Scott Fisher is the host of Extreme Genes, a genealogical podcast with over 50,000 subscribers. Being a host comes naturally for Fisher, a Connecticut native, who has been in radio since his youth. Fisher has spent three decades using spare time to do genealogy as a passionate “roots sleuth.” Scouting runs in the Fisher family. The picture above shows the father of Fisher on the left in the 1920’s, Fisher in the middle in the 1960’s and his son Steve in the early 2000’s all in their Scouting uniforms.
Recently on his show, he interviewed Gary Pack, Boy Scouts of America volunteer with over 30 years of service. Pack has also helped head up the Scout’s Genealogy merit badge program. Pack is a former IT man for FamilySearch.org and has great insight on how to use the Boy Scouts’ techniques to introduce family history research to your children and grandchildren, both boys and girls. During the interview, Pack shares some amazing experiences and stories from setting up a research center in tents at a national jamboree!
One of the highlights in the podcast includes when Pack talks about the success of the Genealogy Merit Badge at National Jamboree in 2010. Here is a brief snippet.
Gary: Yes, and that’s the most important thing we found. We were so blessed in 2010. We had over three thousand boys come to our Genealogy Merit Badge area and come through our tent and look at the computers, and many of them, actually over a thousand of them earned the merit badge while they were there at the jamboree.
Fisher: Right there.
Gary: And they loved it! It became the second most popular merit badge in the entire merit badge midway.
Fisher: Behind what?
Gary: There was an engineering one that really had some really fun things that I had a lot of fun at.
Gary: That just beat us by a couple hundred visitors, but we were right there far and away some of the most popular opportunities in the entire Jamboree because the kids came and had such a marvelous experience that they just couldn’t help but gush to their friends and their friends would all come the next day. It was amazing.
Pack recounts one of his favorite experiences he had with one of the Scouts at the 2010 Jamboree. Here is another snippet:
Fisher: Exactly. And what stories, by the way, did you hear that still stick in your brain all these years later?
Gary: Oh, my favorite story. We had a young man come who moved to America from South America as a very young child, and he was here and now he is fourteen years old and he’d come with his troop to the Jamboree, and we told him to go find out some things about his ancestor, and he says, “Boy, I just know almost nothing.” Well, give your mom a call and let her get you in contact with someone. So he was able to actually call and talk to his grandmother in South America who had been born in Europe and then moved to South America and told him a whole bunch of stories. He came back and I’d never seen anybody so excited about what he found out about his family that he had never known before. And he was just beside himself with excitement, and thrilled, and there were tears from this young man to find out things about his family that he’d never even known or heard before.
Fisher: Interesting. So what did he do with that? I mean, once they got this information, they’re back at the camp, they’re on their cell phones, they’re getting this data, they’re coming back to you the next day, what did you have them do with it?
Gary: What we had them do with it is put together family group sheets.
Gary: And so we’d show them how to do that and put it together so that they could show how their family was all put together, their mother and father, and who their parents were, and who the other siblings were, and all these things that these kids really hadn’t paid much attention to and it started to tie them back to find out who they are because of where they come from. It’s just amazing there’s such love that happens for their family history when they come and just start this process of gathering the data and putting it together.
To listen to the rest of the podcast visit extremegenes.com. You can also find the podcast on iTunes. Don’t forget to subscribe!