August Miller, Deseret News
Everyone has one — it's a combination of
the culture, traditions and genetic traits that came from your
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
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
\"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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