Æthelmearc Teens and Tweens ages 12-17 are invited to the second Æ Teen Tween Zoom Chat this Friday, June 26th at 7 P.M. By popular request, it will be costumes night, though costumes are not required.
Parents, if your child is interested in joining in the chat please contact Mistress Cordelia in advance at Aechancellorminor1@gmail.com for the login credentials.
Æthelmearc Teens and Tweens, you are cordially invited to participate in your own Æ Teen Tween Zoom Chat this Friday June 12th at 7 P.M. There will be activities planned. Chat will be moderated by Mistress Cordelia, the Kingdom Youth Minister, aka Colleen Charleton Martino, and Duchess Ilish O’Donovan. Parents, if your child is interested in joining in the chat please contact Mistress Cordelia in advance at Aechancellorminor1@gmail.com .
Greetings from the Pennsic 49 Family Activities Coordinator!
Photo by Baroness Clarice Roan
I know that it feels like Pennsic just happened, but next years’ staff is already hard at work preparing for Pennsic 49. Family Activities cannot run without the help of many hands, and we are looking for volunteers for several of our coordinator positions, as well as folks who think they might like to shadow those jobs to possibly do it in a few years. We’d love to prevent burnout by having many folks trained on jobs. Please fill out the linked form or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in any or more than one of these jobs. For jobs requiring an SCA background check, there is plenty of time to get one, and I’ll be happy to walk you through the process.
Mistress Leonete D’Angely, Family Point Coordinator
Unto the Kingdom of Æthelmearc does Duchess Ilish O’Donovan send fond greetings
Their Majesties, Gareth and Juliana, have given me the honor to create a fun-filled event for youth of our fair kingdom and their families. It is Their Majesties’ wish to have an evening of merriment and games, face painting, crafts, prizes, treats, and snacks for all who attend.
The party will be held on Monday, August 5th from 5:30 to 7:30 in Æthelmearc Royal. Please feel free to come by and play a game, paint rocks to hide at Pennsic, enjoy some snacks, and share in the fun.
To ensure all who attend find much joy, I am reaching out to the kingdom for support to make the Æthelmearc Youth and Family Party a fabulous time for all.
So, what could your barony, shire, canton, household or as an individual do to help? There is a great need for volunteers to run games, crafts and face painters. There is also a need for prizes for grab bags and pre-packaged snacks.
Donations toward the party help support and defray the costs and help create an evening of fun!
Ideas for donations:
Prizes for games: foam swords, necklaces, glow sticks, items you may find at a carnival. Such items can often be found at Dollar Tree, Dollar General and Oriental Trading Company.
Food ideas: Pre-packaged, gummies, fish crackers, cookies, candies etc…
Volunteers are needed to help run games, crafts, and entertainment for youth and their families.
These are just a few quick ideas. There are so many ways to help make the Æthelmearc Youth and Family Party Youth and Family Party a success. If you have any questions or are willing to make a donation or offer help, please feel free to contact me. Donations can also be dropped off at hospitality in AE Royal.
Greetings from the Family Activities Staff of the Pennsic War!
The deadline to submit classes for Pennsic that will appear in the site book is mere days away, on May 1st!
The Family Activities department runs three separate tracks of classes and activities, and all three are still looking for teachers. Teachers do not have to have been background checked or have any specific youth qualifications. They just need enthusiasm for their subject and a willingness to teach. Having a second adult for the class is helpful, but not required.
Family Point, focused on those aged under 10, is looking for teachers of hands-on crafts, mostly for Peace Week slots. If you are not sure what to teach, we have pre-packaged activities ready to go, such as Viking bead lacing and rune carving, which just need teachers.
Youth University, aimed at those aged nine to 14 (and located at the playground), is looking for SCA history, persona-specific, and hands-on classes targeted to tweens. We have openings during both Peace and War Week.
Teen University, aimed at those 13 to 17 (and located in the regular university area), is also looking for classes on SCA history, actual history, heraldry, sewing, other hands-on classes, and practically everything in which adults are also interested. Many teens also take classes at the regular university, however we provide a lower-stress entry point for those who need it. We have openings both weeks.
