Today we had a lesson about family history and keeping journals. To prepare, my partner and I went to the cemetery (which happens to be about 1/2 mile from my house) and got ideas to use for the hunt. Here is what we prepared. If you decide to do this, be sure to go to your own cemetery and adapt this page to suit the cemetery you will be using.
We met at my house (you may want to have your girls dropped off and picked up at the cemetery) and after doing the prayer and spotlight talked about family history. We discussed how sometimes you need information that can't be found in a book or on the Internet, so you have to travel to different cemeteries in search of dates and names. We also talked about why cemeteries are NOT scary and how we should act. We then headed off. We had a mom help us drive and she was even kind even to stay and help out.
Once we got there we numbered the girls into five groups of three and handed them their paper and pens. There was no rush since it was not a race, they didn't have to go in order and not every clue had to be completed. I was really impressed how well behaved and respectful the girls were. It was also nice to see some of the older girls reach out to the younger or slower ones.
They got about 25-30 minutes to finish up and then we sat them all down, gave them a treat and talked about how there are times when we are doing family history when we know what we are looking for but we just don't know where to find it.
We tied journaling in by asking the girls how we can keep track of important information, like names and birth dates. I told a personal story about when I was in college at BYU Nauvoo and how my roommate made it a point to write in her journal everyday. She would write about something we did that day, somewhere we went, a neat experience, anything. Sometimes it was extravagant and sometimes it was simple. The point is, she wrote. I didn't write and now I have lost all of the memories that I could have had. Even though it can be hard, if we will just write one thing that happened that day, something good that happened, a blessing we got, something we are thankful for...anything... we will be thankful years down the road.
At the end we gave each girl their own journal. We picked up composition books at Wal-Mart for 35 cents, since all back to school stuff is on clearance, and modge podged some scrapbook paper we all ready had on hand on the front and back. We also added their name to the front cover. We didn't do anything fancy with it like ribbon or anything, since we have so many girls, but they were sure excited! Here's one if you need to have a visual.