Going to Camp
One of biggest challenges facing the Nevada Northern Railway museum is making the museum relevant to today's society. For a variety of reasons, railroading has gone underground and is slipping out of the public awareness. Oh sure, railroading gets headlines when there is a derailment, but this is not the type of publicity that will generate a warm and fuzzy with society.
And frankly, railroading is getting safer and safer so any headlines, even the derailment headlines, are (thankfully) getting rarer and rarer. For a railroad museum, this creates a challenge. Railroading is dropping out of the public's consciousness. People question its relevance. Why should they stop and visit? What's in for them? How interesting can rusting metal and rotting wood be? What does a railroad do and why should I care?
This is a shame because the story of railroading is fascinating. Railroads and our country grew up together. Railroads were the driving force behind the development of the interior of our country. Without railroads, there would be no cities far from navigable waters. Why? The simple fact is you couldn't support the people who lived there without railroads.
railroading and society became intertwined. Railroads opened up the
interior of the continent; they were a part of everyday life. This is
how people traveled, how goods and foodstuffs were shipped, and how
the news was gathered and disseminated, all through this industrial
This is all well and good, but as a sales manager of mine use to say, "I don't care about yesterday, what are you going to do for me today?" And that in a nutshell is the challenge that railroad museums face. Yes, we had a glorious past but what are we going to do about today? How are we going to make ourselves relevant?
We have to create connections. We need to make the past come alive and become relevant for today's society. People for the most part are curious. If you engage their imagination you got'em! So the challenge becomes engaging their imagination. There are many different ways, but one way is sending them to camp and completely immersing them into railroading for a week.
National Railroad Historic Society (NRHS) has a program called RailCamp.
The Nevada Northern Railway Museum partnered with them to offer RailCamp
here. We are offering three sessions: two for adults and one for teens.
This is our second year of offering RailCamp. Last year was an eye opening
experience for us. When you can have teenagers fall asleep during dinner,
you know you accomplished something. So what was RailCamp like? What
follows is the experiences of one of the adult RailCampers, Joe Virgona.
RailCamp gave the participants the chance to experience all phases of railroading. Here the participants are learning about the cutting torch.
Nevada Northern Railway Museum with the NRHS will have three camps in
2007. There will be two adult RailCamps: the first will be June 1117
and the second will be September 1016. There will be a teen RailCamp
July 2329. All sessions are limited to twelve participants. For
more information contact the museum at (775) 289-2085 or visit the RailCamp
What are you waiting forpack your bags and head to camp.
Call Us 1-866-40STEAM or 1-866-407-8326
Copyright © 2007 Nevada Northern
Railway - Ely, Nevada