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The Return to In-Person Meetings

Since early last year, our local genealogical and lineage societies have met virtually on Zoom. This summer, many that I belong to will meet in person for the first time in many months.

  1. Colorado Genealogical Society. Next week the Lunch Bunch from this group will gather at a Mexican food restaurant to eat together for the first time since the pandemic began. Regular meetings of the Society will continue on Zoom at least until the remodeling project at the Denver Public Library is completed several months from now. Once the library reopens, this group may continue to have some guest speakers appear on Zoom because many members and speakers like the convenience of participating from home. The Board has decided to continue using Zoom for its meetings to avoid arranging for meeting space and to enable people who live further away to serve on the Board.
  2. General Society of Mayflower Descendants, Colorado Chapter. Last weekend we all enjoyed the annual summer picnic at Castlewood Canyon State Park. This picnic normally takes place at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, but that facility remains closed to the public. The state park provided us with a lovely setting overlooking the canyon. My husband/tech advisor and I hiked the nature trail along the rim when the picnic ended.
  3. Highlands Ranch Genealogical Society. This group normally meets at the local Family History Center, but that facility has not yet re-opened. This Society has no summertime meetings.
  4. Sons of Norway. We already met in person for a picnic in May will do so again in August. This group just received word that our Lutheran church meeting place is open again for our monthly Lodge meetings. The first one of those will be in September. I serve on the SofN Board, and I hope those meetings will continue on Zoom. The genealogy study group has decided to remain on Zoom to make it easier for people from other Lodges to join in.

As the pandemic ebbs, the genealogy world will look a little different. We have learned that we need not hold all meetings in person to remain viable.

I hope these clubs can find a balance between virtual and in-person meetings. Virtual meetings offer convenience and the opportunity for faraway people to participate. They eliminate the need to schedule and pay for meeting rooms. They save on commute time.

Face-to-face meetings enable us to build and maintain personal connections. Many people join genealogical and lineage societies because of the social opportunities they provide. We do not want to lose that.

Our group leaders have a new tool in virtual meetings, and they must use it wisely as our nation reopens. A good mix would be nice.


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