The barricades have been removed. The signs have been taken down. Furloughed government workers and park rangers have returned to work. The government shutdown has ended! The Scholastica family couldn’t be happier. We are thrilled that travelers will once again enjoy the Smithsonian museums, the many memorials and monuments, and our National Parks.
Since the beginning of the month, the shutdown dramatically altered life for Americans and drew worldwide attention to issues affecting each of us. However, it also drew attention to many of our national treasures. It reawakened an appreciation in all of us for the places that are such a source of national pride. Places like the Lincoln Memorial and Gettysburg that shaped us as children and that we want our students and children to experience. We were reminded what a treasure the Smithsonian museums are and what their free admission means to us as lifelong learners.
During these few weeks, our travelers experienced Washington DC as a place where history is not something of the past, but is alive and created each day. Our groups sat in on the discussions taking place in the House of Representatives and the Senate and cheered for veterans at the World War II Memorial. They met policemen and park rangers who were volunteering their time to protect our treasures and our people. They witnessed the places and people that make our country great.
The government shutdown is over, for now. However, in a few months Congress will return to fight the same battles and new ones. Should we experience another shutdown, our capable and dynamic team at Scholastica Travel will be ready to continually adapt and deliver amazing trips to all of our travelers.
Democracy, however, is not a spectator sport. We encourage everyone to be proactive, especially parents and teachers traveling with their school this spring. Write and email your Congressman today. Express your concerns and your excitement for your student’s travel experience. You matter and your voice can make a difference. The Capitol website provides contact information for all Senators and Representatives.
The best thing that we can do today is to be proactive. In the meantime, please enjoy our National Parks during these beautiful fall days. We will be here, rock steady; ready to handle whatever comes our way. We will keep you posted!