The time has come for the young people, (who were born with an uncanny ability to use computers, could swipe their fingers across a screen by the time they were a few days old, and could practically surf the web by the time they were two, who innately understand all things technical, especially if it involves a smartphone or tablet) to be genealogists. More importantly, it's time for them to be genealogy teachers.
What's better than a kid appreciating his heritage and understanding where to go to look for information about his own history? The benefits to him are immense. But, there's something better. If he can take that knowledge and share it with someone else, now the benefits are shared, and the kid has become a teacher ... his confidence has grown and he's discovered the joy of doing something for someone other than himself (which is really saying something for a teenager!)
My 13-year old son and I are sitting at the local family history center tonight volunteering to teach others. He's having a grand time and he just made this elderly gentleman very happy by showing him how to navigate his family tree online.
This week I asked my grandpa what life was like for him when he was a kid. I asked him to tell me what his favorite activities were, what chores he did, what he did with friends, and where he lived. I found out a lot of things I didn't know.
Ken Hardman as a kid
Grandpa lived in Van Nuys, California in the San Fernando Valley. He had a stingray banana seat bicycle that he rode down hills. For chores, he cleaned his room, took out trash, swept his dad's cabinet shop, and fed the rabbit.
Grandpa vacationed in National Parks in a camper that his dad made! He and his friends would play marbles, ride bikes, fly kites in the baseball field behind the church, and sneak into the church on weekdays to see if there was any food left from the socials the weekend before.