Thursday, January 4, 2018


Have you ever attended a week-long genealogy institute? For the past four years, I have attended an institute each summer: three years at GRIP in Pennsylvania and last year at IGHR in Georgia. Here's a quick comparison:

Room at GRIP
  • GRIP - Most people stay in the dorms on campus. They provide a set of sheets (if I remember correctly), a thin pillow, and one towel. Most people bring their own sheets - I put their sheets under mine as the mattresses are quite thin! I also bring my own blanket, pillow, towels, and toiletries. The room has a small fridge and a desk. I have had issues with the internet connection in my room and with air conditioners that didn't work - twice! Some people choose to stay at a nearby hotel, but they need their own transportation to and from classes.
    Room at IGHR in Georgia
  • IGHR - Most people stay on site in the Georgia Center where the classrooms are located. Although small, these rooms are typical hotel rooms with all of the regular amenities including a small fridge and a desk.

Cafeteria at GRIP - it gets packed & noisy
  • GRIP - If you're staying in a dorm room, three meals a day at the campus cafeteria are included. The food is pretty good, and individual items are marked for food allergies. Meal times are a great time to meet new people or catch up with your friends. The "scoop your own" ice cream is always a big hit!
  • IGHR - Meals at IGHR are expensive and the food choices are quite limited. Although you go through a buffet line to choose your food, there are waiters who bring you drinks, remove your plates, etc. You can also buy food to keep in your room and eat outside in the courtyard for lunches and/or dinners.

  • GRIP - There are two places I love to visit from campus:
    Sisters of Divine Providence cemetery
    • The Sisters of Divine Providence is located next to the campus and is a nice place to go for a walk. Both the sisters and mothers are buried at a wonderful old cemetery at the top of a hill and I've enjoyed walking there each year.

    • GRIP - North Park - getting ready to kayak
    • North Park is located only a few minutes drive from campus. It's a beautiful park where people walk, run, bike, and get out on the lake. Two years ago, some of us rented kayaks while others chose to walk around the park. It was a wonderful break to sitting behind a desk all week! 
  • IGHR - Athens, Georgia, is a small college town. I only left campus once to go out to lunch with some friends. 
  • GRIP - Early bird tuition (before May 1) is $460 for a course; regular tuition is $485. At La Roche College (Pennsylvania) a single room is $410; a double room is $310 per person. At Daemen College (the new campus in New York), an "apartment-style private bedroom, shared kitchen, dining, and living room" is $475. Fifteen meals are included at either location.
  • IGHR - Early bird tuition (by March 10) is $560 for a course; regular tuition is $600. A classic room with one queen or king bed is $89 per night. The cost is the same for a room with two custom beds. Select rooms with two queen beds or two double beds is $109. That would make a 5 night stay - Sunday through Friday - cost between $445 and $545. Meals are extra and the costs are not posted at this time.
  • GRIP - Registration begins February 14th with three weeks to choose from
  • IGHR - Registration begins January 13th 


Since I live in Texas and have to fly to either institute, I chose the course based on both content and instructors. This year, my first choice will be at GRIP from June 24th-29th in the "From Confusion to Conclusion: How to Write Proof Arguments" which is coordinated by Kimberly Powell. The other instructors are: Catherine Desmarais, CG, Harold Henderson, CG, Melissa A. Johnson, CG, and Karen Stanbary, CG.

Hope to see some of you at GRIP in June! And, if you have any comments or questions, please let me know.


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