ÆLive is looking for short 1- to 2-minute-long videos of new-to-Æthelmearc citizens. These videos would be your way of introducing yourself, or your family, to the Kingdom during these times of isolation.
These videos will be collected and featured in a future episode(s) of ÆLive. If you would like to join in, please send an e-mail stating your interest to firstname.lastname@example.org. Once the e-mail is received, further instructions will be given.
Many of us are missing the opportunity to meet new people during these strange times and we would LOVE to meet you! So please, reach out to me and let the Kingdom know who our new and future citizens of Æthelmearc are!
I wanted to let any newcomers making their way to Pennsic this year know that there is a Newcomer’s Social scheduled for Sunday August 4th from 1pm-4pm in AS 19. (AS 19 is tent #19 in the Pennsic University.) Please stop by if you’re able and meet other newcomers and get your questions answered by chatelaines from all over the Known World. Light refreshments are provided.
Also, there is a Newcomer’s Track of the Pennsic University with classes designed for newcomers. See the newcomers track schedule below. It’s really cool stuff completely geared to those new to Pennsic and new to the SCA.
As you attend your first events and marvel at all the wonders this society provides you- keep a few thoughts close to your heart.
Firstly, you don’t have to rush, there’s time to relax and I encourage you to relax often. There’s no need to choose a name today, and it doesn’t matter what you wear so long as you are happy. Most importantly you don’t need to define who you want to be, use this time to explore who you can be. Take years if you want and try everything, let no person tell you who you are!
This society is a wondrous entity with something for everyone. Don’t worry if your “thing” isn’t obvious in the beginning − that’s ok.
Secondly, try something new and scary! There is more to the SCA than can be imagined at first glance. At your fingertips there are fighting, the arts, and the sciences. While you’re learning, takes notes, you’ll never know when someone will want that knowledge. Don’t be afraid to speak up, no matter how new you are, YOUR voice matters. Like everywhere in life, there will be people you love and some you can’t stand. Wherever individuals fall on that scale and no matter what title they hold, treat all your fellow SCAdians with respect and expect nothing less than the same.
Thirdly, be cautious with your words and actions. As life has taught us, words hold weight and actions cannot be undone. We all make mistakes; to be human is to err, but remember: when mistakes inevitably happen, be honest, own up, and never be afraid to reach out. Your fellow SCAdians have all been new to the society at one time in their lives, from Kings and Queens to merchants and teachers and all of us in between. We know it can get overwhelming and we are all here for you, rooting for you. All of us from every part of the Known World want you here, we want you to enjoy yourself and to grow within the society for that purpose. Your local Chatelaine is an ocean of knowledge, a fantastic guide through your first days, and any questions you have that they can’t answer, they definitely know a member who can.
Lastly, speaking for all of us, if ever you need, we are here.
Pennsic is rapidly approaching and we are starting to work on some plans to make it an even better experience for any newcomers in attendance. We are reaching out to all of the Chatelaines who will be attending Pennsic, for we need your help to again implement our ideas.
We are going to once again have a dedicated Newcomers track of classes. It will be open and available to newcomers during Pennsic, at a location that is easy to find at the center of activity. Newcomers can take classes geared towards newer members and learning about the SCA and/or ask questions. Right now we are looking to first fill the time slots of 10 am – 5 pm from the Thursday of Peace Week through Wednesday of War Week (8/2/17 – 8/8/17) for Newcomer oriented classes. If we can fill those time slots, we can open up additional days and hours. I have already scheduled a couple of classes, and we are in the process of scheduling a Newcomer’s Social/Ask a Chatelaine Q & A Session, but that leaves many time slots that we need to fill with classes. And that is where you all come in. We need your help to assist with teaching classes.
