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children-SCA-msg - 5/20/12


Comments about children in the SCA.


NOTE: See also the files: children-msg, babies-msg, chd-actvites-msg, Chld-Costumes-art, teenagers-msg, child-clothes-msg, child-gam-msg.





This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.


This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org


I have done a limited amount of editing. Messages having to do with separate topics were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the message IDs were removed to save space and remove clutter.


The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make no claims as to the accuracy of the information given by the individual authors.


Please respect the time and efforts of those who have written these messages. The copyright status of these messages is unclear at this time. If information is published from these messages, please give credit to the originator(s).


Thank you,

   Mark S. Harris                  AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous

                                         Stefan at florilegium.org



From: Hugh & Belinda Niewoehner <BurgBorrendohl at valornet.com>

Date: February 7, 2012 6:28:53 PM CST

To: "Kingdom of Ansteorra - SCA, Inc." <ansteorraat lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Ansteorra] Children in the Sca


On 2/7/2012 3:35 PM, Bree Flowers wrote:

<<< I don't share the "it takes a village" philosophy. I believe my

husband and I should be watching our children AT ALL TIMES. >>>


Bless you!  What a concept--"I chose to bring these children into the world, they are my responsibility." I hesitated to join this conversation since we do not have children.


This was a conscious decision after weighing the responsibilities, financial costs, lifestyle changes, world conditions, etc. we chose not to have offspring in this system of things (further conversation for clearer explanation if wanted off list).


I resent a world that insists I am still supposed to contribute time, money, whatever, to the raising of other people's children.  This does not mean I dislike children (I took care of my nephew from the time he was three months old until he went to school and he is still very dear to my heart).  I hope to bring one of my nieces to Lilies this year.  But she will be my responsibility, not a Minister of Children's, another camper's or autocrat's, etc.  These are my choices and are not forced upon me.


Some suggestions:


Any child at a Children's class or activity must be accompanied by a parent or guardian (one with a note from the parent saying they are in charge of this child).  This means the adult must be present for the coloring, kite making, whatever, but hopefully no one will take advantage of the child.  Yes, I can hear the M of C saying "all I need a bunch of 'soccer' Moms overlooking me."  Put them to work... they want you to entertain their children.


At some of our events in the past, we have made the children wear the hospital type of wrist bands with the parents' names written with a marker so that if a child misbehaves or is lost the parents can be found.  If the child is repeatedly unsupervised or annoying people as happened in Lady Eve's example, the family will be told to leave.  This actually did happen at one of our events.  Child predators are only one of the dangers that can threaten an unsupervised child.  There are snakes, wells, lions and tigers and bears, oh my!


I have no one in mind as having been guilty of neglecting their children as I write this.  I do not hope to cause offense.  I also apologize that my font seems to doing strange things.





From: Elizabeth Crouchet <Elizabeth at crouchet.com>

Date: February 7, 2012 6:31:45 PM CST

To: Rose <rose_welchat yahoo.com>, "Kingdom of Ansteorra - SCA, Inc." <ansteorraat lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Ansteorra] Children in the Sca


On Tue, Feb 7, 2012 at 6:00 PM, Rose <rose_welchat yahoo.com> wrote:

"Fair enough, but can we ban the parents who ... refuse to watch them?"


<<< If I see an unattended child, I contact the event steward. That's the best

way to correct the problem, as it gets the child to a safe place, ensures

that negligent caregivers understand that their actions were not

acceptable, they may be offended enough to never come back, and if it

happens more than once, they may be banned.


-R >>>


That is the way to handle it.


Or you can just ask a herald to announce that said child is in need of

its parents. That kind of social pressure can go a long way as well.


The village can help take care of these children but that does not mean we

all have to babysit uninvited, all day.





From: Cait O'Hara <moc at seneschal.ansteorra.org>

Date: February 8, 2012 9:07:10 AM CST

To: "Kingdom of Ansteorra - SCA, Inc." <ansteorraat lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: [Ansteorra] Family and Children


I just wanted to say that I am so excited to see the talk on this list regarding children's issues. There have been many great ideas on keeping children safe.


I would also like to announce a Yahoo group for those wanting to discuss (and be informed of) children's policy and issues. The Yahoo Group is Society-wide and includes people from all kingdoms. The group can be found at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/society_youth_forum. I look forward to seeing many of you there!





From: "Schuster, Robert L." <SchusterRL at UMSYSTEM.EDU>

Date: February 8, 2012 2:48:49 PM CST

To: CALONTIRat listserv.unl.edu

Subject: Re: [CALONTIR] Children in the SCA, was Re: [CALONTIR] Two Deep rule


If the SCA is to have a future, then the children must be involved.  


