reading this gave me a little idea,
to invite some university students with this add.
it may be the university of illinois or even the famous PERDUE university in indiana. some engineering schools if you like. besides it will give education RIGHT? :-)}
Thank you for posting this... a few years back, I had a heck of a time trying to volunteer for Thomas weekends, since there is no contact information in the "How to Volunteer" section accessed through IRM's homepage. Perhaps contact information could be added there, and to each department's blog, to enable prospective members and volunteers to join us at IRM.
This is one of the areas on the IRM site that will be revamped in the coming months. It had been maintained many years ago by the late Harold Driscoll when he was the volunteer coordinator. Rather than spending the time attempting to decipher his code, it may be easier to replace the entire section. That will also allow us to add and maintain specific information for the needs of special events and other projects.
One thing you can also do (but i don't really know if you have the time or not) is railcamps. steamtown in scranton P.A. is doing it so i think it should be a great oupportunity for you guys to edicate the younger rail enthusiest. unlike the others, you can provide kids with tips in the wood shop unlike the others. try it you will have fun
go to www.nrhs.org and click on railcamp for teens and adults
I had done a bit of planning to try to someday offer a one week summer camp program in our woodshop. A fair amount of work to try to have some meaningful work available, to set up work stations, get materials, print course materials, safety training, etc. It would not be inexpensive for folks to attend and would require some logistics for one of the IRM guys to manage this, say for a five day Mon-Fri session. I wonder who it might attract? The content would be a lot different for a fan with no shop experience versus a member from another museum who would expect more substance in the machine operation, set up, maintenance, jigs and fixtures, tooling, etc.
It basically died for lack of support internally and then we got to the questions of insurance, liability, etc.
but bob, it is not just the wood shop it can be the track department, it could be steam, deisel, electric, passenger car, freight car, the power-lines, train opperations in tower, even IRMs past and Present.
and learn how we keep our museum in motion.
Eric, of course the possibilities reach far and wide. I chose the wood shop to act as a 'pilot' project since it is under my control and abilities to design such a program. Co-ordination and scheduling becomes a larger problem as you involve more facets of the museum complex. If you want to contribute ideas or work on such a proposal, contact me off line via e mail to discuss further.