Spencer Vermilye, 18, of Valley City, a member of the Medina County 4-H Model Railroad Club, spends time at the Medina County Fair on Wednesday answering questions while running trains on the track. LYDIA MAINZER / GAZETTE
MEDINA — Before becoming an adviser, Shaun Jefferies was a member of the Medina County 4-H Model Railroad Club for 13 years.
“The club was founded in 1996 by a father who had two sons who loved trains. They found other parents and children who had the same interest: trains,” the Wellington resident said Wednesday at the Medina County Fair.
“The first year, they had six members, the minimum club amount, and has been growing ever since.”
Now, the club has between seven to 10 advisers and volunteers, and approximately 35 members.
The National Model Railroad Association Division Four, comprised of members from Cuyahoga, Erie, Huron, Lake and Medina counties, helps sponsor the club’s operating budget.
Each year, the division sends members to view the projects created by Medina County 4-H Railroaders and displayed at the fair.
Each club member designs and builds a “module,” a 4-by-2-foot display.
Each module is built with different materials and oftentimes is based upon a location or scene in Medina County.
“This club teaches you the most about real-life skills while gaining experience. The kids are learning basic woodworking and electrical wiring techniques and applying it to their project,” Jefferies said.
The 4-H projects are judged at the county level. Details of the module, knowledge and effort put into the project are what set each apart.
Spencer Vermilye, 18, of Valley City, is an eight-year member of the club.
“I really enjoy helping kids better their skills,” Vermilye said. He spends his time at the fair answering questions and showing visitors the different components of each module.
Club members also participate in various community service and leadership projects throughout the year and go on field trips.
They have visited the Cuyahoga Valley and West Shore Model Railroad Club in Cuyahoga County, and the Northern Ohio Railroad Museum in Westfield Township.
For more information on the Medina County 4-H Model Railroad Club, visit mc4hmrrc.weebly.com.
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