Currently at the Train Station, we are working with our local group of Boy Scouts as they are trying to earn their Railroading Merit Badge. It has been an interesting process, a process actually that started with passing a criminal check and getting clearance from the Boy Scouts by passing the Youth Protection Program. Currently all of our Board members have been certified by the Scouts and our certifications are posted in the Station.
As most of you know, I have a policy of not identifying kids on my blogs… some kids are never even shown clearly for their privacy and protection.
The boys have a certain amount of “desk” or book work to do and then we try to have some hands on activities with the model trains. It might be identifying the different type of freight cars – I bet there are more than you realize – or learning all about Train Safety, signals, warnings, or just about the different types of model trains that are available. Eventually, some of them will be building their own model railroad. Last week we learned about the unbelievable number of jobs related to the Railroads. We adults are learning things, too!
It has been a serious learning experience for me… I have always been more into the scenery than running the trains, so I have had to learn some things right along with them. Then, some of the classes have been easy for those of us who have traveled on buses, trains, or planes. 3 weeks ago, for example, we learned how to read a train schedule and planned a trip to Disney World since the trip the scout manual asked them to plan was a minimum of 500 miles.
We always have some parents there with us. They were interested in the cost of the train ride from Richmond to Orlando especially if one took a sleeper coach!
They are also learning about setting up a layout. As you can see, most of the smaller train (HO) layout is still under construction, but the trains run well and the boys know what each car is for and how to hook a train together and run it.
Stay tuned! More as we finish our classes!