Like almost any other museum, the East Troy Railroad Museum exists because of its volunteers. The variety of tasks in the operation of a museum is amazingly wide. From answering the telephone to operating trains, many different kinds of people using many different kinds of skills come into play.
What all of them have in common, though, is a desire to see things happen. This is the basis of the motivation that brings them out to the line and keeps them coming back regularly. They all know that whatever their time contribution, it’s needed to keep the line alive and growing.
Some view their volunteer time as an opportunity to expand their skills and life experience. Many arrive with a skillset that they expect to use, and instead wind up assisting less-experienced workers while broadening their own skills in other fields.
Every one knows that they are doing important work, keeping this valuable piece of history alive. All have time constraints, of course; not every volunteer can put in 150 days a year (as some of the retired ones may). Some can only find time for one day a month. But all like the work. It is involving, challenging, and very satisfying. There are ways individuals are singled out for recognition in the volunteer events throughout the year, but any one of the honorees would quickly tell you that they don’t do it for the cheers of their peers. They get all the gratification they need by simply accomplishing something they know is important.
That’s how it is. People can see the need, and find it interesting, even fun, to answer the call. On just about any weekend, stop on out and visit the museum. Talk to one of the volunteers. You too have a skill that can be put to good use, and some interesting, involving, and rewarding task awaits you.