Punch your Passport & Embark- A Youth Family History Activity

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This year our youth group is having a youth conference devoted to family history. If you aren’t familiar with Latter-Day Saint folks, we are kinda big on doing genealogy and family history. And our youth especially, have been challenged by our leaders to actively participate in family history.

Do you young people want a sure way to eliminate the influence of the adversary in your life? Immerse yourself in searching for your ancestors…” Richard G. Scott

It is sometimes difficult to get the kids excited about family history. I thought I would share our youth family history activity in case you need ideas. (And if you aren’t LDS, but are interested in your ancestors, you can still take a gander.)

family history

The  mutual theme this year is from Doctrine & Covenants 4:

O’ ye that embark in the service of God, see that you serve Him with all your heart, might, mind and strength.”

I started thinking about the word EMBARK. What does it mean?

1. To get on a boat.

2. To begin a long journey

We don’t usually say we are embarking to the grocery store or school. We only embark when it is a journey that will take a long time, or will take much preparation.

One thing that we sometimes need before we embark is a passport. So, I created (with the help of the youth committee and other leaders) a passport for youth conference.

This passport is full of activities that the youth can complete and when they do, receive a stamp in their passport. These activities are designed to help teach the youth that family history is much more broad than we sometimes think, to let them actually get involved in family history. and to help them connect to their own ancestors.

youth family history activity

A single punch on their passport will be their ticket to attend youth conference. But here’s the fun part- more stamps in their passports, means rewards at youth conference. We have left it up to the youth to decide their rewards. So far, we know that if we reach a certain number of punches we are going to have a nice dinner (like steak instead of hot dogs.)  We will also be spending some time boating at youth conference as a reward and there is talk that the bishopric will be shaving their heads and jumping in the lake at midnight if they reach some enormous number.

passport 3

And for the Beehives and Deacons who don’t get to go to Youth Conference, they will be able to participate with their own passports and set their own reward(s) that will take place at the same time as youth conference. (Think ice cream party)

passport 2

Some examples of the activities in the passport are; “login to familysearch.org,” “upload a photo of an ancestor,” “interview a grandparent or other relative,” “index 10 names” and “create your own”

We kicked off and introduced the passports last Sunday. It was awesome! We talked about the word embark. Then we talked about passports and we talked about the format of youth conference. We assigned some of the youth to do one of the activities and share their experience with their peers. That was the really cool part. They all encouraged their friends to get into it and participate with all their “heart, might, mind and strength.” (And we didn’t even have to tell them to say that!)

We have lots of activities planned before youth conference to help teach the kids the “hows” and “whys” of family history. This includes attending Roots Tech, going to the Family History Discovery Lab and more.

In case you are wondering about the format of our actual youth conference, I’ll share our rough outline.

Wednesday Night- Kick off fireside and gear drop off.

Thursday- We are travelling to 3 temples one after another and performing baptisms on our way to the cabin we are staying at. What is really awesome is that one of the temples requires us to bring our own names. So the youth have to come up with them.

Friday- Day on the lake. (It totally makes sense, we are EMBARKING on boats.)

Saturday- Day of service. We haven’t nailed it down entirely yet, but we are probably going to be cleaning up a cemetery in a tiny, tiny town.

Sunday- We’ll be back home, but will have a special combined Sunday meeting to wrap up.

Throughout youth conference we will be having the youth share their passport experiences, stories they learned of their ancestors and their testimonies.

Here is a PDF version of the passport. Passport to Embark 2015

Print it front and back side to one page, then cut in half and fold.

Send me a message if you want the actual file, so you can modify it for your own use, and I’ll email it to you. I used Publisher to create it and unfortunately I can’t post a publisher file.

I really hope you can use this. I feel like it was inspired!

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  1. Jamie Klaassen says

    This is amazing. Could you please send me the file of the passport so I can modify it for our stake.

