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Friday, September 30, 2011

'Passport Parties' give girls the opportunity to see the world

Published September 15, 2011 on
When Tracey Friley discovered that only 30 percent of American citizens hold passports, she asked herself how many of these people come from diverse backgrounds and how many are kids.
As owner of Oakland-based OBG Adventure Camps - a travel program for girls 11 to 16 that encourages a “multicultural camp experience” - she started requiring that her campers travel with passports. She found - like the statistics showed - that most didn’t have them.
The dismal nationwide passport statistics she encountered compelled Friley to expand her work. She didn’t waste time looking for answers - she took action.
“It stopped being about my camp program,” she said. 
In order to help girls across the country get their first passports, Friley devised the idea of a “Passport Party” - a daylong celebration of travel that includes lunch, outdoor activities and trip to get passport photos taken. Participants' parents receive a passport application and instructions by mail and once they schedule an appointment with the passport office, Friley provides them with money orders for the fees. 
“It’s really a celebration that these girls are getting their passport,” she said. "We’re helping to give them a world view."  Read more here.