A dozen Huntington High School students, including enthusiastic sophomores, juniors and seniors used the recent spring vacation to do something unique; they went on a tour of national parks. It was a trip that all of them will remember forever.
The excursion was a completely private journey booked through EF Tours and not approved or subsidized by the Huntington School District in any way. The recent trip was led by high school social studies teacher Camille Tedeschi, a seasoned world traveler. Social studies teacher Erik Bruckbauer and security guard Sylvia Belanger served as adult chaperones on the trip and enhanced the traveling party.
Ms. Tedeschi loves to travel. She has visited every continent except Antarctica. The energetic teacher has been leading international trips for EF Tours for many years. Hundreds of Huntington students have participated in the privately funded treks. The veteran educator also enjoys heading off on her own when she’s not scheduled for group travel.
“COVID-19 altered the world of travel for many people and as a result it inspired the time to explore the USA,” Ms. Tedeschi said. “As a result we decided to do a domestic tour and explore some of the national parks out west. We wanted to keep the students traveling and allow them to satisfy their curiosity of their surroundings by visiting Bryce, Zion, Grand Canyon and Sedona. The tour kept us busy with daily hikes and activities as a group. The hikes we completed in the national parks include Bryce Canyon: Navajo Loop Trail and Queens Garden; Zion: Scout Lookout via West Rim Trail; Page: Horseshoe Bend overlook and Grand Canyon: Bright Angel Trail.”
Ms. Tedeschi has been a Huntington social studies teacher since September 2002. A graduate of Walt Whitman High School, she obtained an undergraduate degree at Pace University and graduate degrees at Stony Brook University and CUNY-Queens College. She is also certified as a school librarian.
“Travel is for everyone,” Ms. Tedeschi said. “When students go beyond the classroom it brings education to life, unlocks new potential and opens a world of possibilities. Not all classrooms have four walls. It’s what happens beyond the traditional classroom setting that inspires and enhances the lives of our students. Travel is the kind of learning that prepares students for the future and their futures. The national parks tour exposed us to the grandeur and beauty of the United States. It allowed us to explore and embark on a journey that gives us a new perspective of our surroundings and also helps us to understand the true depth of the human spirit.”
The tour combined pure enjoyment with a plethora of educational experiences. “The students learned a lot about our nation’s government, the preservation of the natural environment and themselves on this tour,” Ms. Tedeschi said. “We look forward to more domestic and abroad experiences.”
Ms. Tedeschi has served as a student government class advisor and the History Day and Interact club faculty advisors. She has been recognized by EF Tours and the Me to We organization for excellence in teaching and for showing her students the world. She was the honored educator at WE Day in Manhattan in April 2016 and holds the title of Global Education Ambassador for Long Island. She loves to travel and has been a guest speaker at several conventions and training tours abroad for teachers.