Genealogy Merit Badge
Activity Guide for Patrol Leaders
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Genealogy Merit Badge can be a fun family activity of mystery and discovery. Anyone wanting to play a research detective will have a blast on this one!
Sample Activity Plan
Opportunity for Great Family Fun and to Participate in an Extraordinary Service Project:
A. Make Your Plan - What will you do?
B. Plan Presentation - Tell Your Patrol
C. Study Hall - Req #1&2 - Start Your Family Tree
D. Homework - Req #3,6,7 - Build Your Family Tree
E. History Center Tour - Req #4&5, - Plus Service Project and Expanding Your Family Trip
F. Final Meeting - Req #8&9 - Activity Final & Pass-off with Counselor
A) Make Your Plan
The Trail to Adventure Fun!
1. Merit Badge Activity Preview
2. Sample Plan Outline
3. Meet the Merit Badge Counselor
4. Patrol Leader Council
Present the plan to your patrol or troop (Either at your first activity meeting or sometime earlier.)
Here are some ideas to show why this activity will be both fun and important.
Are you ready to play detective? Genealogy Merit Badge is a fun activity for the whole family.
The advent of the Internet Age in the last 20 years has wrought a big revolution in the world of Genealogy. Doing genealogy today is dramatically different than it was when I earned this merit badge as a young second class scout and had to fill out a giant worksheet by hand in pencil. Now there are many powerful software tools, websites, and online databases that can instantly create fancy presentations for you.
Exploring your roots—where your family name came from, why your family lives where it does, what your parents and grandparents did for fun when they were your age—can be fascinating. Discovering your ancestors back through history is what genealogy is all about.
F) Scout Homework
Activities to be completed at home by the scout with his family:
Req #3: Interview Relative
With your parent's help, choose a relative or a family acquaintance you can interview in person, by telephone, or by e-mail or letter. Record the information you collect so you do not forget it.
Req #6: Your Family Tree
See Page 6 of Merit Badge Workbook
Req #7: Two Family Groupsheets
See Page 7 & 8 of Merit Badge Workbook
D) Study Hall
Purpose: Help each Patrol Member learn key concepts on this subject. Include the following resources:
Req #1: Genealogical Terms
Req #2a: Personal Timeline
Review Scout Homework (Req #3, 6, 7)
Starting your Detective Homework
Family Search - Massive online database maintained by the LDS Church - over six billion names - also huge searchable data base of census records and more.
Find A Grave - Giant data base of pictures of cemetery gravestones. A key tool in genealogical research. (See to the right for the gravestone of Sir Baden-Powell.)
FamilyPedia - The wikipedia just for genealogy. See the family tree and biographies of many famous and not so famous people.
BYU Relative Finder - Developed by the Family History Technology Lab at Brigham Young University - this online tool will instantly show the bloodline connection between you and many famous people. (Uses the LDS Church database in FamilySearch. [Relative Finder Training Video])
Google Books - A huge contribution towards genealogy came from the folks at Google when they put online vast quantities of old rare books. Many of these are important family histories. Type in the name and hometown of one your distant ancestors and see what pops up on Google.
F) Field Trip
Field Trip Options:
Find Location Search Box: for LDS Family History Centers Worldwide: The LDS Church has a strong ties and interests in family history and operate genealogy centers in most major cities. They are also a very big supporter of the B.S.A. Let them know you are a Boy Scout and ask for an appointment.
Req #5: Tour Genealogy Center:
Req #4: Genealogical Resources
4a. Name three types of genealogical resources and explain how these resources can help you chart your family tree.
4b. Obtain at least one genealogical document that supports an event that is or can be recorded on your pedigree chart or family group record. The document could be found at home or at a government office, religious organization, archive, or library.
4c. Tell how you would evaluate the genealogical information you found for requirement 4b.
Req #6: Expand Your Family Tree
Bring your Family Tree chart, experienced genealogists can help you quickly expand on what you have recorded so far.
G) Final Meeting
After completion of the above activities you may need a work session to finish completion of the merit badge worksheet to document the results of your visits, activities and the people you interviewed.
Req #8: Genealogy Technology
8a. Explain the effect computers and the Internet are having on the world of genealogy.
Req #9: Family Research Results
Discuss what you have learned about your family and your family members through your genealogical research.
H) Extra Credit
Never add to or take away from the stated merit badge requirements. The material presented below is intended only to add fun for the patrol by way of either activity or community service.
Almost all communities have easy access to one or more genealogy centers filled with friendly volunteers who are eagerly waiting to help young people learn how modern technology has dramatically revolutionized this hobby.
Indexing Service Project
Because of new technology, there is a massive worldwide effort underway to transfer all old handwritten records into computer searchable databases. Some of the biggest contributors to this effort are today's youth.
Indexing is the process of reading old historical documents (such as old obituaries or census records) and typing key facts into a digital database. Your work here can create a breakthrough event for someone else researching their own family history. Any family history center genealogist can show you how it works and how to get started. (Pictured here is one handwritten page from the 1920 U.S. Census.)
Family Fan Chart
You can now print a full-color, 7-generation fan chart from within Family Tree.
Photography Merit Badge
Family Life Merit Badge
American Heritage Merit Badge - Shares requirements for research family history.
One Great Family
J) Genealogy Famous Quotes:
It is cool when you find your relationship to someone noteworthy or famous. But wait until you find your connection to someone Infamous (like I did). - Scoutmaster Hall.
Genealogy: Collecting dead relatives and sometimes a live cousin!
Genealogy: Where you confuse the dead and irritate the living.
I think my family tree is a few branches short of full bloom.
Take nothing but ancestors, leave nothing but records.
Shake your family tree and watch the nuts fall!
A family tree can wither if nobody tends it's roots.
Am I the only person up my tree... sure seems like it.
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MainTour Genealogy Merit Badge
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