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Many would say that the life blood of the Society consists of the various events we hold. Certainly, they are the showcase for everything else we do, and, because there is almost always an event within reasonable driving distance just about every weekend of the year, it is reasonable to assume that you will eventually find yourself attending one. You can discover what events are being held by checking with the East Kingdom events calendar for events in our kingdom, or the Kingdom of AEthelmearc events calendar for events in the kingdom of our nearby neighbor. The listings will provide all the details you will need to decide upon an event to attend such as location, cost, and activities as well as any special requirements for participation in any of the activities or competitions.

Once you decide upon an event to attend, you may want to check with the other society members you know to see who is going, or even invite a friend or two along. Some may find it difficult to walk into an event site and encounter a sea of unknown faces, so going with or meeting up with someone you already know will help make it a stress-free experience.

Pre-registration for an event is usually optional but may be beneficial if the space is limited, the site fee is lower for those who pre-register, or if you wish to take a class at the event that has set a maximum number for participants. We do recomend that you register for a feast if you want to be assured of eating. Feasts fill up quickly in most situations and if you wait until the day of an event to register, you will more than likely find out that the feast is sold out and you will have to provide your own supper.



 


 

THINGS YOU WILL WANT / NEED TO BRING  

As discussed previously, some type of historically accurate garb is required when attending events. Beyond this, the gear that you will need or want will be determined by the activity. What type of event you are attending and what activities you plan on participating in will give you a basic idea of what to bring with you. Is it a single day event? Will you be camping? Where is the event being held? A park, a hotel, a recreation center etc. Will there be a feast? Be guided by the answer and plan for your comfort accordingly.

Generally speaking, you will almost always have the opportunity to eat at an event. As such, some type of feating gear is necessary. A good wooden bowl or plate is great first choice and can usually be found at most thrift shops. In addition, you will want a cup to drink from and some eating utensils, oncluding a spoon and sharp knife. Forks were not common in the early period (although many choose to use them). All should be made of metal, wood, glass, or ceramics and be of a period-looking style.

Beyond clothing and feasting, most other things are more comfort oriented. Here is a short list reletively basic items that will go a long way toward improving your comfort and adding to a more period environment at a single day event.

 
      

A Chair: Many people just use a modern camping chair covered in some cloth to cover its modern look. As you progress in the SCA you may eventually want to get a real, period-style chair.

Sturdy Footwear: You will want to invest in good, comfortable, footware with arch support in them. You will be thankful for them when you discover the amount of walking and standing you do at an average event.

A Little Table: You would be surprised how much a small table can contribute to your comfort.

Food: An ice chest with snacks, drinks, or lunch if you plan to be there all day and there is no feast or a late feast. Always take drinking water along with you. Crackers, bread, cheese, fruit, nuts, sliced meats and sausages make for convenient, unobtrusive period type eating. Try offering a passersby water or some of your snacks - it’s a good way to meet people!

A Rug or Blanket: You can spread these on the ground if you are outdoors or use them as a cover-up if you get cold or sleepy.

Shade Tent: Comonly called EZ-Ups or some such. The provide shade in case there are no trees and the sun is hot. Sometimes other people will invite you to use their shade, or you may ask if you can sit with them. Explain that you are new.

Cloth: Large pieces of cloth and fabric can be used to cover up your table, chairs, and other modern items to help keep the medieval atmosphere.

A Large Basket: Select a sturdy one with handles and use it to store and transport any games, books, or arts projects you are working on along with your feast gear.

Amusements: Games you can take along include dominoes, dice, chess, mancala, and backgammon. Ask passersby if they would like to play; it’s another good way to meet people.

 

If you are attending a camping event and plan on spending the night, these additional items should be considered as a bare minimum for you comfort.

 
      

Camping Gear: At a minimum this should be a tent and bedding. Recommended is also ground-cover tarps and a bed (air mattress & pump, rope & frame, etc.). Perhaps a bench or box in which to store items that can also be sat upon. Also think about using strips of cloth or other means to mark guide-ropes your tent might have, so folks do not trip on them in the dark.

