The Badgerland S Gaugers are a group of model railroading enthusiasts, primarily from the greater Milwaukee, WI area. We have a number of members from Northern IL, many who also belong to the CASG, SLSG, or AFSGSLA clubs. Every year the Fall S Fest is hosted by one of our clubs on a rotating basis with the other three playing a supporting role. Our most distant member joins us from the U.K.
Most of our membership belongs to the National Association of S Gaugers (NASG), and many are active in the National Model Railroad Association (NMRA), or the National Railroad Historical Society (NRHS).
During the model railroading season the BSG have monthly meetings at members homes, hold monthly Train Trade shows which are open for the public, and display our modular layout at several local events each year. Let's not forget the informative, educational, and entertaining monthly club newsletter published by our club Secretary/Editor. Newsletters are posted on the Web site as soon as possible.
We welcome new members who are involved or interested in any facet of railroading, including other gauges. Contact any of our Executive members or visit Join Badgerland for information about the club or to visit one of our meetings as a guest. Please contact us if you're interested in becoming a BSG member in our organization and have some fun as we do.
Membership dues are used to cover charges of upgrading show displays, daily space rental for shows that we set up at, summer picnic main course, our Christmas Bash, and refreshments at monthly meetings. At the end of the year Badgerland donates all available funds not deemed as necessary for club survival to the Salvation Army, Toys for Tots, and Food for Families. It's our way of sharing with the community.
Some examples of Badgerland's special charitable effort beyond normal donations:
By Chuck Porter
Sunday, July 9, 1972, Ken Breher, Don Heimburger, Bob Ristow, and I carpooled on the return trip from the First national S Gauge Convention, which was held in Kansas City, Missouri. (Don and I had gone down on the train.) In the course of the long ride home we spoke of many things-the fine time we had experienced, the great people we had met, the new products and ideas we had been exposed to-all the things that make up a great convention.
Then our conversation turned to the future. What next? What could people do to better promote our chosen branch of the World's Greatest Hobby? At the time. Ken and Bob were working together on S kit development, Don was publishing the S Gaugian, and I was on the staff of S Gauge Herald and active in NASG.
I don't remember who first expressed the thought, but all agreed that what was sorely needed were organizations working at the local level, 'clubs', if you will, that could actively educate both model railroaders and the public at large on the subject of S Gauge. There the matter rested for three years.
There's nothing like attending a good convention to get a person fired up, however. In July, 1975 CASG sponsored the Second National S Meet. Bob and I rode together and shared a room, giving-us four days to exchange ideas on S Gauge with each other and the many people we met. Over and over the importance of a local club came up. Not only would it provide a base for promotion, but it would facilitate the exchange of ideas and materials among those already in the hobby. Encouragement came from such experienced club leaders as Ernie Horr of Spokane, Washington, and Tom Coughlan from Mel rose, Massachusetts.
On returning home I discussed it with my wife. Pat. She was more than supportive, she volunteered to do the necessary typing. Addresses were obtained from Don's S Gaugian mailing list, S Gauge Herald yearbooks, Bob Ristow's list of customers, and John Wickland, whom I had met several years earlier.
The first mailing went out October 8, 1975 to thirty-two people. I asked for an expression of interest and one dollar. A survey was included. Proposed was a meeting to get acquainted and see if there was any interest in forming a club.
On November 4, the second mailing announced the first meeting. At that point there were fifteen interested individuals, plus myself.
As reported in BSG Newsletter number three dated December 20, 1975, the first meeting of the Badgerland S Gaugers was held at my house on November 20, 1975. In attendance were ten people, five of whom are, after 25 years, still active members.
We decided to meet again. We were on our way!
Chuck Porter passed away on June 28,2011. All those who knew him feel the loss. He lived the dream.
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