Today was supposed to be Passport Day in the USA, an initiative led by the State Department that invited the general public to go to a participating U.S. Passport Office and - without an appointment and on a Saturday - process all of the paperwork necessary to get a passport. With only 30 percent of the U.S. population in possession of a passport (60% of Canadians and 75% of those in the UK have passports), I was extremely pleased to learn about this government initiative from fellow traveler and Facebook friend Angela Petitt as I firmly believe that absolutely everyone should be prepared for travel by having this important document. [Source] Unfortunately, the government has cancelled Passport Day due to a pending government shutdown. #shutdownultimatelyaverted
As the owner and Executive Director of an innovative travel camp (the only travel & learning adventure program of its kind in the nation), my aim is to give girls a world view through travel and to encourage social and environmental engagement through camp. And while a passport is not officially required for destinations like the United States Virgin Islands and/or Hawaii (two OBG Adventure Camps destinations), passports are required as a form of identification for all OBGAC excursions that require air travel. I am proud to say that most of the Adventurers that participate in OBGAC adventures are typically getting passports for the very first time! #proud
Now for The Challenge: In the interest of encouraging travel or at the very least being ready for a travel opportunity that might unexpectedly come your way, I would like to challenge you to either obtain your very first passport or renew your current passport should it be expired - within the next 60 days. And if all of your ducks are in a row and you're all hooked up, I would like to challenge you to donate your time and the required processing fees to obtain a passport for your child(ren) or a child in your life that you know does not have a passport.
Because I couldn't possibly challenge you without challenging myself, I have committed to personally sponsoring the passports (including photos) of 6 girls within the next 6 months. After all, a passport makes world travel accessible; travel encourages cultural competency; and - in the words of Wiki - developing cultural competence results in an ability to understand, communicate with, and effectively interact with people across cultures. Need I say more?