If you are interested in teaching, you can either enter the class in the Pennsic University System in the parent/child category with a note in the additional scheduling for either TeenU, YouthU, or Family Point, or you can email me.
Please help us provide a full slate of classes for each group in order to help our next generation fully integrate and remain interested in our society.
Mistress Leonete D’Angely, Pennsic Family Activities Coordinator and former teenaged Pennsic attendee
Ensure that your little ones have as much fun as you do at Ice Dragon by visiting the Children’s area!
We have a wide selection of activities designed for children to do (with their parents in attendance) including:
Scavenger hunt with a prize!
Mini marshmallow catapult project!
Coloring/arts and crafts stations!
Crown/paper hat decorating station!
Toys available for play time!
These are all DIY/Project stations and no structured activities or classes will be offered in the children’s area. Parents are required to stay with their children and supervise all play and activities. Thank you!
Please send any questions, comments, or requests you have regarding Ice Dragon to the Autocrat Team, at IDinfo@wnysca.org
Their (previous) Majesties summon the children for goodies. Photo by Lord Mikus.
By Elska á Fjárfelli of the Dominion of Myrkfaelinn
As a mother, and brewer, I was unsurprisingly asked (begged) by my kid to help him make root beer. We both quite like the taste of root beer, and the idea of going on a root-and-herb scavenger hunt in the back swamp spoke to both of us! The cunning plan was to have the kid enter his root beer in a brewing competition and thus he had to know at least some of its early history. But – how period is root beer? The two ingredients most often mentioned to make root beer are sarsaparilla and sassafras, so let’s first take a look at those.
Sarsaparilla (Smilax ornata) was introduced to Europe in the 16th century by the Spaniards, first from Mexico and later from Honduras. Mexico, Central America and many parts of northern South America abound in various species of sarsaparilla, valued by the natives for their, more or less, medicinal qualities. The natives value its nourishing and healing qualities so much they would drive their cattle to areas where it grew in abundance in order to feed on the plants and receive its benefits.
Sassafras (Sassafras albidum) was a well-known plant to the natives of the southwestern United States way before the Europeans came around. It had many purposes, including cooking (to flavor bear fat, to cure meat) and medicinal.
The European interest in sassafras brought Europeans into closer contact with the Native Americans during the early years of settlement in 16th and 17th century Florida, Virginia and parts of the Northeast. Early European settlers enjoyed the aromatic scent of sassafras – according to legend, Christopher Columbus finally found land because he could smell the sassafras! As early as the 1560s, French visitors to North America discovered the medicinal qualities of sassafras, as well as the Spanish who arrived in Florida.
Sassafras trees were reported as plentiful at the arrival of the English on the coast of Northeast. Sassafras bark was sold in England and in continental Europe where it was made into a dark beverage called ‘saloop’ – touted to have medicinal qualities and used as a medicinal cure for a variety of ailments. This refreshing beverage was sold in place of tea and coffee, which were much more expensive, and was served in a similar way with milk and sugar.
Sir Francis Drake was one of the earliest to bring sassafras to England in 1586, and Sir Walter Raleigh was the first to commercially export sassafras in 1602. Since the bark was the most commercially valued part of the sassafras plant due to large concentrations of the aromatic safrole oil, the trees would be stripped of their bark – which kills the tree.
This meant that as significant amounts of sassafras bark were harvested, supplies quickly diminished and sassafras became more difficult to find. For example, while one of the first shipments of sassafras in 1602 weighed as much as a ton, by 1626, the English colonists failed to meet their 30-pound quota. Unfortunately, over-harvesting is not a modern invention.
