Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Fun and Learning at the myFamily History Youth Camp

As I mentioned in a previous post, I was asked to visit the myFamily History Youth Camp, which is taking place at the same time as the BYU Conference on Family History & Genealogy. On Tuesday I attended part of the “FamilySearch Training and Tree Analysis” Lab at the myFamily History Youth Camp. It was held at the Religion and Family History area in the Harold B. Lee Library.

I was so impressed with what I saw. Each youth sat at a computer, which was opened to FamilySearch. Amanda Terry, who works at FamilySearch, was the instructor. She did a great job!

During the lab Amanda asked the youth to answer some poll questions. It looked like they were able to answer the questions on their computers and the results were posted on the big screen in front of the class. Very cool.

Another neat aspect of the camp is that the youth have been asked to complete a research project during the week. For this project, each youth was given a worksheet to fill out. They were asked to choose an ancestor, write down their name, and then write down what question they have about that ancestor. For example, where or when did that ancestor die? In the next section of the worksheet the youth are to write down what they know about their ancestor. The final section of the worksheet asks the youth what record or records they could use to answer their question, and what the results of their record search were. The youth are going to be able to use the lab to finish their research project. I think this is a fabulous way to teach the youth the genealogy research process.

I was given some very interesting stats for this camp.

The total number of youth attendees is 62. This is the first year for this family history camp. I was told that registration reached capacity very quickly and that they couldn’t let anyone else register due to lack of housing. I think it is very exciting that so many youth wanted to come to this camp! Hopefully next year there will be more housing available so more youth will be able to attend.

This year's attendees are from Arizona, California, Florida, Idaho, Colorado, Maryland, Oregon, Texas, Washington, and one attendee is from Canada. 1/3 of the attendees are from Utah, and 2/3 are out-of-state attendees. Of the 62 attendees, 18 are males and 44 are females.

In addition to the labs and other activities, the youth had a combined dance with Especially For Youth on Tuesday. They also took a trip to the Family History Library, Temple Square, and the Discovery Search Center in Salt Lake City today. More learning and fun is planned for the remainder of the camp, which ends on Friday afternoon.

I think this camp is a fantastic opportunity for youth to learn about family history. The dates for next year’s myFamily History Youth Camp are already set. It will be held July 25th – July 29th, 2016 at the BYU campus.

I will be posting about my experiences at the BYU Conference on Family History & Genealogy in future posts.

Thanks for reading!

© 2015 Copyright by Jana Last, All Rights Reserved


  1. Sheesh, Jana, I don't know how I missed yet another one of your posts. I think this youth camp sounds fabulous. I've wondered what I would do if someone asked me to show them how to "do genealogy." The research project sounds like the perfect approach for a beginner.

    1. Hi Wendy,

      I agree with you that this youth family history camp is such a great idea! I hope they get even more youth attendees next year. And I'm so impressed by the research project they were asked to do. Thanks for stopping by!




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