Abigail, the one greatest concern I think you should have is resolution of image. Usually this is reflected in number of pixels in the image. The higher number of pixels, often the better the image. That said, one must also look at the lens.
Right now, there are many cameras on the market that have great resolution as well as easy-to-use settings. So I don’t think you have to decide between a “point and shoot” and an SLR. You can get SLRs that work as simply as a P&S, but can also give you the control to get a more sophisticated image. I would also encourage you to look at Digital SLRs (DSLR) that have a video function. That way in the future you could videotape events.