Laurel Nelson and Rock Castor

Rock Castor and Laurel Nelson are the founders and co-facilitators of Lagom Landing, a residential gap-year program in the "Little Finger Lakes" of Western NY. Lagom Landing is a life-changing alternative to college, military or immediate employment for 18-23 year olds. We offer nine months of self-discovery for a small, diverse cohort of men and women interested in learning the sacred gift of working with their hands and exploring self, community, nature, digital boundaries, and creativity. We encourage students to discover their passions and gifts while gaining foundational life skills that will benefit them no matter what direction they pursue as adults.

As young adults, both Rock and Laurel benefited from “gap years” of their own.

Growing up in Western NY, Rock did not know what he wanted to do when he graduated from high school. So, he went to Papua New Guinea as a volunteer at age 18. There, he was exposed to simple pole construction, and within six months was writing home, “I’ve figured out what I want to do!”

Since then, Rock has run his own construction business for over 40 years. He supervises the construction component of Lagom Landing with a contagious enthusiasm for the joy that comes from working with his hands. Some of Rock’s favorite parts of the program are making maple syrup and apple cider. Rock also loves to ski, bike, play tennis and ping-pong. He serves as the “fun committee” at Lagom Landing.

Before Laurel became an ordained minister with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), a calling that originally brought her to Western New York after growing up in CO, she spent a year with the Presbyterian Church (USA)’s Young Adult Volunteer program as a volunteer in Jerusalem.
The faith of Palestinian Christians inspired Laurel’s pursuit of ministry. She leads Lagom Landing’s gardening, cooking, and personal development activities, and is the Administrator of the nonprofit. Laurel has continued her interest in humanitarian and environmental issues, and loves being outdoors in any kind of weather. Laurel’s passion for building community partnerships with both urban and rural networks makes it possible for us to cater to the interests and needs of each student.

Oct. 13, 2021

The Truth about Gap Years, with Laurel Nelson & Rock Castor

Episode 32. Do you believe that you HAVE to go to college in order to be successful? Linda's guests, Rock Castor and Laurel Ne…

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