Author Topic: Educating and Capturing the Young  (Read 2689 times)

Ed Lecuyer

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Educating and Capturing the Young
« on: December 13, 2008, 05:13:17 PM »
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Educating and Capturing the Young has been converted from the pre-July 2008 WW&F Discussion Forum.
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Dave Buczkowski wrote:
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All;
I'm bringing this up in this section since a third of what I have to say relates to it.  Saturday I received a fund raising letter from the Nevada Northern Railway Museum in Ely, Nevada. I have no previous involvement with the Museum and can only presume that they got my name off of some mailing list. Anyway, the four page letter and enclosures contained three things that I thought might be of interest.
The one related to this thread involves their running a Rail Camp. I assume it approximates the one Joe went to this past summer at Steamtown though Joe and I never spoke of all that he did. The purpose is to get young people involved in railroading. The letter accurately pointed out that the younger generation has not been exposed to railroads like many of us were so they have not had a chance to form an interest in railroading. I have tried with my sons and their friends with mixed success. They love coming up but aren't as committed as Joe and Brian are. Perhaps someday. The point is that we may want to try something after bug season during the summer as a day camp since we don't now have sleeping facilities. It would perhaps involve track work, brakeman training, hands on experience in the shop and learning how a steam locomotive works. The difference from a work day or weekend would be the concentration on teaching some useful skills and attention to the campers. Joe could give us an idea of what he did. It might even bring in a few bucks. Now discuss amongst yourselves.
The second thought involves the previous landscaping thread. The NNRM offers personalized bricks that are used to create a plaza at the Museum. You "buy" a brick and your name or whatever is stamped or otherwise put on it. My university and local historic society have used them to raise money. The bricks would then be set in front of the car barn/engine house providing a cleaned up look for the area but that could still be driven over. We could add a few shrubs
The third thought is that the NNRM has been named America's newest National Historic Landmark so it is possible. Of course their rail yard is fifty-six acres and has over sixty historic buildings and structures. We could start as a Maine historic site and work our way up...
And a bonus thought, they rent locomotives for a day. Steam is $590, diesel is $390 and the "Ultimate" fo rboth is $890 a day. Basically you get to spend the day in a cab and put your hands on the throttle. Just a few thoughts to think about.
Dave

James Patten replied:
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Dave, your post deserves a thread all by itself so I split it off from the Newsletter post.

As we all know, "capturing" the young (for lack of a better word) and their interest is as important to our long-term survival as anything else.  The Long Range Plan calls for the development of an education program which we could take to the schools or have the schools come to us, which we could use to expose the kids to railroads and possibly get one or two from each class interested enough in us to volunteer.

Jason and I have had occasional conversations about it, but building some kind of educational curriculum around our ideas is a bit beyond us.  Briefly, some of the ideas we have had:
- for those grades that have Maine History, showing them this little piece of Maine's history and why the railroads in general, and the two-footers in particular, were so important to Maine's development.
- for those in physics, showing them the physics of steam power.
- maybe for those in shop classes, woodworking (or metalworking) techniques of 100 years ago.

There may have been other ideas that came up but I can't recall them now.

Anyway, this thread should explore this and what we can do to move this idea ahead.

Mike Fox replied:
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Dave,
A little closer to home, There is a museum in Conneticut that does the same thing. The name escapes me right now but I'm sure someone knows which one it is. Just bringing it up so if someone is interested in this, there is more than one source to go by if we decide to do that. I think an Hourly rate would fit in there someplace too. After the proper introduction and training to whichever loco you will be operating of course.
Mike

Joe Fox replied:
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Do you mean the Essex Valley Railraod dad? I know that I was told that you get to operate a deisle in Ely, Nevada for one, one way trip. Then on the return trip, you get to be brakemen. I was trying to have a semi Railcamp thing at the museum with some of my fellow railcamp friends, and I told them that I would pay for any expenses, and some aren't sure if and when they can make it yet. The one in Ely does more stuff then the one in Steamtown, and goes on durring the same week.

Joe

Mike Fox replied:
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Yes. That is the one. YOU would pay for their expenses??? Think before you offer. That can cost you a lot (or me).

Allan Fisher replied:
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The RailCamp in Nevada is run by the NHRS, the same people who run the Camp at Steamtown - the curricula is basically the same, and if you read the RYPN discussion thread, there are many suggesting it be spread to other parts of the nation.

Butr it's like the suggestion that we increase the size of our newsletter - who is going to supply the articles to do this, i.e who is going to supply the money and instructors and sponsor these NHRS Railcamps

Joe Fox replied:
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Not all of the expenses I should say, just half of them, but I would take care of the expenses at the museum. No body is going to show up, so I don't have to worry any way. The only thing that is different between the two locations of Railcamp, is in Ely you get more of a hands on experience, and at Steamtown you don't. In Ely, you also do more railroad activitys in a day. At Steamtown, we did nothing for one hole day, because the NRHS had planned on us running the deilse and hooking, and unhooking train cars. That couldn't be done since there only deisle was in the shop, and the 3254 was pulling the passneger train, so we had to wait for them to get done, before we could do any brakemen work, and hook up the train.

Joe

Stephen Hussar replied:
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Dave, I like the "buying a brick" idea. I think the Lackawanna & Wyoming Valley RHS was doing this for a time raising money toward the B&M 3713 restoration. And check out the number of bricks in the floor of this South African engine shed...might this be a way to finance a future roundhouse at Sheepscot?!


_________________
*                *                    *                   *
"Give me enough Swedes and whiskey and I'll build a railroad to Hell."
- James J. Hill

Mike Fox replied:
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Steve,
The heck with the outside, lets do that on the inside.
Mike

Stephen Hussar replied:
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Absolutely Mike!

Sort of odd that they've laid this beautiful floor inside such a modern building -- although with all the smoke and steam wafting through those shafts of light it almost doesn't matter.
_________________
*                *                    *                   *
"Give me enough Swedes and whiskey and I'll build a railroad to Hell."
- James J. Hill

Joe Fox replied:
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That is weird that they put that floor in the building like that, you would think that wood would be cheaper.

Joe

Mike Fox replied:
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Wood burns. You would not want that on the floor of a roundhouse or engine shed. Cement, brick or dirt is about the safest way to go.

Josh Botting replied:
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Burns quiet niceley.... especially when soaked with oil.

Steve Zuppa replied:
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Yet It's still a historically accurate flooring material. 4x6s cut into six inch lengths and laid like brick with the end grain up have long been used in industrial floorng applications. It's cheap and a whole lot easier on the legs than concrete.
Steve
_________________
"Keep to the code!"
Capt. Jack Sparrow

James Patten replied:
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Let's get back to the topic of discussion: how do we come up with curricula for school visits, "rail camps", and so forth.

I'd rather we didn't discuss "Operate the Locomotive For a Day" such as MNG does, because that's not something operationally that we want to get into.

Mike Fox replied:
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James,
First you have to decide who you are gearing up for. The average school kids are not going to be into it as much as a railfan or the like would be. The school kids would get a great seeing is believing class where a railcamp type event is going to have the ones that want to know everything there is to know about the railroad. Either way, lots and lots of planning will need to be involved.
Mike

Josh Botting replied:
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Steve,

The floor in the Mach.  shop at biw is of similar construction, 4x6 piles driven into the mud.  That is very old......
Ed Lecuyer
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