Martin Pring; in his own words (1603):
“In all these places we found no people, but signes of fires where they had beene. Howbeit we beheld very goodly Groves and Woods replenished with tall Okes, Beeches, Pine-trees, Firre-trees, Hasels, Wich-hasels and Maples. We saw here also sundry sorts of Beasts, as Stags, Deere, Beares, Wolves, Foxes, Lusernes, and Dogges with sharpe noses. But meeting with no Sassafras, we left these places with all the foresaid Ilands, shaping our course for Savage Rocke discovered the yeere before by Captaine Gosnold, where going upon the Mayne we found people, with whom we had no long conversation, because here also we could find no Sassafras. De-parting hence 3 we bare into that great Gulfe which Captaine Gosnold over-shot the yeere before, coasting and finding people on the North side thereof. […] Bancroft, following Belknap, identifies Whitson’s Bay with the harbor of Edgartown, Martha’s Vineyard, which is in the latitude of 41° 25g. […]and finding a pleasant Hill thereunto adjoyning, we called it Mount Aldworth, for Master Robert Aldworths sake a chiefe furtherer of the Voyage, as well with his Purse as with his travell. Here we had sufficient quantitie of Sassafras.”
Is root beer period plausible?
What this rather long introduction means is that both main root beer flavors – sarsaparilla and sassafras – were known in 16th century Europe, and at least sassafras was used in a drinkable medicinal concoction in Europe. Unfortunately, it was not (yet) fermented… The tradition of brewing, or fermenting, root beer is thought to have evolved out of other European small beer traditions that produced fermented drinks with very low alcohol content. These were thought to be healthier to drink than possibly tainted local sources of drinking water, and enhanced by the medicinal and nutritional qualities of the ingredients used. For instance, the 14th century recipe Tizanne Doulce (like a tisane, or infusion) uses barley, licorice root and crystal sugar to make a root beer-like beverage.
Le Ménagier de Paris, 1393
TIZANNE DOULCE. Take water and boil it, then for each sester [the sester of 8 pints] of water put in a bowl heaped with barley, and it matters not if it be hulls and all, and two parisis [2 1/2d.] worth of liquorice, item, figs, and let it be boiled till the barley bursts; then let it be strained through two or three pieces of linen, and in each goblet put great plenty of crystallised sugar. Then the barley is good to give to poultry to eat to fatten them. Note that the good liquorice is the newest and it is a fresh greenish colour, and the old is more faded and dead and is dry.
Roots, bark, resin, fruits & flowers
For our recreation, we chose roots, barks and leaves that either grew in the back yard (our property adjoins a New York State Protected Wetland, so plenty of bio-diversity) or we already had in the kitchen cupboards. Even though I met someone via Facebook who lived in the South and had a sassafras tree in his backyard and was willing to ship rootstock, unfortunately, facebook ate the conversation and he was never heard from again… so this time around, at least, no period-correct Southern grown sassafras. We substituted with black birch, as that has a root beer typical wintergreen-like flavor, and spicebush (right). We went on a scavenger hunt and gathered as much as we could from the back yard and surrounding property. Ironically, it is in our modern middle Ages not possible to buy fresh, green licorice, therefore we’ll have to do with the ‘dead’ dry stuff. The kid made name cards to label each baggie of ingredients.
0.6 oz black birch bark
0.6 oz spicebush bark
0.3 oz licorice root
0.3 oz dandelion root
0.3 oz birch bark
0.3 oz black cherry bark (included resin)
0.3 oz juniper berries
1 tbs hops flowers
1 tbs ginger root
1 cinnamon stick
2 ½ quart water
1 cup sugar (brown sugar)
1 yeast starter (ale yeast, reclaimed from a perry).
Then it was time to brew! He scraped the bark off the wintergreen and spicebush twigs. He chopped the dandelion root and grated the ginger root. He broke the birch bark, the cherry bark and the dried licorice root into little pieces. He picked the juniper berries from between the greens. And crushed the cinnamon stick. Mom got homegrown hops from the freezer (he’s not touching the hops supply). He measured everything on the scale, and added it all to the big sauce pot. He measured and added the 2 ½ quarts of water. Turned on the stove, and brought it up to a boil. When boiling, it was turned down to a simmer, to simmer for 20 minutes. When done, mom put the pot in the sink in cold water to cool. The infusion was left to sit overnight.
The rootbeer stock, ready to infuse in water.
