As you may know the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) conference is being held next Wednesday, August 21, through Saturday, August 24, in Ft. Wayne, Indiana. BCG will have a presence in a booth in the exhibit hall, a luncheon on Thursday, and a Certification Seminar on Thursday.

Entrance to the exhibit hall is free (no conference registration necessary). Come to the booth Thursday, Friday or Saturday to look at successful application portfolios and see what it takes to become certified. View several portfolios so you get a “flavor” of how different they can be and yet they follow the same requirements and standards. A booklet of just sample judges’ comments is available. There are several “did not meet,” some marginal and some “meets standards” examples of comments. They are real although identifying information has been taken out. They also do not correspond with any of the portfolios.

The Certification Seminar is Thursday from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. (double session) and will discuss all things related to applications, hints and tips, logistics, etc. Many successful applicants have stated that they have gone to these sessions at every opportunity and that hearing it more than once is not repetitive but reinforcing. Also you have different questions as you progress in your genealogical knowledge. There is ample opportunity to ask questions of the panel which includes Elissa Scalise Powell (BCG president), Jeanne Bloom (BCG treasurer), Debbie Mieszala (BCG Trustee), Dave McDonald (BCG Trustee and immediate past-president). I understand that the session will be held in the theater of the Allen County Public Library.

We will take a break between the two sessions from 3 pm to 3:30 pm during which any Preliminary Applicants are welcome to come and meet and greet each other. We will have badge ribbons “On the Clock” (also available from the BCG booth Thursday through Saturday).

BCG’s Luncheon is also on Thursday right before the Certification Seminar. With BCG “in the 50th year of its age” Dave McDonald will speak to us about “No Diamonds, No Cherries: Celebrating a Jubilee.” You never know who you will meet over lunch! Some tickets are available for purchase at registration.

For more information and for a schedule of about 150 lecture sessions, see