Students Excited for LEAP Courses

While the senior class is finishing up their last couple weeks on campus, ninth, tenth and eleventh graders are looking forward to LEAP, a one-week course for underclassmen that takes place the week following graduation.


Scenes from some of 2017 LEAP courses. (Photo: Northwood School’s Facebook page)

LEAP (which stands for Learn, Engage, Apply, and Perform) Program provides Northwood School students with incredible opportunities to experience firsthand learning in new environments. During week-long intensive courses, students and teachers travel near and far to explore topics outside the realm of a traditional college preparatory program. Twelve courses are offered this year:

  • “A Course in Good Water and Air:” Outdoor Adventures in the Adirondacks*
  • Adirondack Farm to Table & Culinary Experience*
  • Cooking 101: Art & Science in the Kitchen*
  • Coral Reef Ecology, Community-based Conservation and Eco-tourism in Northeast Tobago*
  • Exploration in the Adirondacks: Community, Outdoor Recreation, and Regional Identity*
  • Geothermal Sustainability in Iceland
  • Great Camps of the Adirondacks
  • Introduction to Woodworking (using hand tools)*
  • Mountain Rescue
  • Physics and Rocketry*
  • The Art and Science of Fly Fishing on the Ausable River
  • “The Royal Game: Exploring the Strategy and Influence of Chess”

The courses marked with an asterisk (*) are new this year.

Many of the courses utilize natural and business resources unique to our Adirondack location. In “Cooking 101,” local restaurants the Good Bite Kitchen, Cake Placid, Villa Vespa, and Green Goddess will help students learn the craft of cooking. “Exploration in the Adirondacks” will partner with the Adirondack Park Agency, the Department of Environmental Conservation, and the ROOST (Regional Office for Sustainable Tourism) to teach students about the Adirondacks. “Adirondack Farm to Table and Culinary Experience” will spend time at nearby Asgaard Farm, as well as Paul Smith’s College and North Country School.

“I am excited that we have such a diverse list of course offerings,” said science teacher and Director of LEAP Ms. Marcy Fagan. “There is something for everyone. It is also great to have alumni and local businesses involved in some of the courses. Some of our students will even get the opportunity to travel out of the country.”

One course was the idea of an alumnus. Gary Green ’55 proposed the woodworking course after learning about LEAP at Fagan’s presentation to the Board of Trustees, on which Mr. Green serves. He is a master craftsman who owns a woodworking studio. Green has made some of the furniture in the main building of the school.

Students at Northwood are excited about their courses. In an audio diary for the Iceland course, freshman Jordan Harris said, “I am looking forward to exploring the glaciers that they have there and also seeing volcanoes.” Another student in the course, junior Hugh Dempsey, said, “What I’m most looking forward to is getting to know more people because I don’t really know any of the people in my group and I hope to make some new friends when I’m there.”

All LEAP groups have been holding meetings getting prepared for a week of fun and new memories. LEAP should be an amazing time for all students and faculty involved.


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