Amherst Railway Society - meeting - November, 2018Date: Wednesday, November 14, 2018
Insights from a RailCamp Counselor
Each year, the National Railroad Historical Society (NRHS) offers high school students a unique opportunity to learn about railroad history, preservation, maintenance, and operations. Known as RailCamp, the program gives students valuable insights and hands-on experience with many facets of railroading. Two camps are held, one in Newark, Delaware, at the University of Delaware, and the other in Tacoma, Washington. And, 2018 marked the 20th anniversary of this highly respected program. For the past three years, Ellen Scott has been a RailCamp counselor, both in Delaware (three years), and in Washington (one year). On Wednesday, November 14, Ellen will recount her experiences as a RailCamp counselor - from shoveling coal on a Strasburg steamer, to installing a section of track, to running an ACS 64 simulator, to an inside look at K-Tower. She will also present a day in the life of a RailCamper - on both coasts. “RailCamp is an educational experience for young people who have an interest in railroads and railroading,” says Ellen. “It gives them an appreciation of what railroads have meant to the history, development, and economy of our country, and how technology changes in modern railroading affect the business.” Through RailCamp, this signature program of the NRHS shows students the unique opportunities available in the railroad industry, and inspires them to pursue a railroad career. “RailCamp is an emotional experience for me,” says Ellen. “The kids are great, and we have such a good time together. I watch them grow, learn how to be away from home. And, I stay in touch with many of them. It’s hard to see each RailCamp week come to an end… but, I love it, and I’m looking forward to doing it all again next June.” Ellen Scott is affectionately known as “Mom” by many RailCampers. Amherst Railway Society meetings are open to the public.