Why does the Ontario Genealogical Society’s Toronto Branch have a program called “Summer Camp”; why has it worked so well for more than a decade and a half; and why would you want to attend?
The concept for “Summer Camp” came from an experience in Salt Lake City nearly 20 years ago. It was my third visit to Salt Lake and the Family History Library. A few days after my return to Toronto, I began to realize how much more productive I’d been because I’d been familiar with the city, and the way the Library worked.
It occurred to me that our “local knowledge” could provide a similar benefit to researchers coming to Toronto—a much more complex city with a wide range of archives and libraries. We could help researchers find the archives, learn how to use the catalogues and finding aids, and guide their research to help them make the best use of their time.
And it has worked very well. More than 135 participants from England, right across Canada and many US states have attended over the years. We’ve also welcomed many local researchers as “day campers”. They have navigated the transit system, and the idiosyncrasies of databases and filing systems, with our help. They’ve worked very hard, enjoyed being part of the group, and made some wonderful discoveries. Many participants found the experience beneficial enough to come back for two, three or more years.
Genealogy Summer Camp 2013 was held on Sunday, June 16 to Friday, June 21. We haven’t yet scheduled the 2014 Camp.
Why would you want to be part of “Summer Camp”?
If you live out of town, and have ancestors from Toronto or other parts of Ontario, there are many resources here for you. We’ll help you spend more time finding information—and less time finding the archives!
If you live in or near Toronto, it is a great way to get acquainted (or reacquainted) with the wonderful cluster of libraries and archives in our city. It is also a great excuse for a week of concentrated research.
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