Oakdale Travel Club Returns


Paige smith

The travel club in Costa Rica in the summer of 2021. (Bryleigh Foreman (far left), Tamir Shahid(left middle), Paige Smith(right middle), Louis(far right), Val Hoffman (on bottom))

Emery Clark, Writer

Travel Club is a club where kids can experience something new and learn about where they are. The Travel Club is run by Ms.Jonell Caliskan, who is also a Spanish teacher at Oakdale High School. 


Caliskan stated, “I really enjoy when kids, seeing young people for the first time experience something. They get real excited and it’s like they have no expectations. I’ve been to Australia, Hawaii and New Zealand with kids; and I’ve been to Italy, Greece and Turkey with students.” 


Every year 10 freshmen, 10 sophomores, 10 juniors, and 10 seniors will get accepted into Travel Club. In 2020 the club was canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and the Costa Rica trip was postponed to the summer of 2021. 


Paige Smith, a senior at Oakdale High School, was in Travel Club for three years. She commented, “I joined because growing up I traveled a lot as a military child, so it just sounded intriguing to me”. 


Smith went on the Costa Rica trip in the summer of 2021 and loved it! She explained, “We did zip lining and I got to practice my Spanish. We did activities like zip lining, horseback riding, and waterfalls”. 


Ms. Caliskan said, that if on the  “Costa Rica trip, if ten kids go on the tour I go free. If ten more (for a total of) twenty people, then somebody else can go free. Like another chaperone or something.”


While the Travel Club has only gone to Costa Rica recently, Ms. Caliskan has gone on other trips: “Like in Italy we went to the Sistine chapel, we went to the Colosseum, we went to Pompeii.” 


Tours like Costa Rica are more of adventure tours. The tours abroad are not funded by Oakdale High School, so anyone can join. Family, friends, even people outside the Travel Club and Oakdale. 


The Travel Club also does mini trips such as Medieval Times, Hershey Park, and restaurants themed to different countries’ cultures. Many students like Lily Bauer, a senior who has been in Travel Club since her freshman year, are very excited to come back to Travel Club. She expressed, “Regardless of what we’re doing we always have a good time. Whether it’s talking about potential trips or learning about different cultures. Honestly it’s just always a good time.”