  2. Linda says

    LOVE this idea !!! Could you please send me the file so I can modify it for a special family history challenge in our ward. Thanks so much for sharing

  3. Annie says

    I love this! Thank you so much for sharing your creativity!! Could you please send me the file as well? Thank you!! :)

  4. Connie says

    I would also love an editable copy of this! Thank you for sharing this. What a tremendous activity. (Question: I tried to log-in to Puzilla.org to see what it was and it wasn’t available. What is this?

  5. Colette Hokanson says

    Can you send me the file? I’d love to use this for a fun Summer Activity for our Family History Center.

  6. Debi says

    Please send me your editable file of your passport please!! We want to make this a summer project for our yw.

  7. Tonya says

    This is wonderful! Just what I was looking for to increase attendance at our Family History Center. Please send me your editable file. It is so refreshing to find people so creative and enthusiastic! Keep up the great work!!

  8. Tonya says

    One more thing-It Was Inspired!

    I woke on May 31st with pretty much the same idea as a way to basically save our Family History Center. I have been floundering on how to make the passport though. Then decided to look it up on Pinterest (by the way I just joined Pinterest tonight). So glad, happy and relieved to find your post and website!

    • AnitaAnita says

      I’m sorry, I’ve actually just gotten back from our family history youth conference (which was awesome by the way.) I’ll send the file as soon as I can!

  9. Michelle says

    I am so interested in doing this with my children. Your link to the PDF does not appear to be working right now. Can you send me original file so that I can print it? Thanks.

  10. Jalynn Livingston says

    Can you please send me a copy of the passport. We are planning a similar youth conference and I would love to modify it a little.

    Thank you

  11. Melanie Sorensen says

    Can you please send me the file to modify it, thanks!
    Btw- this is fantastic! I really love this idea!

  12. Alisa Didenhover says

    I came across this when I was searching for some ideas for our youth to do with family history. I love the passports! Plesae send me an editable copy. Thanks!

  13. aina says

    Hi! Thank you for sharing this. Could you please send me a copy as well? I would like to translate it in French. We will have the mutual theme for our youth conference.

  14. Toni Wright says

    This is an awesome project! Thank you so much for sharing it! Could you please send me the file to adjust to our youth project?

  15. Ruth says

    What were some of the activities planned beforehand to help teach the kids the “hows” and “whys” of family history? Besides attending Roots Tech, and going to the Family History Discovery Lab… we don’t have those things available in our very RURAL area!

    Thanks ~

    • AnitaAnita says

      Hmmm, you have your work cut out for you!
      Besides the Family History Lab and Roots Tech we have some very talented family history folks in our ward who did some lessons for the kids. We also did small activities with our classes and taught them how to index. In fact many of the activities took place in our groups. Just learning how to log on to Family Search and how to navigate through that, for example. Also walking them through printing their fan charts. We got our Ward’s Family History Committee involved by having them contact each of the youth to help them find a story of an ancestor. We video taped the kids telling those stories and then made a video of all their stories.
      Our Stake put on a Family History Discovery Day that we attended. It had classes for youth and adults and even activities for the kids.
      It is an undertaking, but with some prayer and creativity, you can do it!!

  16. Joey says

    Could I have a copy of your file, please? Would love to modify it a bit for our ward. Thanks in advance for doing all the hard work already!! Haha!

  17. Robyn Esplin says

    Love this! We’re starting to get our Ward Family History Committee up and running. Would LOVE a copy of this!

  18. Cecily Jenkins says

    This is an awesome activity. I love it. Would you please send me the file? I want to modify this for my kids and nieces/nephews. Thank you so much!!!

  19. Brandee says

    I would love an editable copy of this for my young women for this year. I thought this was an amazing activity and after conference this April telling the youth to go to the temple more I am so inspired. Thanks so much for putting this online.

  20. Margarita says

    Hi! I just love your work, I made a similar activista just less challenges,
    But I like yours more, would it be possible to get the editable file?
    I’ll edit to spanish :)

  21. Joy Crossman says

    Hello I think this is great too! Would you mind sending me the file as well?

    Thank you!

  22. Kristen says

    Can you please send me a copy of this file. I think I will modify it for our kick off for our family reunion.. Thanks for sharing!

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