I hear it’s the genealogy conference season approaching—a time when invigorating sessions convene to yield opportunities to learn, make connections, and envision personal possibilities for future projects.
There are multitudes of such opportunities out there. Just ask Jen Baldwin, creator of the Conference Keeper website listing conventions, seminars, expos and other learning opportunities occurring around the world.
Southern California Genealogical Society sponsors their Jamboree. Now coupled with the International Society of Genetic Genealogy’s more recently launched conference, “Family History and DNA: Genetic Genealogy in 2014,” this June event makes it the forty fifth annual Jamboree for SCGS.
That first weekend in June is loaded with nationally-recognized speakers in a wide variety of topics in genealogy: research, writing, technology, focus on ethnic groups, advice on dismantling brick walls.
It was from this same conference, last year, that I came away from the event full of ideas, thoughts, questions—stuff. You know, the stuff that makes you want to go out and get more done.
In the meantime, with SCGS’ cutting edge technology interface, the experience afforded the attendee way more than could be absorbed in one weekend. It took a while to digest all that I gained in that one weekend, leaving me with the thought that I just needed to come back and give this a second try. Maybe, for the uninitiated, it was overwhelming. But I sensed the possibilities were there to absorb even more.
One thing I would have liked to have accomplished last year was to make better use of all the opportunities to connect with like-minded others. With so many class choices, the event can seem larger-than-life, when in reality, participants are welcome to slow down and dial back to a rate more suited to personal purposes. This year, I’ll be exchanging the frenzy of getting-to-session-before-they-close-the-doors for stopping to chat with the passing acquaintance who just shouted “hi” my way. Learning is great, but connecting is better.
Best of all is the chance to explore possibilities, and at Jamboree—as well as in the preceding Genetic Genealogy day—I intend to jump in, eyes wide open. New ideas generate invigorating thoughts, at least in my mind, and a weekend at the SCGS Jamboree is just the venue to incubate these creative possibilities.
Whether you can make it all the way out to southern California for your next learning experience or not, there are many other conferences across the land slated for the next few months. If you can grab the opportunity to attend—even if you’ve done so before—I heartily recommend you do so. And after you’ve done so, consider yourself invited back here to share your observations on your experience.