Unfriendly to Children: Girl Guides and Others Opt Away from US Trips

2nd Lambeth Girl Guides Achieve” by Girl Guides of Canada

March 14, 2017; NBC News

Citing uncertainty about the new administration’s travel policies, the Girl Guides of Canada, an organization much like the Girl Scouts of America, has cancelled all trips with the girls to the United States—even including those with airline connections in the U.S.

On its website, Girl Guides calls the decision “very difficult” but says it “reflects [a] commitment to inclusivity and equal opportunities for all girls and women.”

“Girl Guides is a very inclusive and diverse organization,” spokeswoman Sarah Kiriliuk told the CBC. “It is part of our mandate and it is very important to the fabric of our organization to be inclusive and diverse. And we wanted to make sure we could extend that to all aspects of our organization—which includes girls that are traveling.”

The measure, she said, was designed to ensure “no girl gets left behind.”

President Trump’s new executive order on travel, which will take effect on Thursday if it is not stayed, blocks most travel to the U.S. for 90 days by citizens of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. Bookings for travel to the U.S. are down in general.

The Globe and Mail of Canada reports that the Girl Guides are not alone in worrying about and cancelling children’s trips to the United States.

Several schools and school districts across Canada debated going ahead with trips south of the border following the first executive order issued by President Donald Trump that imposed travel restrictions to citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries.

A Winnipeg junior high school cancelled a trip by its track team to Minnesota in January because it wasn’t certain all students would be able to cross the border.

The Greater Essex County School Board in southwestern Ontario decided in February to cancel a handful of trips over concerns of safety and equity, while districts in southern Vancouver Island debated whether to ban all U.S. travel or handle each trip on a case-by-case basis.

—Ruth McCambridge

  • Third Sector Radio USA

    Broad-brush, ill-conceived policies tend to affect larger populations than intended. The administration’s Muslim ban (because that’s what it is) is simply isolating the U.S. further and, apparently, diminishing tourist dollars.