reminder from you that they will need to give up their phone on arrival will make things much easier for our leaders.
You are welcome to send your child with a disposable or point-and-shoot digital camera to take pictures (GoPro-type cameras are also welcome). Depending on the trip, there will likely be opportunities to recharge cameras – but please remind your child that cameras should never be left unattended while charging.
Hearing From and Contacting Your Child While on Trip: We had a very positive response to our updated calls-home policy last summer, and have adjusted things a bit further for 2023.
We will not be scheduling mid-trip calls home for trips shorter than two weeks.
Students on our 20-day and longer trips will make one or two scheduled calls home, depending on the length of their trip.
Regardless of the length of their trip, students flying to their trip will always be in touch by phone or text to let you know that they have met up with their leaders on arrival.
When students do call home, the call will likely come through as a “Restricted” or “Unknown” number. We do this in order to keep our staff-members’ private cell phone numbers private. Thank you for understanding!
We have daily contact with our trips, and are able to put you in touch with your child if you need to speak. If you need to reach your child during their trip, please contact us at 207-725-7025 and we’ll reach out to the group in the field. Please do not contact the leaders directly, even if you happen to have their cell phone numbers.
Sending Mail to Your Child: We will detail any mail stops on your child’s trip in your Final Trip Information document (more on that below), but please note that we do not accept packages on any of our trips without prior arrangement with us for a needed item (e.g., a missing clothing item or medication). On the other hand, letters and postcards are very welcome on most trips. There are several trips to more remote locations where we won’t be able to receive mail, but will be happy to pass along emailed notes and pictures.
Daily Blog: We update our blog every day during the summer. We try to post pictures from each group every day they are in the field. That said, we may not be able to post pictures from a particular trip because that group may be out of cell phone range, in the backcountry, etc. In that case, we promise that “no news is good news.”* Note that pictures on the blog are from leaders’ phones that they text to our office – so they’re only as good as the phone cameras they are using. Most days, our blog post should be posted between 7:00 and 8:30 PM on the east coast.
To access the blog updates on your child’s trip – click on each day’s blog entry (likely to have a clever title such as, “Day 23: Back to the Future”), then simply scroll down to your child’s trip. The important thing to know is that each day – not each trip – has its own blog entry.
We’ll post highlights from the blog to our Facebook (@
Food Allergies: Every year, students come to their Apogee trips with severe, and in some cases, life-threatening, food allergies. We do our best to work with families to accommodate these students (and the rest of their group) so that they can enjoy a great trip without fear of an allergic or anaphylactic reaction. To that end, we will be running some of our trips as “nut free” or “nut aware” (we’ll usually be more specific – such as “tree nut aware” or “peanut free”) in order to accommodate these students. If your child is in one of these groups, we will email you ahead of time and ask that you do not send your child with any food that contains these ingredients. On behalf of the families affected by these allergies, thanks very much for your understanding!
Final Trip Information: We are in the process of emailing our Final Trip Information packets to those families with trips starting in June. We will be emailing these to you directly rather than posting them to CampMinder.* These packets include a detailed itinerary, biographical information about our trip leaders, mail or email stop information, and any relevant final packing and travel information (which will include specific drop-off and pick-up location information for trips starting in the northeast).
We do not include students’ names in these packets so that students can arrive at Apogee with a “blank slate” – in other words, they don’t have to worry that other participants have pre-judged them based on their social media profiles.
Incident Notification Policy: In the event of an accident or illness on trip, we will inform you about any administration of care requiring more than rudimentary first aid. The vast majority of incidents during the summer are exceedingly minor. Nonetheless, if our staff apply significant first aid or take your child to see a doctor for any purpose, we will notify you by phone as quickly as possible. This means we won’t be in touch every time we apply a band-aid to a blister, but we will err on the side of letting you know when we’ve treated your child. After we’ve notified you initially, we will stay in touch as the situation warrants. To make sure our calls reach you, please add our office number – (207) 725-7025 – to your contacts.
Left Behind Clothing and Gear: If your child returns home after their trip missing an item or two, please let us know and we will look for it on our end. We will not throw items away, but at the same time, we will not ordinarily reach out proactively if we find, for example, an unlabeled water bottle in the van after a trip ends.
Early Enrollment Announcement: Finally, we are delighted to let you know that we will be opening enrollment to alumni families for our 2024 season in July. Alumni families will enjoy not only first dibs on 2024 trips and programs, but also a $300 trip discount if you enroll by the end of Sunday, September 17, 2023. Look for a more detailed email and blog post regarding our early enrollment program in early July.
Thank you for reading through the above – we know there is a lot here. Please don’t hesitate to be in touch by email (email@example.com) or phone (207-725-7025) if you have questions about the above or anything else in advance of your child’s trip.
Thanks very much – we are looking forward to seeing you and your child soon!
Chad, Kevin, and the Apogee Team