Sampson Independent

Lakewood group heading to Costa Rica

SALEMBURG — Lakewood High School’s Travel Club is continuing success with students having fun in Costa Rica. The adventure for students started Monday.

Chelsie Conn Hall, a math teacher and co-founder of the organization, recently finished her fourth year at LHS. She said the school was one of the last in the Sampson district to have a club and felt it was important to give students an opportunity.

“I want them to understand that there’s this whole world out there to explore,” Hall said.

During the trip to Costa Rica, the trip will include several activities through Explorica, which provide educational travel tours to students. Some of it includes zip-lining in the rain forest, a visit to the Caribbean Conservation to see sea turtles, horseback riding and whitewater rafting. Hall said the outdoor activities are going to push students out of their comfort zones and try something new.

For a lot of students, it’s their first time traveling on a plane or leaving the country.

“I think the world is becoming more and more globalized,” Hall said. “They need to be globally competitive within the society and having international experiences will help. It helps them grow as a person to see their own worldview change and to see that there’s so much out there that they’re able to do and see. It’s possible if they work hard for it.”

About 18 students are participating in the adventure. For every trip, the club begins fundraising at least two years in advance. Some of the work to help with costs include selling candy, running concession stands, yard sales, and raffles. Businesses such as Sampson Auto Body & Paint, Shecna’s Designs, and Chavez Trucking also provide support.

“The group is demographically mixed and includes participants from different backgrounds and income levels,” she said. “It’s not just the wealthier kids who are able to go. They raise money and they have almost two years to do so.”

In 2019, members will travel to Japan for the club’s third trip. Before Costa Rica, Hall took students to Germany study human rights and The Holocaust during a visit for an international youth leadership summit.

“A few years ago, the plan was to have a trip every other year, but it’s starting to pick up where we can have it every year,” she said.

Plans for 2020 include Paris and Barcelona, Spain. Fundraising for the trips will begin in September.

“I just want it to continue,” Hall said., “Now that it’s becoming more established, it’s becoming more of an expected thing and kids want to know where we’re going next. It’s something they’re look forward to.”

The club accepts donations throughout the year and may be sent to Lakewood High School, 245 Lakewood School Road, Salemburg, N.C. 28385. Checks should be made out to Lakewood High School Travel Club.

Chelsie Conn Hall, a math teacher from Lakewood High School, shows a map of destinations for the school’s travel club. Conn Hall, a math teacher from Lakewood High School, shows a map of destinations for the school’s travel club.
Travel club provides experiences overseas

By Chase Jordan