18 February 2015

RootsTech 2015 - Family Discovery Day

When I attended RootsTech last year they opened up the last day for children and youth to come and participate. I tried to get my kids interested but the last thing they wanted to do was go to a genealogy conference.

This year as I was registering I had the option to add my children for the Family Discovery Day so I took it. I was surprised that they all seemed willing to attend. This year my wife and I stayed in Salt Lake as a get away and to attend the conference. My kids rode the train from Ogden and met us Saturday morning.

We spent the first hour in the Expo Hall with a couple thousand other people. Family Search set up a Discovery Center with several stations. The kids worked their way through them. I noticed my oldest daughter seemed a little bored but I realized that she has seen the Family Discovery Center in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building just a few days before and many of the exhibits here were very similar.
My son Jackson loved to see the people he was related to and the map of where his ancestors had come from. Since our experience at the Family Discovery Center we made sure that the kids FamilySearch accounts were linked to both sides of our families. Many of the Texas relatives has not appeared a few days before.

There were activities planned for all ages. My teens would were not very enthusiastic to color any of the pages that were provided but my little ones at home will really enjoy them.

We probably spent the most time at a center that allowed you to switch out your face for those in older photo graphs. It was a fun memento that was displayed on a large screen for all to see as well as sent home via email.

We spent the rest of the day together in the conference hall. We hear from several local celebrities including the Tattooed Moron Al Fox and Olympic Medalist Noelle Pikus-Pace.

We also heard from many leaders from the LDS church including Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, the General Young Women's Presidency, and the General Sunday School President.

Elder Anderson even spoke via Skype to a missionary who accepted his Youth Challenge from last year. They told the story about how this Elder took the challenge and then invited his friends to do the same. Elder Anderson renewed his Youth Challenge and added that they prepared names and help someone else to do the same.

Overall the day was a good one. I think my kids enjoyed the messages. The long sessions in the conference hall felt more like going to church than a conference but we were able to text, clap and take pictures. I am not sure it is what my kids or I were expecting. I enjoyed the overall messages and the energy that it created.

Because of the train ride down and the earlier start in the Expo Hall, we were all hungry and unprepared for the schedule. We also had a hard time getting good seats and it was even harder to leave them for fear that we would not have any seats when we returned. Hunger prevailed and we left to eat in the food court of the City Creek Mall.

The closing session was fun. We were entertained by a comedy group from the TV show Studio C.

We also enjoyed some singing from David Archuleta. It was an overall good day.