For many years now, my daughter has attended several events a year with me (I bought her her first membership this year as it just seemed more economical)


She doesn't even know there is such a thing as Children's Activities/MoY




I take her with me, incorporate her into what we are doing for the day (she has been to at least one overnighter)

She watches the fighting and enjoys doing so

She sits and listens to research geek discussions

She loves sitting around the fire at night (and even ignores the drunks:)

I have introduced her to folks that I think can tech her things she is interested in

She has recently become interested in Equestrian activities, so I am  doing what I can to get her into that, going as far as going to an event and NOT taking armor so I could spend time with her while we sat around the equestrian area.


IE, I did not drag her to the event and seek to dump her off on someone else, I got her involved.

I could have very well left her at home and did my thing but because its only a couple times a year, and I know she really enjoys it, I sacrifice a little bit of time on the field to do something with my daughter. (At 14 I am lucky to get any quality time with her anyway so it's a bonus for me:)


I appreciate the MoY folks do what they do, but I think sometimes they unwittingly encourage the daycare mentality that some parent seem to have.





From: "Schuster, Robert L." <SchusterRL at UMSYSTEM.EDU>

Date: February 8, 2012 3:42:25 PM CST

To: CALONTIRat listserv.unl.edu

Subject: Re: [CALONTIR] Children in the SCA, was Re: [CALONTIR] Two Deep rule


<<< On the other hand, giving the children a chance to do supervised activities by themselves, also helps them grow.


Stefan >>>


I forgot to include that at smaller events she is allowed to meet and have fun with other kids her age on he own too.

She know she has to check in every so often and also knows what she is and isnt supposed to do.

She knows dads wraith isn't something she wants to bring upon herself:)

She also know to kick anyone square in the jimmy that makes her feel uncomfortable:)

And then report to me so I can do the same:)


As much as I love me SCA family I wouldn't let her run around something like Lilies unsupervised though, I trust her but that doesn't mean I trust everyone else:)


I know I can't protect her unconditionally but pity the fool that tries to stop me from trying:)





From: Eleanor Deyeson <eleanordeyeson at YAHOO.COM>

Date: February 8, 2012 4:07:53 PM CST

To: CALONTIRat listserv.unl.edu

Subject: Re: [CALONTIR] Children in the SCA


Halv, I'm sure you are doing a fine job of introducing your daughter to the

SCA.  You have significant experience and social connections within the



The fact is, however, we are not purely recruiting college students these

days. Sometimes, we are getting families.


The adults in these families, need to learn about the SCA, meet people, and

try new stuff.  Those new people don't have the skills to teach their kids

medieval crafts. The kids need to learn about the SCA, on an age appropriate

level.  If those new parents never let their kids leave their side, both the

children & the parents will have a harder time becoming invested in the SCA.

It is here where the MoY activities are good - as they provide both those

appropriate activities, but also introduce the youth to new people, child &



My belief, based on observation of both my children and others is that the

kids that learn to love the SCA, who become the "2nd Generation", those kids

develop their own interests and friends.  I know that I started doing

Calligraphy & Illumination because my oldest wanted to do pre-prints - I

learned something new to share that with my kids.  My daughter met & worked

with people in the various kitchens of this kingdom, while being supervised

by people I DID know, and I now I gotten to know those kitchen friends.  By

allowing my children appropriate freedom, I gained interests and friends.


I think that the "2nd Gen" learn to separate from their parents, like all

teenagers need to, but without rejecting the SCA as their parents "thing".

I see kids who aren't allowed out of their parents sight, who are just

sitting back playing video games.  I suspect these kids rarely stay in the

SCA as adults.


Thus, MoY can be part of our necessary ongoing recruitment & retention efforts.


Eleanor Deyeson

(5 kids, members since birth - all love the SCA)



From: Steven Boyd <andrixos at EARTHLINK.NET>

Date: February 8, 2012 6:12:50 PM CST

To: CALONTIRat listserv.unl.edu

Subject: [CALONTIR] "encouraging a daycare mentaility"


There has been some back and forth about MoY activity "encouraging a daycare mentality".

Those of the MoY, and their supporters, maintain strongly that they do not.

Those who are observing from the outside have a somewhat different view.

Perhaps, good friends, the truth equal parts on both sides, plus a fair dash of the middle?

One of my favorite things to read online, other than the Proceedings of the Calon-list Debating Society, is Freakonomics.com

The recurring theme of the postings is that so much more of the world than would be expected can be explained in terms of economics.

