Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Explore your Family Tree Mutual Night

You want to do a family history mutual night. Wouldn't it be easier to just play volleyball? Nope. Because I have instructions for you!

Before the big night:

1. Make sure all (or at least most) of the youth leaders are trained in the basics of FamilySearch. You can use this video to train them on some of the fun ways youth can explore their family trees. Leaders should come to help the youth - not to work on their own family history.

2. Contact parents and ask them to sign their youth up for a FamilySearch account and connect their tree to a deceased ancestor on all of their lines if possible. Give them at least two weeks notice and follow up a few days before the activity. Offer help if they need it. Suggest that more forgetful youth bring their username and password with them when they come. If they forget their log in information check out this post.

3. Book the Family History Center and arrange for extra computers if needed. It's best if you can set it up so that everyone is in the same room if possible (it gives the youth a certain energy...). Invite your ward family history consultants. Make sure there is one consultant or trained leader for every 2-3 youth. Ask some people to come early to set up.

4. Print out this handout for the leaders and consultants.

At the activity:

1. Set the tone by bearing testimony and/or sharing a family history experience. It's important for the youth to know that their leaders are participating in family history work and experiencing blessings because of it.

2. Don't instruct the youth on what to do. Remind them that FamilySearch is just a website and they figure out how to use websites all the time. Make sure they know that they can ask each other for help and share what they find with their friends.

3. Let them explore! Let them choose what they want to do. Some of them may want to try to click back to Adam, some may want to research, some may want to try to find temple names. Let them do what they want. Let them get a little loud. Try to make sure all of the youth have a positive experience.

5. Help youth print out fan charts if they want so that they can get more information from their family. You could assign one leader or consultant to make sure each youth has the opportunity to print out a fan chart.

6. Before the activity ends, encourage the youth to find out more about their family tree by talking to their family. This can be part of personal progress (Individual Worth #6 or project). 

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