Re: The Twelfth St. Louis Railroad Prototype Modeler's Meet
Daniel A. Mitchell
I’ve not been to the St. Louis meets, but I’m a regular at the Naperville (now Lisle) meets, and always attend the STMFC dinners.toggle quoted messageShow quoted text
What what I’m going to say here is not new, but it’s worth remembering. The aging of any group is worrisome. However it’s not necessary (though desirable) to have a big influx of young members to combat this. A major part of the model railroad community has always been middle-aged or recently retired folks joining, or especially rejoining, the hobby. Young adults don’t make up a big fraction of hardly any such groups as ours. They’re too busy working, raising a family, getting more education, or maybe just surviving. They may have been model RR’s once, but just can’t fit it in during such hectic times.
I worked for many years part-time at a hobby shop. It was not at all unusual to have an elderly man come in and buy a complete set of trains (not necessarily a “train set”) to start into the hobby. The story was always something like … “When I was a kid I always wanted a model train but my parents wouldn’t buy me one, then as a teenager I couldn’t afford on, and as an adult I was too busy to get one. Now I’m retired and have money and time, and by gosh I’m gonn’a have a TRAIN!"
While it won’t reverse the "aging” issue, a steady inflow of such middle-aged, even elderly folks can sustain the community or even make it grow in numbers.