You don’t need to be a Chatelaine to teach a newcomers class. These classes will need to be registered through Pennsic University like any other class being taught at Pennsic, but on the special request/accommodation part of the form, you will need to fill in “Please schedule this as part of the “Newcomer Track” in the tent set aside for newcomers (tent 19).” We are specifically looking for classes geared toward individuals who are new to the SCA. This is less about offering classes on beginner A&S topics, because individuals can seek those types of classes out on their own if they are interested, and more about helping newcomers to get acclimated and interested in the SCA. For example, a couple of years ago there was a class specifically about Pennsic and what was offered there for newcomers (and it included a guided tour). Another great class could be a guide to how court works. These are just some suggestions, but we really do need your experience and excitement about the SCA to make this a success. We are also looking for classes specific to Chatelaines and training or discussion groups. They could also be booked in the same tent. So if you have any interest in teaching some classes designed to help Chatelaines, that would be fantastic!
We are also going to have a dedicated Newcomers’ Point. Our goal is to have a place that is open and available to newcomers, where they can feel comfortable and learn more about the event and the SCA in general. Newcomers’ Point will be a set place where Newcomers can come to ask questions or get information about the SCA and/or Pennsic. We will also be able to help Newcomers get involved with their local group after Pennsic. It will be located under the same tent as the Pennsic Watch, and we will need your help staffing the tent. Please consider having your Kingdom sponsor a day of volunteering at Newcomers Point. We will be posting more about volunteer opportunities as it gets closer.
Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns at email@example.com. Let’s work together to make this Pennsic amazingly special for newcomers!
Duchess Kalisa Aleksandrovna
Pennsic is rapidly approaching and we are working on plans to make it an even better experience for any newcomers in attendance. The Æthelmearc Kingdom Chatelaine, Baroness Desiderata Drake, would like to invite those who are new to the SCA and/or new to Pennsic, to the following activities:
The incoming Society Chatelaine, Duchess Kalisa Aleksandrovna, and I are coordinating the return of Newcomers’ Point. This year, however, working together to facilitate change, we are trying something a little bit different that we are hoping will make it even better than in years past. Our goal is to have a place that is open and available to newcomers during the busy War Week of Pennsic, where newcomers can feel comfortable and learn more about the event and the SCA in general. We have been able to obtain a tent through Pennsic University that is located on a main road and is close to where all of the activity of Pennsic University is located. This will be a set place for the majority of War Week that newcomers will be able to go and will know that they can attend newcomer-type classes or find somebody available to answer questions about the SCA.
The Newcomers’ tent will be in AS 17, on the corner of Chandler’s Road and St. Lawrence Way, close to the Great Hall (see map below), and will be open the following hours:
Saturday, August 6, 2016 – 11 am – 2 pm
Sunday, August 7, 2016 – 11 am – 4 pm
Monday, August 8, 2016 – 11 am – 2 pm
Tuesday, August 9, 2016 – 11 am – 2 pm
Wednesday, August 10, 2016 – 11 am – 2 pm
Classes will be mostly geared towards those who are new to the SCA, but will also have some helpful information for those new to Pennsic. Please check the Pennsic book or online at Pennsic University to see which classes will be offered each day.
For the third year, the Æthelmearc Chatelaines will be hosting the Newcomers’ Social at 1 pm on Sunday, August 7th in the Newcomers’ Tent (AS 17). Newcomers are encouraged to come and meet other Newcomers as well as Chatelaines from around the Known World, ask questions, and partake of some light refreshments. Rumor has it that there may be some Royals attending to welcome the newcomers as well.
Introduction to Royalty
One of the things that makes Pennsic stand out from other events is the large number of Royals in attendance from all over the Knowne World. Most newcomers don’t have the opportunity to come into contact with Royalty and to talk to them. But now is your chance! On Wednesday, August 10 from 11 am – 12 pm, we will be holding an “Introduction to Royalty” session for newcomers in AS17. Royalty from several Kingdoms will be there for an informal meet and greet and will be available to answer questions. We guarantee it is something that you will not soon forget!
Please also come by the tent anytime just to visit if you are in the area and if you are able to take a little bit of time to support these activities for our newcomer’s, we will be incredibly appreciative. Let’s work together to make this Pennsic amazingly special for newcomers!
