Mark Horovitz wrote these rules which were published in the April 2004 issue of Garden Railroad. We felt it appropriate to repeat them here. At many meets, we have experienced incidents that could have been avoided if these common sense rules were followed.
1.Don't arrive early - Arriving early can be very disruptive to the hosts, who may be working to get the layout ready or food prepared. If you want to arrive early to help the hosts, call and clear it with them the week before the meet.
2.RSVP- This does not mean "really scrub vigorously please". This is put in the meet notice with a telephone number so the hosts have an idea of how many to expect. This is especially helpful so that they can plan for drinks and/or a meal if they are serving one.
3.Snacks to share-bring enough for a large group. We put this statement in so that we have food hat everyone can share, otherwise we would say "bring your own lunch".
4.Don't stay late- Hosts are usually exhausted by the end of a meet. Don't overstay unless invited to do so.
5.Thank the host and hostess- They have gone to a lot of work to make the meet a success. Common courtesy dictates a thank you.
6.Keep an eye on your kids- Your kid's behavior is ultimately your responsibility. Don't expect others to watch your kids. Keep them with you at all times and keep an eye on them.
7.Don't step into a railway without first making sure it is OK. Sometimes there are footpaths, but always check with the hosts first.
8.Don't ever step over track while a train is passing by- Along this line don't ever step on track even if it is recessed in wood or gravel.
9.If you bring a train to run ask the host for permission to run it- Once you are cleared to run you will know that the track will be clear of other trains thus avoiding bad accidents.
10.Sign the guest book if there is one-this also is common courtesy.
11.If you don't like what you see, keep your comments to yourself- Your hosts have put a lot of work into their layout. It may not be what you like, but it is their work, so be kind.
12.Hosts should make drinks available- cold water is essential in our hot Florida sun.
13.If you are shooting video be considerate to others- Don't block the activities going on. People will hesitate to walk in front of a video camera, just make sure you are not blocking a path that all need to use to enjoy the layout.
14.If you smoke-ask for and use an ashtray. There is nothing nastier than having to clean up cigarette butts after a meet.
These are common sense rules that if followed, will greatly enhance the pleasure of garden railroad meets for everyone in attendance.