Their golden yardstick is "reactions to incentives"; in fact one of the bloggers, when asked which type of person they would trust least, answered, "The one who does not respond to incentives in a rational way."  The point being, that makes the person unpredictable and thus, untrustworthy.

One example of incentives, penalties, and unintended consequences that they cite (and I cannot provide an exact location for this, but suspect it might have been in one of their books) is, ironically, about an actual daycare center.

It seems that this daycare center had established its deadline for picking up children at 6 pm.  All of the parents involved had agreed to that time upon enrolling their children.  However, there were more and more examples of some parents showing up at 6:05, and then 6:10 and 6:15.  Obviously this was unfair to the caretakers.

After numerous warnings, which produced transitory improvements in compliance, it was decided to institute a $10 penalty for a late pickup.  What do you think the result was?

The number of late pick-ups skyrocketed.  Once the parents were able to quantify the actual penalty for being late as "merely cash", rather than imposing upon the good people who care for my children, they felt less guilt about being late.  Since a specific price had been established, the tardy parents saw it as one more "fee for service".

In some ways, dare I use the term "unwittingly", the KMoY has established somewhat of a similar situation.  Because it is staffed with exactly the type of loving and caring individuals you would want overseeing your children's play, unconsciously some parents, who are not trying to be abusive of the system, will think, "Oh, my class ran long.  But it's OK.  Little Betsy will do fine for another five or ten minutes at the MoY tent."  And then they get caught up in a discussion with the teacher, and so on...

Counting on the good graces of the MoY supervisors, some parents are less than fully responsible.  They get talked to and get warnings.  Some reform.  Some are asked not to bring their children by again.  As always, it is 20% of the parents causing 80% of the problems. And we, "non-consumers" of MoY services, hear the complaints about those 20%, while hearing so little about the admirable behavior and responsibility of the 80%.

In some ways it is comparable to the anti-smoking message in the general public.  Is the fact that there are still anti-smoking ads heard and seen regularly a sign that they have failed, or the fact that the smoking rate has dropped from the high rates of the '50s to the much lower rates of today an indication that the have succeeded?  I would argue the second, but emphasize that there is always a new audience that needs to hear it.

So it is with the "MoY does not equal daycare" message.  It needs to be repeated so that it is as much a part of our Kingdom DNA as "Song of the Shieldwall."




From: Hillary Greenslade <hillaryrg at yahoo.com>

Date: February 8, 2012 6:28:24 PM CST

To: ansteorra <ansteorraat lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Ansteorra] Children in the Sca


" Any child at a Children's class or activity must be accompanied by a

parent or guardian (one with a note from the parent saying they are in

charge of this child). "

The few times I've had the privalege to help coordinate children's activities,

we provided a sign up sheet for the adults and required them to provide one

(1) hour of assistance, to help with the load.   We already had two adult

coordinators, as is required, but the extra adult hands really helps out.

Figured the one hour service was a cheep payment for educating and

entertaining their kids for 5-6 hours, and I don't think I had a single

parent refuse, some with multiple children gave an hour per child,





From: nancy Howell <nthgsmk at hotmail.com>

Date: February 9, 2012 9:35:15 PM CST

To: Ansteorra kingdom wide announcemail list <ansteorraat lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: [Ansteorra] Society children and youth safety


Since there have been so many posts & opinions on the list recently about keeping our children/youth safe at events and gatherings, we want to let everyone know that the Ansteorran Ministry of Children has become part of the recently implemented position of Special Deputy for Family and Youth Programs. Based in California, and reporting directly to the President of SCA Inc, this encompasses ALL Kingdoms throughout the Knowne Worlde (USA based). There is to be a special Council created with a representative member from each kingdom. Changes will be addressed to help our children and youth feel more included in the Society and it's Baronies/Branches, as well as updating the safety measures already in place.


In the meantime, The Minister of Children's and Page School Program Handbooks can be accessed at www.sca.org to see the safety measures and activities already in place. We at the Ministry of Children strongly recommend parents and children's helpers to read these handbooks, to increase understanding of the responsibilities of the Ministers of Children. We do not take these lightly.


We will keep you all posted as changes and decisions are made as to further protect the children and youth in our Kingdom.


Always in Service,

Lady Nan Turnbull

Deputy Ansteorran Minister of Children                                     


<the end>

Formatting copyright © Mark S. Harris (THLord Stefan li Rous).
All other copyrights are property of the original article and message authors.

Comments to the Editor: stefan at florilegium.org