This time of year we often see trains under the Christmas tree. In fact, I just got back from Disneyland with the family and under one of the trees that was decorated outside there was a large “dummy” train set up as though it were ready to run around it’s track. Let’s take the opportunity to share this awesome hobby of ours with others! Not in the “cram it down your throat I want to talk about it all the time” type of way. But instead, when you see a little one (or a big kid at heart) that gets excited about putting a train under their tree, encourage it.
I recently had a neighbor, that I didn’t know liked trains, ask if I could come over and look over what he had and give him some suggestions. When I showed up he said, “There it is” and pointed to a plastic train set that’s good for going under a tree. Turns out he was just tricking me and that one was for his little son. It was a good joke and he actually had some nice large scale stuff downstairs. Until I knew that though, I was ready to encourage him with “It’s a good start….” We all started somewhere, right?
There are many model railroaders who started with a train under the tree. Those of us who have gone beyond “just the tree” can help encourage others to do so too. Sometimes someone may look at what we have done and may say “I could never do that” but again, we all start somewhere. Piece by piece, step by step it can be done.
The same is true of the AP program. It may seem overwhelming when looked at all at once but when looking at it as one step at a time it is more manageable. Take the Cars Certificate for example. Only eight cars need to be built. I’ve built more than eight cars and I bet you have too. Not every car qualifies because you have to build different types, super detailed and scratch built and four need at least 87 1?2 points but with a little extra effort it can be done. The point is to take it one step at a time. You may already have cars you have built that qualify and the next month you could build a car that specifically qualifies and so on. Take it one step at a time.
Remember, during this time of year, think back to what got you started. Was it sharing the experience with a family member (or them sharing it with you) or seeing a train run in the window of a toy store like in A Christmas Story? Whatever it was, we can share this love of trains with those around us and we can enjoy the journey together!