LEAP St. Lucia Offers Unique Experience

Northwood students recently embarked on a cultural trip to St. Lucia as part of their LEAP course. Five students and two teachers were part of the group that visited St. Lucia from January 18th to 26th. They were hosted by the Nelson family, whose two daughters, Chrissy and Amanda Nelson, are seniors at Northwood.

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LEAP is Northwood’s experiential learning and travel program. It stands for Learn, Engage, Apply, and Perform. Every student in grades 9-11 participates in a LEAP course.

Yosef Spear ’26 had a great time on the trip and found the St. Lucian culture very welcoming. “We arrived at around 6 pm, and the climate was warm, which was a welcome change from the Lake Placid weather. On the first day in St. Lucia, we went zip-lining, which was fun. The following days, we went jet skiing, tubing, and hiked Gros Piton, which I believe was three miles up and three miles down. My favorite experience was the waterfall walk and the swim in the waterfall oasis.”

Jenny Tran ’25 had a different perspective on the trip. Instead of focusing on specific activities, she spoke about how the trip allowed her to engage with and learn about other students she wouldn’t normally interact with in her day-to-day environment. At the same time, she was able to connect with the local people of the Caribbean island and learn about their culture.

Ms. Odell, one of the teachers overseeing the LEAP course, had a unique experience. “Since we stayed with the Nelsons, we were able to experience St. Lucian hospitality firsthand. We also had an incredible life experience when we kayaked to a subsistence farmer’s residence. There was no electricity, and he survived off what he grew, so it was interesting to see his lifestyle,” Odell said.

Overall, the trip to St. Lucia allowed Northwood students to immerse themselves in a new culture, connect with people they wouldn’t normally interact with, and experience new adventures.


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