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 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.

Fish­er: [Laughs]

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.

Fish­er: Hand­writ­ten?

Gary: Yes.

Fish­er: Okay.

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 You can also find the pod­cast on iTunes. Don’t for­get to sub­scribe! 

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