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February 22nd is World Thinking Day which began in 1926 as a time when girls in Guiding throughout the world would think of each other and give thanks. The date itself is the shared birthday of Lord Robert Baden Powell and his wife Olive. Lord Baden Powell started the Scouting movement and Olive Baden Powell was the World Chief Guide.

I was involved in the Guiding movement starting as a Brownie and went on to Guides, Rangers, Junior Leader and Tawny Owl and finished my career as a Brown Owl which is a leader of a Brownie troop.

On the Sunday before the 22nd all the local members of Guiding and Scouting went to a church service and gave thanks. We marched down the aisle and presented our colours and then after the service we picked up our colours and marched out.

When I was in the movement it was called Thinking Day but at the 30th World Conference held in Ireland in 1999 they decided to make it World Thinking Day to show the global aspect of the movement.

My mother was in Guiding as a young girl. When I became a Brownie my mother volunteered as a leader and eventually was the Commissioner of our district. My paternal grandmother was active in Guiding and was a leader. She met my grandfather at a gathering of Guides and Scouts in Glasgow. My father was involved in Scouting.

Two of my grandfather’s cousins were so active in Guiding that they were awarded a Member of the British Empire (MBE) by the Queen for their service to Guiding. The Queen herself was active in Guiding.

It is sad that the next generation in my family has not continued on with the tradition of Guiding and Scouting. I found the experience was fantastic for learning new things and testing my abilities in a safe and supportive environment. I can pitch a tent and light a fire with the best of them. I learned to cook over an open fire and how to keep the pots from turning permanently black from the fire. There was home nursing where I learned how to change a bed with someone in it and how to care for people at home.

It was the goal of many to collect as many badges as possible. You had to fulfill certain criteria and have someone sign off on the fact that you completed the requirements. There are badges available that reflect all the concerns and interests of people today. The badges introduce the girls to different ideas and may create a spark for a future career. They provide them with the skills they will need to care for and support themselves. Today you can get a badge for family heritage.

Younger girls are being welcomed into the movement with a group called Sparks.

In 1975 I was part of an event called Guiding on the Move which was part of our 65th Anniversary celebrations. It was a National Girl Guide project that allowed over 1000 girls to travel across Canada and exposed them to the different ways of life to be found throughout Canada. The group I was with included Guides from around Ontario and the Northwest Territories. We all gathered at our district camp site and went to Hamilton and stayed on the Navel base and toured the city. Then a larger group gathered for a special day celebrating Guiding at the Canadian National Exhibition. I remember marching into the stadium with all my new friends who were part of Guiding from around the country.

Of course there was the cookie sale held every year. We would go to every door in the neighbourhood twice, the first time picking up orders and the second time delivering them. There were only two flavours, chocolate and vanilla. This year Cookie Day will be held at Sears but I have yet to find a specific date for it.

Last year the Girl Guides celebrated their 100th Anniversary.

The Girl Guides motto is “Be Prepared” and their slogan is “Empowering girls will change our world.”

©2011 – Blair Archival Research

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Upcoming Move

I am in the process of moving to a more robust server. While you will find the change seamless, there will be no new blog posts until the move is complete.

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It is really important to keep up with all the new advancements, latest releases and general news in genealogy. Keeping up with the news will help you advance your own family history. You never know when an announcement regarding the release of records will provide you with the record to break down that brick wall you have been battling against for ages.

Generally I follow over fifty different blogs and can have up to thirty new blog posts to read everyday. The majority of them are genealogy blogs but several can be considered connected to genealogy such as writing and history blogs. A few are related to my other interests. If there is a new innovation or records are released in the world of genealogy you can count on multiple blog posts to respond. Information travels quickly in the world of instant news reports.

Genealogy blogs help me to keep up to date with the news as well as providing the opportunity of learning something new everyday. I follow the well known blogs such as Dick Eastman as well as some lesser known blogs. It is amazing the information that is flowing freely through the community.

I also love the family stories that are shared throughout the genealogy blogging world. “Write it up” has been a phrase used quite often throughout the genealogical community and the blog has provided us with a fun and relatively easy way to do so.

Blogs are just a small part of how I keep up to date with information. I read about five genealogy magazines a month. My reading material also consists of six genealogy journals that come out quarterly. The reading material comes from Canada, England, Ireland, Scotland and the United States. This way I can keep abreast of everything new in the countries where I conduct research.

I have an IPod but where most people have music on their IPods I listen to genealogical and historical podcasts. This is another way of catching up with what is going on in the world of genealogy. I am learning about record groups that might assist me with my research as well as the time periods in history that my ancestors lived through. I talked about podcasts in a previous blog entry.

While all this new and abundant information is fantastic, I have to schedule in time to keep up to date with it all.

©2010 – Blair Archival Research

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Do you listen to podcasts online or on your IPod/MP3 Player? They are free and very useful to the genealogist. In fact podcasts are all I listen to on my IPod! I subscribe to many different types of podcasts through ITunes.

The big one for me is The National Archives of England. They put new podcasts out regularly. They are recordings of slide presentations that are given at The National Archives in Kew. My only regret is that I am unable to see the slides and therefore the documents that they reference in the seminar.

I subscribe so every time my IPod is attached to my computer it is being updated. I have learned about World War 1 records, land and estate records, Irish and Scottish genealogy just to name a few. All this was done while riding the bus to the Ontario Archives.

Others that I listen to are “Digging up your Roots”, “Family History Expos Genealogy Podcast” and the “Genealogy Gems Podcast”. I also listen to other podcasts that can help with my genealogy such as “Oxford Biographies”, “Documentary One on RTE” (Irish Radio), “English Heritage” and “Great Lives”. These all provide me with background information.

One little gem I found for writing my family history was an Open University program which is found under ITunesU. Open University is a program on British television where people can take a university course by correspondence or just for interest. Open University has been around for a long time. There are seven episodes to help you write your family history.

These are just the ones I listen to; there are many others that cover a wide spectrum of genealogy. When you go in do a general search for both genealogy and family history. Some will come up under both searches but you will find others that can only be found in one search field. You may even find podcasts that do not relate to family history but to family. Go through the list to see what is there as you never know what you may find.

You do not have to subscribe to the general podcast. If there is one particular entry you are interested in you can download that specific podcast. You may discover that after a while the podcasts are not relating to your requirements so you can delete the subscription and try another one.

Unfortunately sometimes there are only a few podcasts to be found under certain titles. The last podcast may have been put up 2 or 3 years ago and then they stopped. Check these out anyway as you may find something of interest. Occasionally you will find a video podcast which adds another dimension.

Your local library may also allow for downloads of books that could relate to your family history or a book you may have wanted to check out. These can be downloaded from your public library website but you will only be able to use the files until the check out time has expired.

There are a wide variety of topics available in a format that is easily portable.

The one thing to remember is that all of these are free to download. Have fun!

©2010 – Blair Archival Research

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