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 Post subject: Re: What is a "reasonable" travel distance?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2017 8:47 pm 

Joined: Fri Jul 23, 2010 12:41 pm
Posts: 379
Location: Minneapolis, MN
I have "been there and done that". I am a member of TWO RR museums, one 240 miles from home and the other 25 miles from home. I got involved in a restoration project at the "240 mile museum" and eventually volunteered to be one of the superintendents. I was trying to do the right thing for three years. The position was challenging, fulfilling and fun but it got to be simply too much trying to fulfill a commitment of at least one on-site visit per month. The cost and time commitment were eroding my home life, so I had to pull the plug. I am now involved with the closer museum and am much happier. My wife is much happier, too!


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 Post subject: Re: What is a "reasonable" travel distance?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2017 10:52 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 8358
Location: Baltimore, MD
In a related vein, I know of a chap who, as a youth too young to have his own car, tried to volunteer with a preservation outfit only six miles from his home, and was blown off or otherwise excluded from being allowed to volunteer--so instead he ended up loyally working with another outfit fifty miles or more away in another state, getting driven by his folks and/or carpooling with others.

I'm confident others have similar tales.


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 Post subject: Re: What is a "reasonable" travel distance?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2017 12:24 pm 

Joined: Mon Sep 06, 2010 10:51 pm
Posts: 81
The other part of the question is what can you do to accommodate those coming from longer distances that want to contribute? If you are the only operation of your type within a several hundred (or more) mile radius, you will have interest from long-distance volunteers.

Some operations provide sleeping accommodation for members; a bunkhouse. cabooses, a sleeping car, for example. This allows those coming from a greater distance or working on special events running into the evening to stay overnight, a weekend or longer. With no hotel costs, some volunteers will spend their vacation time helping you out.

There can be supervisory issues with providing accommodation, for example; will alcohol consumption be allowed overnight after the property shuts down? A clear policy and enforcement will likely be required if you are an operating property. Then there's the usual "who cleans up?" problem but properly planned and monitored, having this feature gives you more opportunities to pick up volunteers from further afield.


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