2012 RailCamp at Steamtown NHS
Contact: Mark Brennan, 570-340-5244
SCRANTON, Pa. - The National Railway Historical Society (NRHS), in partnership with the National Park Service at Steamtown National Historic Site, will conduct RailCamp 2012 from July 8 - 13. This highly successful program began in 1998 as a pilot project to create a forum where high school students could learn about the fascinating world of railroading, and share ideas and interests with peers from other areas of the United States. At Steamtown NHS, participants also have the opportunity to learn about the history, technology and people of the industry from its steam-era beginnings.
RailCampers selected for participation in this year's program will receive an introduction to the principles of historic preservation, gain first-hand experience in railroad operations and explore a variety of transportation career opportunities. While students explore a wide variety of railroad and rail-related subjects during their stay in northeastern Pennsylvania, RailCamp also partners with Amtrak and the Canadian Pacific Railway to include day-trip visits to Amtrak's Philadelphia, Pa. and Bear, Del. facilities, and Canadian Pacific Railway's Binghamton, N.Y. rail yards.
Each year, counselors recruited from the ranks of the NRHS - an organization founded in 1935 and consisting of more than 13,000 members in 160 chapters throughout the United States - join National Park Service Rangers and volunteers to make RailCamp a fulfilling and rewarding experience. During the weeklong program, RailCamp counselors are available 24-hours a day to serve as instructors and mentors for the students. Students or organizations wishing to obtain registration information for RailCamp may contact any local chapter of the National Railway Historical Society or complete an online application at the RailCamp website, http://railcamp.com/program/railcamp.
Located in downtown Scranton, Pa., Steamtown NHS is open daily from 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. From I-81 follow exit 185 (Central Scranton Expressway); then, follow the brown and white signs to the main entrance at Lackawanna and Cliff Avenues (GPS: N 41.41, W 75.67). Additional general park information is available by phoning (570) 340-5200 during regular business hours, or by visiting the Park website at www.nps.gov/stea anytime!
Did You Know?
Many railroads, particularly Eastern roads, used anthracite coal for locomotive fuel during the early steam era. During World War I, the US Navy and the Allied Forces used anthracite coal to power the steam boilers of warships such as Admiral Dewey's USS Olympia, which is berthed at the Independence Seaport Museum in Philadelphia. Burning anthracite resulted in low-smoke emissions from steamship boilers and gave the Allies a strategic opportunity to close-in on the enemy in a battle. With anthracite coal diverted to the war effort, locomotive builders adapted to using bituminous coal in their future designs.