The next day, he poured some reclaimed ale yeast into a 1 gallon carboy, and poured the infusion – through a filter – into the same carboy. He added 1 cup of sugar, for the yeast. He then shook the carboy well to dissolve all the sugar, and carefully poured the infusion into his recycled fliptop soda bottles. They were left in a warm place to start fermentation. They will stay out for a few days at the most, or until carbonation is visible, and then be refrigerated to stop/slow down the yeast.
Ready for bottling!
A table showing the different botanicals that can be used in root-beer (X marks the ones we used):
Roots and herbs
Sassafras albidum – roots, leaves, bark
Pimenta dioica – allspice
Smilax ornata – sarsaparilla
Lindera benzoin – spicebush (bark/berries)
Smilax glyciphylla – sweet sarsaparilla
Juniperus communis – juniper berries
Piper auritum – root beer plant
Trigonella foenum-graecum – fenugreek
Glycyrrhiza glabra – liquorice (root)
Myroxylon balsamum – Tolu balsam
Aralia nudicaulis – wild sarsaparilla
Abies balsamea – balsam fir
Gaultheria procumbens – wintergreen (leaves and berries)
Myristica fragrans – nutmeg
Betula lenta – sweet birch (sap/syrup/resin)
Cinnamomum verum – cinnamon (bark)
Betula nigra – black birch (sap/syrup/resin/bark)
Cinnamomum aromaticum – cassia (bark)
Prunus serotina – black cherry (resin/bark)
Syzygium aromaticum – clove
Picea rubens – red spruce (tips)
Foeniculum vulgare – fennel (seed)
Picea mariana – black spruce
Zingiber officinale – ginger (stem/rhizome)
Picea sitchensis – Sitka spruce
Illicium verum – star anise
Arctium lappa – burdock (root)
Pimpinella anisum – anise
Taraxacum officinale – dandelion (root)
Humulus lupulus – hops (bells/flowers)
Mentha species – mint
Hordeum vulgare – barley (malted)
Hypericum perforatum – St. John’s wort
Note: black birch and the evergreen Gaultheria are both sources for the scent wintergreen.
Note: while in medieval European brewing Juniperus communis was used, as we have several mature trees of Juniperus virginiana we used that instead. Like its European counterpart, Virginian juniper is also used to flavor gin.
Medieval European plausibility of our chosen ingredients: [yes / no]
black birch bark
eastern North America
eastern North America
native to Eurasia and North America
native to Eurasia and North America
black cherry bark
eastern North America, Central America
native to Eurasia and North America
introduced to northern Europe in the 9th century
native to southern Europe and parts of Asia
exported to EU via India in the first century AD
exported to EU via Africa (Egypt) from Sri Lanka
Legenda – wh: wild harvested; hg: home grown; cs: commercially sourced
neither of us liked the licorice after-taste. Next time we’ll also add burdock, and maybe some mint, or anise – and less of the licorice.
only add a little bit of lees. There is plenty of yeast in even a little bit to start fermentation
when using commercial dry (bread) yeast, a pinch to each bottle is enough.
as soon as vigorous carbonation is visible on the outside of the bottles, refrigerate.
just in case, have a large container ready when opening the flip-top to catch any overly-carbonated blow-out.
fermented root beer will go alcoholic eventually – keep an eye on the brew so the kids don’t get too frisky.
alcoholic root beer tastes good too!
And as Sir Kenelme Digby so aptly adviced, in his slightly post-period brewing cornucopia:
“You may use what Herbs or Roots you please, either for their tast or vertue…”
However, the Iron Comet Challenge is designed to discover the most well-rounded gentle with the greatest prowess in the martial and gentle arts. To be a “Challenger”, you will participate the 4 martial tournaments, and also the A&S Competition. The lowest martial score will be dropped (meaning you can choose not to participate in one), and each Challenger will be ranked in each form.
We also choose a Youth Iron Comet Champion! Same rules, except there are 3 martial tournaments (fighting, archery, and thrown weapons) and the A&S, and the competitors may drop one martial form if they desire.
