Camp aims to get kids interested in family history

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

some of the things we do.\"

Even simple things can be interesting,

she said. \"How much do you spend for a candy bar? How often do you go

out to eat? Those answers are very different for your grandparents than

they are for you.\"

There are lots of advantages in starting

early, Shaw said. \"You are young; you are lucky. Most of you still have

grandparents and even great grand-parents. Ask them questions.\"

Plan out interviews

with your parents and grandparents, she advised. Write down a list of

questions. Bring along pictures or documents to help jog their memories.

Listen to and record what they say. Ask more than one person about

particular events. \"You might get a different story. Also ask the same

questions at another time; you might get more details after they've

thought about it.\"

Another important tip, she said: \"Write

down where you got the information, the day and place you did your


Jean Wilcox Hibben, who bills herself as

\"genealogist, folklorist, national speaker, troubadour and educator\"

also sang and talked about family history. \"A lot of songs were used to

tell history,\" she said. Learn about the folk songs your ancestors sang,

she advised; it's a fun way to learn some history.

Also learn family stories, she said.

\"When we went to bed, my mother not only read us nursery rhymes, she

told us 'Rex' stories. Now, Rex was just about the greatest dog in whole

world. Mom would make us tuna casserole with noodles and peas, and Rex

would lick everything off and leave a pile of peas. It didn't work when I

tried it, but Rex could get away with it. Grandfather would take Rex

with him to the druggist/ice cream parlor. Rex would go from table to

table and do tricks and get ice cream. That didn't work for me, either.\"

But Hibben's favorite Rex story was that

her grandfather would open the mail and throw the envelopes to Rex to

play with and tear to pieces. \"One time he threw Rex an envelope, but

Rex wouldn't play with it. Grandfather finally looked at it, and there

was a check inside that he didn't know was there.\"

Everyone has those kinds of stories, she

told the kids, and in fact, she had them share some of their own.

There were stories of a girl who dropped a

flashlight in an outdoor bathroom pit at camp and her father held her

by the feet and lowered her down to get the flashlight; of a boy who put

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