Dame Desiderata Drake, OP
Baroness of Delftwood, the Barony that Rocks
Kingdom Chatelaine, Sylvan Kingdom of AEthelmearc
The Æthelmearc Kingdom Chatelaine, THLady Desiderata Drake, would like to invite those who are new to the SCA and/or new to Pennsic, to the following activities:
This year the East Kingdom Chatelaine, Lord Erhart von Stuttgart, and I are coordinating the return of Newcomers’ Point. It will be mostly geared towards those who are new to the SCA, but will also have some helpful information for those new to Pennsic. Chatelaines from around the Known World will be on hand to provide information on local groups, different types of activities in the SCA, and some SCA basics (who’s that in the pointy hat, what is court, etc.). The Newcomers’ tent will be in AS 15, between Lost & Found and the Dance tent (see map below), and will be open noon-4pm, Saturday, August 1 through Wednesday, August 5.
For the second year, the Æthelmearc Chatelaines will be hosting the Newcomers’ Social at 2pm on Sunday, August 2nd in the Newcomers’ Tent (AS 15). Newcomers are encouraged to come and meet other Newcomers as well as Chatelaines from around the Known World, ask questions, and partake of some light refreshments. Rumor has it that there may be some Royals attending to welcome the newcomers as well.
Merchant’s Row near the Mid-East pavilion. Photo credit, Aoife.
Hello, readers! Here in Æthelmearc, we have been attending Pennsic so long that for Pennsic veterans, attending it is a matter of routine. After all, Pennsic was born here, on our home turf, before the Kingdom of Æthelmearc was a twinkle in the eye of Mamma East Kingdom. If someone travels from a great distance or is attending for the first time, or even is hearing about the event for the first time however, Pennsic is a huge and mysterious event fraught with pitfalls, conundrums, and unanticipated needs. If you ever listened to the CB radio chatter off I-79 during Pennsic, you’d understand just how confusing the event is for the uninitiated. Every year, about 10,000 guests from around the world visit our kingdom in search of the ultimate Pennsic War experience, be it martial activities, classes, parties, visiting friends, people watching, pageantry, or the perfect combination of all of these. From the outside, it must look mighty strange.
There is no reason to fret about this odd thing we medieval history buffs do, which we call the Great Pennsic War. Even if you simply need to explain the SCA’s largest event to your friends and family, this Links List is for you. Today’s article will deal with what it is, when it is, what to do to get ready, and what to do while there. As always, we SCAdians are so well documented that all you need for a perfect Pennsic can be found in handy links on the Internet.
Read on, enjoy, and drive safe. I will see you there!
Dame Aoife Finn
Barony of the Endless Hills, Kingdom of Æthelmearc.
Modernly known as Lisbeth Gelatt
Terrific Gypsy Vardo wagon with beautiful tromp l’oiel horses and dogs, is always a favorite of children. The arrangement is changed every day to make a story of animal life, as Pennsic unfolds. Photo credit, Aoife.
What is this Pennsic thing?
For Glory and Honor: Medieval Reenactors go to Battle (NBC News) This article that appeared on American national news neatly sums up what it is that we do at Pennsic. With terrific footage and picturesque scenes, you mint want to see if you appear in the background before you show it to your friends. You might be (almost) famous!
In It’s Own Light, a Night-Owl’s view of Pennsic War 33, a photographic essay by Rowan. This gorgeous photo essay of Pennsic was caught at the perfect intersection of wispy fog and moonlight, and is incredibly beautiful. If you happen to catch just a moment of such a night at any Pennsic you attend, you are one lucky gentleperson.
This photo appears as the wallpaper to the Facebook Pennsic page, sadly uncredited since it is a great shot. Do you recognize anyone in this picture?
Pennsic Facebook Page This is the place to go to ask general questions about Pennsic. Folks from all over the globe will happily answer. While not an official forum, it is a good resource to have when you need to know if there is a pediatrician onsite or what merchants sell the best raw material, or where to find the coffee houses.
Newcomer’s Pennsic Guide (unofficial) The title says it all. What can you expect if you’ve never been to Pennsic before? Find out here.
Atlas Obscura: Largest Medieval War of Modern Times Includes the Voice of America footage at this link. A couple of years ago, Voice of America did a world-audience piece on Pennsic. It is truly well done, and is a great place to point your mom, when she wants to know what, exactly, you will be doing on your vacation.