Iron Comet Champions’ regalia (Adult and Youth) by Lady Gesa
This prestigious day of competitions is only run once every two years. The winner will be known throughout the land as the Iron Comet Champion! And has the right to wear and keep Iron Comet Champion regalia. Come and see who is the best of the best! Is it you?
Also, those who participate in ALL the forms will receive recognition. In the entire history of the event, only 3 adults have ever done so: Master Annais, Don Marcus, and Lord Robert MacEwin. Will you be counted among them?
The Debatable Lands will also be running the martial Baronial Championships in conjunction with the Iron Comet Challenge this year. Read more HERE.
9:00 AM Site Opens
10:00 AM Fencing Tournament
11:30 Archery Tournament Youth Archery Tournament to happen during adult qualifiers
12:30 Performance A&S also deadline to drop off non performance A&S entries
1:30 Heavy Weapons Tournament
3:00 Thrown Weapons Tournament
4:00 Youth Combat Tournament
prepared by Sorcha MacKenzie
Remove #1, Mediterranean theme: – kabobs: chicken and a veggie option – hard boiled eggs –Tabouli
Remove #2, French theme: – chilled ham – cucumbers is a light dairy based sauce – fresh peas with parsley and mint (Italy/France, 15th century)
Duchess Ilish O’Donovan and Dame Hrefna Ulfvarinnsdottir send fond greetings!
Their Majesties Sven and Siobhan have charged us with create a wonderful party for the kingdom’s families and children, which is scheduled on Monday, August 6 from 6 to 7:30 pm in Æthelmearc Royal. It is Their Majesties’ wish to have games, face painting, crafts, prizes, treats, and snacks for all who attend.
As organizers, we are reaching out to you for support to help make the Æ Family/Children’s Party a fun time for all! We are looking for donations toward the party to help support and defray the cost so all who attend may enjoy themselves. We are planning for 75 children. Below are some of the items we are currently looking for and hope some of you will be willing to donate:
Prizes for the games (ideas are necklaces, containers of bubbles, little things you might get at a carnival game or fair) – The Dollar Tree is a good brick and mortar source for inexpensive items. Oriental Trading Company is a good online source.
Donations of snacks (gummy treats, cookies, pretzels, chips, etc.)
Setting up a game or craft sponsored by you or your group.
Items for a prize table – Suggestions include books, notebooks, small toys, small stuffed animals, period games, etc.
We are also looking for volunteers to help run games, crafts, and entertainment for the children and their families.
These are just a few ways that you and your group can help. If you have any questions or suggestions or are willing to donate or volunteer to help make this year’s Family party a huge success, please contact us. We thank you, and I know Their Majesties thank you as well.
Duchess Ilish O’Donovan and Dame Hrefna Ulfvarinnsdottir send fond greetings!
We are excited to announce that the Kingdom of Æthelmearc will be hosting the 3rd annual Pennsic Tween/Teen Party at Pennsic on Saturday, August 4th, 2016 from 6 to 9 p.m. in AE Royal.
The evening will feature a roaring fire, a variety of games, a gourmet s’mores bar, and light refreshments. This party is intended for those 10 and up so brings your friends and family for an evening of s’more fun! (Younger siblings are welcomed, too.)
****Gourmet S’mores Menu****
The Nutty Buddy
Graham Cracker /Peanut Butter Cup / Marshmallow
The Right Stuff
Oreo Cookies take the place of graham crackers /Milk Chocolate / Marshmallow
The Fudge Stripe
Fudge Stripe Cookies take the place of Graham Crackers / Milk Chocolate / Marshmallow
Graham Cracker / Milk Chocolate / Marshmallow
If you can donate any of the ingredients for our Gourmet S’mores Bar or any other light refreshments such as chips, fruit, drinks, or other fun foods, let us know. If you would to volunteer to help serve the kids during the party, please contact us. Contact Duchess Ilish or Dame Hrefna. Thank you in advance.
Donations can be dropped off at AE Royal or contact Ilish or Hrefna to make alternative delivery arrangements.