What’s In A Name?
I “volunteered” for the dubious distinction of being your Vice-Chair for the non-rail program for the 2012 National Model Railroad Association convention, Grand Rails 2012, in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
As many of you know, the name for this group of convention attendees activities has been a less-than-satisfactory mishmash that has not really encompassed their role or purpose, nor garnered much attention or focus. As one of these attendees, I’ve cringed at the variety of attempts to zero-in on our involvement. From the earliest “railettes”, not a politically correct term in this current society, to “general”, “family”, and most recently “non-rail”. None of these truly speaks to what I believe should be a much more important part of the convention as a whole.
Making these activities more a part of the convention is one of two main reasons I became involved. The other is making you more aware of these activities through advance publicity – more on that later.
So here’s the deal. For this convention, we’re calling ourselves SIDETRACKS. We cannot claim to have invented that term, as it was suggested to me by Pat Loesch, but we think it fits better than most former attempts to label this particular attendee activity. It gives us a more railroad-themed name than any used before particularly “ NON-rail”.
Future conventions may change it again – it is certainly an idea in a state of flux – but we wanted to begin the process of having a more meaningful role than in the past. Hopefully, by the time our convention arrives, this will grab your attention, the companions of the model railroader and make you excited to attend Grand Rails 2012 too.
We’ve assembled a great team to plan some great activities for that week and are excited about the prospects of bringing you a program that will inspire, pamper, inform, and even challenge.
So hop on board the SIDETRACKS activity train!
Dee Bigelow, Vice Chair – Sidetracks