Food: While it is common for a feast to be served on Saturday evening, you will be responsible for your own meals, snacks and drinks the rest of the event. If you plan on cooking your meals, check to make sure open fires are allowed, or else pring a propane stove or BBQ grill to cook on. It is also possible to simply "rough it" with sandwiches, cheeses, fruits and vegetables from your ice chest. Always make sure you bring along plenty of water as well.

Light Source: Whether you wish to go with flashlights (highly recommended with tents) or lanterns, you will need something to light your way around the site, the path to the bathroom and to see inside your tent after dark.

First-Aid Kit: This should be an automatic part of anyone's supplies for a camping event. Make sure it includes antibacterial hand wash, moist baby wipes, spare tissues, insect repellant and sunscreen.

Shower Supplies: Most camping sites used by the SCA have shower facilities available; however you will need to bring your own toiletries: towels, wash-cloths, soap, shampoo, etc.

Toilet Paper: Although toilet paper is usually provided in the facilities, it is never a bad idea to bring along a roll of your own.


 


 

ARRIVING & CHECKING IN 

Upon arriving at the event you will want to check in at the "Troll" booth where you will sign an attendance form and any necessary wavers. There individuals working at the check-in point will assist you with what forms to sign. If you did not pre-regester and pay, you will than pay a site fee. Most events do have a site fee (which helps cover the cost of the event), although some events are free or by donation. If you are not a society member there will also be a small non-member surcharge that is required by SCA. Additionally, if there is a feast that you would like to join, you will need to pay any additional feast fee.

In addition to checking you in and taking your money, the Troll Booth attendance can advise you of any special site rules to follow, where you can unload, set up and park your vehicle once it is unloaded. They will also have information on when and where activities will occur at the site. They may also be able to give you information on local gas stations, eating establishments, shops and hotels.

Once you have finished at the Troll Booth, it is time to unload your gear, get set-up, and put on your garb. If you are staying overnight, now would be the time to set up your tend and get your encampment squared away. If you brought a day-shade, you can set that up as well. Just check to see if there are specific places you should not set up. Always make sure to avoid areas that have already been marked out by others or areas that will block others view and / or access.

Once set up you should now be ready to enjoy yourself. Relax, take your time, and always remember; Events are meant to be fun. But before you head out to enjoy yourself take a moment to look around and see if there are others who could use some help unloading and setting up. Many hands make the work go lighter and, helping others provides a great opportunity to introduce yourself to folks and make new friends to enjoy the event with.



 


 

SO NOW WHAT? 

At this point, you will be free to attend the wide of variety of activities occurring throughout the day. Things like archery, thrown weapons, medieval games, classes, workshops and demonstrations on various SCA subjects can all be enjoyed. If you wish to participate in any tournaments or competitions, you should register for them as soon a possible. If you will be fighting, you will need to be authorized and have your equipment inspected (see the Lexicon). In the case of other tournaments, such as archery and thrown weapons, loaner gear may be available along with instruction in their use and the opportunity to practice. Other competitions, such as A&S (arts and sciences) and Bardic will require some prior preparation in order to compete, but you may still watch, enjoy and perhaps even help judge who the winners are.

You are also free free to attend any classes being held at the event. While most are offered free of charge, some may have a small fee to cover the cost of materials. The list of available classes and any required fee can usually be found in the event brochure or list of classes kept at troll. Bring a notebook (and use it), and feel free to ask questions. Individuals teaching a subject want to help you learn and will probably be happy to find that you want to know more about it.

While everything may appear a bit overwhelming at first, you can always start by simply watching what others are doing and see what interests you. Most people are more than willing to talk about their activities. If you politely inquire about what is going on you will more than likely quickly find yourself a participant instead of an observer.



 


 

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