Author Topic: WW&F Offering Workshops for 2019 Season Car Hosts  (Read 7670 times)

Stephen Piwowarski

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WW&F Offering Workshops for 2019 Season Car Hosts
« on: March 15, 2019, 02:09:07 AM »
The WW&F is seeking volunteers to serve as car hosts on our trains this season. The Museum will be offering a series of workshops to train car hosts at the Museum’s 97 Cross Road campus in Alna on March 23, March 30 and April 6. Classes will begin each day at 9AM and will generally end by 2PM.

   The car host’s job is to engage and interact with visitors, sharing interesting information about the railway and surrounding region and answer visitor’s questions. The workshops will provide you with all the materials and resources you need to be a successful car host. No previous experience is necessary, but a desire to interact with our visitors and help offer them a meaningful, personal experience will be helpful. Becoming a car host is also a great introduction to other volunteer positions available on the railway. Volunteer who are already active with the Museum are also welcome to attend the sessions as they will go over WW&F history and public interaction techniques.

   To participate in workshops either call the Museum at 207-882-4193 with your name and contact information or send an email with the same to visitor interaction coordinator Steve Piwowarski at stephen.piwowarski@wwfry.org.

ALAIN DELASSUS

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Re: WW&F Offering Workshops for 2019 Season Car Hosts
« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2019, 07:52:10 AM »
Great idea ! I was a conductor for decades and I know how much riders are interesting in the railroad and in the scenery the train runs through. It was always  a treat for me to reply them and give them some information. But I think it's not really part of the conductor duties who must first and foremost focus on safety.    A few French tourist RR give riders information about the RR history and surroundings. Unfortunately the host is  actually the conductor  that gives the riders information through an on board intercom that is not at all an historical appliance and does not make the dialogue possible. Of course it's an other kettle of fish  if it's a 10 car train....

Bill Baskerville

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Re: WW&F Offering Workshops for 2019 Season Car Hosts
« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2019, 03:30:53 PM »
Stephen,

Thanks for this great expansion of opportunities for our volunteers and for providing an improved visitor experience for our guest.

Is a written or electronic summary of information and presentation tips available for those of us who are already qualified in other positions so we can fine tune our spiels and have a consistent presentation?  This would be especially helpful for those of us who are not fortunate enough to live in or close to Maine.

Again, I commend you for your talent and energy.

Bill
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Stephen Piwowarski

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Re: WW&F Offering Workshops for 2019 Season Car Hosts
« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2019, 01:41:50 PM »
Bill,

Thanks for the compliments though I am motivated by the energy I get from all of the good people I am surrounded by here- the ideas, excitement and energy all fuel my passion to bring the WW&F and its story to new audiences and individuals while continuing the great work of rebuilding the railway.

As I will be working on the plans for each of the meeting days, the documents I develop will form the basis for an electronic summary I can later send to you and others who are interested. Maybe they could event get posted to the forum!

I will tell you that the two resources that form the basis for the training are the Museum Guide authored by Bill Reidy along with the 28 page pamphlet "Wiscasset, Waterville & Farmington Railway: the Sheepscot Valley Narrow Gauge" published last year by the Museum. For starters, these are a good jumping off point.

Wayne L. pointed out an important detail- the Car Host program is great for someone who would like to take on an active role in the public, operational side of the railway without the responsibilities of a brakeman, conductor, etc. It is also low-impact physically, as hosts are encouraged to sit with passengers and have one on one or small-group, personal conversations, rather than standing and addressing an entire car of people.


Bob Holmes

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Re: WW&F Offering Workshops for 2019 Season Car Hosts
« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2019, 11:13:10 PM »
Steve, I agree with Bill that the curriculum and materials should be packaged to that those of us who are not always in Alna could still qualify.  I know this is an added burden, but will broaden your reach for certified Hosts.  "Certified" might mean and interview with you or taking a test after studying the materials.

Just an idea...

Bob

Jeff Schumaker

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Re: WW&F Offering Workshops for 2019 Season Car Hosts
« Reply #5 on: March 17, 2019, 02:32:43 PM »
I will second what Bill and Bob have posted.

