Camp aims to get kids interested in family history

Published: Tuesday, May 11 2010 12:19 a.m. MDT

A child works on a pedigree chart at Kids Camp at National Genealogical Society's conference.

August Miller, Deseret News

Heritage.

Everyone has one — it's a combination of

the culture, traditions and genetic traits that came from your

ancestors.

Learning as much as you can about your

heritage and learning it as early as possible can have a big impact on

your life, says the National Genealogical Society.

In a publication geared to children, the

society points out, \"Learning about your ancestors will help you

discover things about yourself and help you understand more about

society and the world. As you hunt for information about them, you will

see how their efforts laid the foundation for you. When you see how they

handled the challenges they faced in the past, you may feel better

prepared to face challenges in your own life.\"

Encouraging an early interest in family

history was the purpose behind the Genealogy Kids Camp that was held as

part of the recent National Genealogical Society conference held in Salt

Lake City.

Kids Camp was started by the Southern

California Genealogy Jamboree, said Charlotte Bocage, program director

for that group. \"We tried it out there, and by the second year, it just

kaboomed.\"

\"We want to inspire kids to start asking

questions about their family history,\" she said. \"Otherwise, they may

lose a chapter in their book of life. I still have things that I wish I

had asked my mom before it was too late. I still don't know who all her

brothers and sisters are. If I knew when I was younger what I know now,

there are so many questions I would have asked.\"

When Julie Miller, program chair for the

Salt Lake Conference, heard about Kids Camp, she thought it should be

part of the national convention. \"This is our first Kids Camp,\" she

said, but she hopes it won't be the last.

\"There are many fun ways for kids to get

involved,\" she said. \"To encourage that, NGS established the Rubincam

Youth Award to reward their efforts. Youths are the next generation of

family historians. We need them.\"

Kids Camp began with an introduction to

what genealogy is all about: ancestors, descendants, family trees.

\"It's like a puzzle with interesting

pieces that all fit together,\" said camp director Jennifer Shaw.

\"Genealogy is not just names and dates; it's about who these people were

and how they lived. Our ancestors have stories that tell us why we do

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