The following report was written by Michael Melendez and Jean Hibben for the Youth Genealogist Association and is republished here with their permission:
“I think it was the most successful youth genealogy event ever.” ~Maureen Taylor
Kids Camp, a FREE event organized by the Youth Genealogists Association at SCGS Jamboree in Burbank, CA on 26 June 2009 was an awesome experience for leaders, adult participants, and kids. We filled two large rooms with nearly 150 people.
Our program was as follows:
- “Creating and Preserving Your Family History” (Michael Melendez)
- Genealogy Games/Family History story-telling (Elyse Doerflinger, Jean Wilcox Hibben)
- Genealogy Merit Badge (Michael Melendez, Sue Barry, Linda Sheffield)
- “Genealogy Art” (Maureen Taylor)
- “Get Along little Doggies” (Jean Wilcox Hibben)
About 65 Boy Scouts working on the Genealogy Merit Badge came with their pre-requisites done and brought with them many interesting documents and stories about their families to share. Working with three merit badge counselors, nearly every Scout was able to earn this badge.
The kids thoroughly enjoyed story-telling with Jean W. Hibben. Beginning with stories the kids heard from their grandparents and moving to stories their parents had told them about their ancestors, and on to stories about their own experiences, Jean emphasized the importance of keeping records of all the stories and ways to accomplish that.
Both groups were joined back together to enjoy Jean W. Hibben’s concluding musical program of Songs of the American West.
As opposed to a normal lecture at a typical conference, the focus of this entire Camp was their family, their stories, and their genealogy research. The kids were very excited to share their findings and what they had learned. Jean W. Hibben shared this thought on the Camp,
“I was impressed with the respectfulness of the children who attended the event. They took turns when participating and they were very polite about listening to the people who were speaking, even when it was very hard to hear at times or when the subject might have been "boring."
Both scouts and non-scouts appeared interested in their families and while they might not understand everything about what goes into being a genealogist, I was impressed with how much they knew about their forebears. A lot of the credit goes to their parents, of course; but a lot goes to the kids themselves who see the world as more than just their own environment.
I wouldn't be surprised, 10 years from now, to have a genealogist come up to me and say, "I remember when you sang those songs and told those stories at Kids Camp." Now, that would be cool! Thanks, Mike, for letting me be part of this event!”
Launched in January of 2009, the Youth Genealogist Association exists to promote, mentor, and educate youth involved in family history and genealogy, and to help them find a voice in the genealogical community.
The Youth Genealogists Association is a place for youth of all ages to come together in their quest for finding ancestors. As we, all know it is important for everyone to fell as if they belong and have friends who have the same interest. They can share ideas, research questions, and even help one another with on site research in their area of the country.
For more information, please visit our website at www.youthgen.net.
For our recent online newsletter, check out our newsletter archive.
Jean Wilcox Hibben - PhD,MA,CGsm