Jeff S.
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John Kokas

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Re: WW&F Offering Workshops for 2019 Season Car Hosts
« Reply #6 on: March 17, 2019, 02:47:58 PM »
Ditto Bill, Bob, and Jeff!
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Bill Baskerville

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Re: WW&F Offering Workshops for 2019 Season Car Hosts
« Reply #7 on: March 17, 2019, 04:42:55 PM »
... I will tell you that the two resources that form the basis for the training are the Museum Guide authored by Bill Reidy along with the 28 page pamphlet "Wiscasset, Waterville & Farmington Railway: the Sheepscot Valley Narrow Gauge" published last year by the Museum. For starters, these are a good jumping off point. ...

FWIIW (For What It Is Worth not to be confused with HWSNBN) I have asked Linda to mail me the two documents referenced by Steve (above).  I will give her my CC # when she knows what the postage and packing cost are to be added to the two documents from the museum store.  This will allow me to bone up on the "official" story before my next trip north for the SWW. 

In the trivia department, in the past most of my information came from listening to more knowledgeable folks around the museum like Jason, Start, Bob and a few others that I can't recall right now.  Paying attention to the conductors while acting as brakeman has helped.  This plan will give us all the real scoop for a consistent message for our visitors.

~ B2 ~ Wascally Wabbit & Gofer ~

Joe Fox

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Re: WW&F Offering Workshops for 2019 Season Car Hosts
« Reply #8 on: March 18, 2019, 10:34:24 AM »
When I first started volunteering with the museum, I wrote up a bunch of info to tell visitors during the ride. Though it hasnt been updated in 12-13 years. I found things visitors enjoy, especially young families is hearing of the kids riding to school on the train, the Albees farm that is seen from the train, commodities shipped by the railroad, etc. Then folks that used to live near Wiscasset often remember the schooners. Those from Portland are often interested to learn about our vast display or replicas of Portland Company products. As Steve P mentioned, once you can tie the railway into a visitors personal perspective it gives a simple museum visit more meaning.

Bob Holmes

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Re: WW&F Offering Workshops for 2019 Season Car Hosts
« Reply #9 on: March 21, 2019, 02:40:46 AM »
Steve, per our discussion yesterday, consider a one full day training, with it being a pre-requisite that one read the two reference books that you have identified as the class texts.  A trainee could buy them (tell us how much they cost), or we could have 2-3 loaner sets at the museum that one could borrow.

John McNamara

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Re: WW&F Offering Workshops for 2019 Season Car Hosts
« Reply #10 on: March 21, 2019, 04:01:22 AM »
Steve, per our discussion yesterday, consider a one full day training, with it being a pre-requisite that one read the two reference books that you have identified as the class texts.  A trainee could buy them (tell us how much they cost), or we could have 2-3 loaner sets at the museum that one could borrow.
Your post reminds me of a Far Side cartoon in which a student says, "Professor, may I leave now? My brain is full."

Gary Kraske

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Re: WW&F Offering Workshops for 2019 Season Car Hosts
« Reply #11 on: March 21, 2019, 06:21:52 AM »

I will tell you that the two resources that form the basis for the training are the Museum Guide authored by Bill Reidy along with the 28 page pamphlet "Wiscasset, Waterville & Farmington Railway: the Sheepscot Valley Narrow Gauge" published last year by the Museum. For starters, these are a good jumping off point.

Looked at the Gift tab on our website, but could not find the referenced resources.  We have all the other books (and thoroughly read) listed on the Gift site.  Help!

Stephen Piwowarski

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Re: WW&F Offering Workshops for 2019 Season Car Hosts
« Reply #12 on: March 22, 2019, 08:46:50 PM »
Hi Gary (and others),

The Museum Guide is the guide is published by the museum and handed out to every visitor with their tickets. It goes over the various things around campus and things seen during the trip.

"Wiscasset, Waterville & Farmington Railway: the Sheepscot Valley Narrow Gauge" was published last year by the Railway. It is a more in depth version of the article that was published in the NRHS bulletin, but without photographs.

Steve

Bob Holmes

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Re: WW&F Offering Workshops for 2019 Season Car Hosts
« Reply #13 on: March 22, 2019, 11:37:09 PM »
So can we have packaged versions of those available for pre-car host training?

Stephen Piwowarski

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Re: WW&F Offering Workshops for 2019 Season Car Hosts
« Reply #14 on: March 23, 2019, 03:33:15 AM »
Anyone who participates in the training will receive the materials free of charge. The museum guide is typically free, but the WW&F pamphlet regularly has a small cost attached to defray printing costs.

I would typically hand them out at the trainings, but if someone wants to look them over ahead, I could make some up for that. Alternatively, I suppose we could post both here on the forum, but that might be technologically difficult... so I'm not sure about that.

Steve