Camille Tedeschi is just as comfortable halfway around the world as she is walking down Main Street in her hometown. The Huntington High School social studies teacher has traveled to more than 70 countries across the globe. She used the recent mid-winter vacation to explore Panama
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.
During the February break, she led a group of 11 to Panama, including eight Huntington High School students consisting of a mix of sophomores, juniors and seniors.
“This was an incredible adventure,” Ms. Tedeschi said. “Each day we were engaged with the local culture and experiences. Typically I run large tours of 36- 42 students, but on occasion have the pleasure of a small group tour that is more intimate traveling.”
The trip was jammed with activities. The group visited the Panamá Viejo ruins and museum, toured Casco Viejo, visited the Biomuseo, traveled along the Amador Causeway and the Pan-American Highway, saw La Piedra Pintada rock wall with pre-Columbian stone carvings, explored hiking trails in El Valle de Antón and took in a youth folklore dance show.
“Panama was special to me like all of my other trips I do with my students,” Ms. Tedeschi said. “This tour allowed me to meet students that I had not had the pleasure of teaching in the classroom. Senior Grace Connell was a third time traveler with me while all of the other girls were new to the travel program. Some of them were out of the country for the first time which is amazing!”
The group also took a boat ride on Gatun Lake, saw Monkey Island, visited Metropolitan Natural Park, looked around the Panama Canal administration building, participated in a cultural exchange activity with locals at the farmer’s market and visited the Miraflores visitor center at the Panama Canal. They took a day trip to Chagres National Park, went on a canoe ride on the Rio Chagres and visited an Emberá indigenous village. There was even time to go snorkeling and to visit the Portobelo Ruins, as the old Spanish colonial fortifications are known.
“I travel all over the world and have visited over 73 countries, but this was my first time exploring Panama,” Ms. Tedeschi said. “I can now say that it is one of my favorite places. Panama has a lot to offer culturally and historically, but it is all about the people. Interacting with the people made this tour very special. Some of the highlights on the itinerary were visiting the Panama Canal, a pineapple farm and an indigenous village.”
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 from Stony Brook University and CUNY-Queens College. She is also certified as a school librarian.
Ms. Tedeschi has served as a student government class advisor and History Day club advisor and is currently the Interact Club’s faculty advisor. She has been recognized by EF Tours and Me to We 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.