Pennsic, explained on Wikipedia. What did Wiki get wrong? I can spot one or two boo-boos, but it is generally a good resource for the uninitiated Pennsic-curious.
Pennsic, the unofficial popular website. Self-billed as an interactive “All things Pennsic,” this site is older than you think, but chock full of good advice, interesting commentary, and terrific photos.
Æthelmearc Royal encampment, a few years past. Photo credit, Aoife
Paying for Pennsic: The Registration Office. If you are reading this article, it is already past deadline for your registration to count towards allocation of land for your group or household. You can still attend Pennsic, but your location will be surprise until you arrive and pick out a space from the areas allocated to individual campers. However, there are other benefits to pre-registration besides knowing your neighborhood in advance. Chief amongst them is the shorter time spent checking in.
The Pennsic War Street Map. This map provides bus-stop locations, and streets are labeled. It is a good idea to print a copy before you leave, so that you can hit the ground running (or bus riding) once your tent is up.
A Pennsic Newcomer’s Packing Guide from Hartshorndale. No guide will have everything you need listed, but this packing list is a great jumping-off point. It covers all the basics.
Once You Are On Site:
Where to go for answers? Information Point! The folks at information point are there to answer questions. No question is too big or too small for their attention. Find them near the Cooper store, in the small grassy island created by the road in front of the old barn. Nearby will also be the post office, the previously mentioned store, and many, many merchants and food vendors. I like to call this area the heart of Pennsic.
First Aid onsite. There are usually trained medical folks right onsite, who can evaluate your condition and take appropriate action, be it writing a prescription, referring you to a specialist (many local doctors such as dentists agree to take emergency visits during Pennsic), or calling the med-evac helicopter unit to life-flight severe cases to the appropriate facility. There is no reason to tough it out if you have a health issue at Pennsic. Please do not expect that your normal doctor visits can be covered here, though. This is strictly a first aid station.
Classes: Pennsic University. If you want to know about historical anything, chances are that someone at Pennsic is teaching a class on the subject. A special area with its own tent classrooms is set aside specifically for these classes, and a master schedule is provided. In addition, there are special classes taught in individual encampments, and a last-minute additions and schedule changes board each day. Learn everything from culture-specific dance to historic cooking to metal smelting to fighting techniques, all neatly arranged and supported by the Pennsic University master schedule and the University Staff.
Youth Activities Schedule. If you attend Pennsic with children, this schedule is your best friend. Seriously. There is no reason for bored children at Pennsic. Your biggest trouble will be deciding what to do, and when. Trust me, a veteran Pennsic Parent whose children thrived, when I tell you to bring rain ponchos and wellies for your kids, because they will still want to go to play practice when it is raining.
Battlefield Schedule. You will need this schedule if you fight or fence, and if you do not, it will help you decide when the best combat photo opportunities will happen. It will also tell you when to witness the many other martial activities, specialty tournaments, fencing activities, and battlefield meetings, and when to get your kit inspected.
Performing Arts Schedule, and Cultural arts by type. There are hundreds of cultural arts activities to attend at Pennsic. Want to see live theatre? Hear the Known World Choir? Watch a display of foolery? A belly-dance exhibition? Find excellent suggestions here, and reap the benefits of the year-round planning and practice of the talented folks of Pennsic.
Known World A&S Display. Our medieval modern world relies on artists to function, because there is almost nothing mass-produced about the history we are trying to emulate. This display, open to everyone from any area of the world, is a showcase for artists and craftsmen of all kinds to show and tell about their works, meet like-minded artist, and to see what aspects of medieval and renaissance life others have chosen to honor. Anyone can enter, and anyone can come see what’s new in the world of re-creation. Pre-registration is strongly suggested for those wishing to show their artwork. Such show and tell activities are widely believed to be the most inspiring and encouraging aspect for hands-on craftspeople in the SCA.
The Legendary Pennsic Parties (A Schedule). While this schedule is unofficial, it is a handy guide to which group is hosting a party, and when. For some folks, Pennsic means parties, so here’s your guide to the colorful Pennsic nightlife. Please note that ID will be required for everyone attending many of these parties to prove you’re over 21, for those parties that serve alcohol.