Trainz Helps 15 Boy Scouts Earn Railroading Merit Badge

June 6th 2014

Many railroaders spent the early parts of their life alongside fellow Boy Scouts of America, and many members of our community are still influencing Scouts with their railroading ways. One such person is Scott Griggs of Trainz.com (a prominent seller here on DASH), and he's got a wonderful story of his recent weekend with the Scouts. 

Story From Trainz.com

The Trainz.com Chief Engineer Scott Griggs is also a scoutmaster in the Boy Scouts. What better thing for a Boy Scout Leader and model train enthusiast to do than teach the Railroading merit badge? Saturday, May 10th was the date for the Advance-a-Rama for the Chattahoochee district of the Northeast Georgia Council. About 60 boys of all ages and ranks attended the event from all over northeast Georgia, and 15 of them choose to learn about railroading. The class was from 9:00AM to 4:00PM and covered everything you ever wanted to know about trains. Scott brought in 3 large boxes of Lionel Fastrak for the boys to set up however they wanted and supplies to build a diorama complete with a car kit, abuilding, trees, and people. In the morning we covered the history of Railroads; how locomotives work; what all the different types of railroad cars are for; how Amtrak came about and how it operates; what is operation lifesaver all about and why the train always wins and there are no ties; what railroad signals and block are for; and other fascinating facts about trains.  Then we broke for lunch and took over the Bojangles next door.

Then after lunch it was a crash course in making a diorama and putting together an HO car kit, a building kit, making trees, laying track, ballasting the track, and adding ground cover. The outdoor patio at the Winder 1st UMC was a busy place and a test to see how many questions Scott could answer and how many boys could he help at the same time!

Scott is also taking the Boy Scouts Wood Badge Leadership Training program course, the top-level course that BSA offers to its leaders. It makes a lot of sense. If the purpose of Boy Scouts is to teach boys life skills, character, and leadership, then you better make sure that you have adults leaders trained to model it. Scott has attend the two 3-day weekend from sun-up to sun-down immersed in team building, scout skills and leadership training. Then after the two camping/training weekends he needs to complete five “tickets” to complete the program that each participant chooses. Scotts five tickets are:

  1. Teach the disabilities awareness merit badge course (Completed at the fall 2013 Advance-a-Rama) (Scott also has a son with disabilities). Done!
  2. Form a Pack Committee for the cub scout pack that Scott is the chairman of. Done!
  3. Teach the Railroading Merit Badge. Done!
  4.  Sit in on five boy’s Eagle Board of Reviews, the final step for the boy to earn his eagle rank. 3 of 5 done so far!
  5. Take the wilderness first aid training – This is another full weekend program and Scott plans to take it in the fall of 2014.

For complete requirements for those of you that just need to know here is the Railroading Merit Badge requirements page.

I'd like to thank Scott for sharing his story, and thank him even more for helping more young men discover the joys that railroading can provide. I wish I could've been a part of this great event myself!  

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