Railroading Merit Badge Visits
Oklahoma Railway Museum’s Gary Githens Railroading Merit Badge Program is active once again! On September 5th, eight Scouts, five from Troop 6267 (Midwest City) and three from Troop 275 (Choctaw), along with two Leaders, spent the day working on activities to earn their Railroading Merit Badges. For the first time, female Scouts outnumbered the males—a sign of things to come? After a flag raising ceremony, the Scouts settled into their classroom (the Party Coach) to view PowerPoint presentations and to fill out their merit badge workbooks.
Lessons, which covered train and railcar types, signals, safety, and Amtrak, continued for a full day—with frequent breaks. Scouts explored Museum exhibits, climbed into steam and diesel locomotive cabs, investigated the Rock Island caboose, and viewed our Model Trains. The morning session ended with a 45-minute train ride in our MKT Inspection Car. Throughout lessons and excursions, the Scouts were accompanied by Museum Volunteers and followed Corona-19 precautions.
The day’s activities concluded with a timed switching competition using our small G-scale model train layout, presentation of Gary Githens badge patches, and a ride on our 4-man hand pump car.
On September 19th, four Scouts and three adults from Troop 151 in Broken Arrow arrived to spend the day working on their Railroading Merit Badges. Their program was much the same, however they rode in our Dinning Car for their train journey. A special treat was getting to see cab-videos taken by David during his time as a locomotive engineer. Once again, the day was very successful. The Scouts and their leaders really enjoyed the experiences, and they learned enough about railroads and safety to earn their Merit Badges.
Grateful thanks are extended to Anne for organizing the visit, helping set up, and overseeing the pump car rides; to Drake for conducting the safety briefings; to Harry for allowing himself to be interviewed as a former railroad employee; and to Eric and David for working with the Scouts during their train ride. As in times past, everyone seemed to think the event was both successful and fun!