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Pennsic-ideas-msg - 6/13/04

Useful ideas for Pennsic.

NOTE: See also the files: BP-Thingie-msg, Pennsic-gifts-msg, P-storage-msg,
P-stories-msg, P-tale-MWIFO-art, Enchnted-Grd-msg, camp-kitchens-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

Pennsic Beginner's Guide  Oh boy, this is a biggy.

First, be a prepared camper.  do basic camping thigns like waterproof your tent
before you leave and make sure you have all your tent stakes.  Brign food that
will survive 100 degree heat in a melting cooler.  Keep food simple.  Keep
clothes simple.  Brign any medication you take, or might need.  Nearest
hospital is almost an hour away.  A first aid kit is handy.  A fire
exstinguisher is a good idea, (See Baron Dur's postings in previous Digests
about why this is required equipment)  Brign a set of clothes for each person
in your camp that you keep wrapped in plastic to save it from water so you have
dry clothes if your tent goes under.

IT WILL RAIN.  It wil probably storm, it may even tornado, hail, flood, or
hurricane.  Emergency food in water proof contaienrs will give you something to
eat while drying out your camp and making a run to town to replace camp
fatalities.  Locate your camp carefully. Avoid runoff patterns, find shelter,
the lee of a hill, a line of trees.  Stake your tent firmly.  If it gets windy
(it will) dissasemble any unstable items like dining flies and banners.  This
is better than having them collapse on top of you (or your neighbors.)  Secure
anything that might fly.  Tents fly very well.  Bring plastic bags to put your
garbage in.  Bring your own drinking water.  

There's nothing harmful in the Pennsic water, but, about half the gentles
attending find they get traveler's diarrhea and other complaints.  Bring your
own water for cooking and drinking.  I go through about a gallon a day at
Pennsic. It's HOT.  Drink lots of water.  Soda is not as good as water to
replenish lost water.  Beer is BAD.  Alcohol increase dehydration, reduces
common sense, and makes you feel good while getting heat stroke or hypothermia.
Fruit juices help replace electrolytes.  Gatorade helps replace electrolytes,
if you can stand the taste.  Be aware that you can overdose on electrolytes,
water should be your basic drink, supplemented by Gatorade and fruit juices.
Heat illness is very common.  Ever seen a field of five hudnred prostrate
people? I have.  

Bring a hat, and sun screen if you're the least bit suceptible to sunburn.
Wear loose, light clothes.  The roads are stony and hilly, so a pair of sturdy
shoes or sandals is a must.  It deosn't matter where you are at Pennsic, any
where you want to go is uphill.  This will be hard on your car.  At least one
car dies every year at Pennsic.  You will also walk a long way at Pennsic.
It's about a mile around the lake.  The lake is not for swimming, there are
swimming holes in the creek.  One is nude, the other is clothed.  The nude
one's easier to find, but really, there is another option is you're shy.

Don't even try to do everything.  READ the schedule and figure out what you
want to do.  There's four times more than you could do no matter how hard you

Brign warm sleeping gear.  It gets cold at night.  Brign a variety of weights
of clothes to accomodate changing temperatures.

Bring an experienced person who can tell you who those people in furs are, and
yes, that's an open camp, but no, that's not one, and the heralds are over
there and the chirurgeons are up the road from that.  

DO YOU NEED AN ESCORT AT PENNSIC?  Well, I never have.  But I've heard a couple
of stories.  Iv'e been going to Pennsic since Pensic 8.  On one occassion I was
subjected to rude language (I do not appreciate people I've been gracious to
calling me, "wench")  On the other hand,  sexual morals are a good deal loser
at Pennsic than elsewhere.  It's very much like Carnival in the amount of
drinking and screwing that goes on.  So, if you mix alcohol and socializing, be
sure of your company, and make your limits clear, because when you're in a
fuddled state of mind is not a good time to decided that you only want to be
frieds with the lord who's been eagerly nimbling your neck for the last hour.
I suspect that there are a number of cases of post coitus regret  by sober and
dismayed persons rather than any outright cases of involuntary intimacy.  And
should you find that you are accosted by a person who won' take "no" as answer,
Scream.  You will be promptly rescued by a pack of chivalrous men and women
who are highly offended at the notion of any one daring to comprise their ideal of
the Dream.  I took part in such rescue once.  The "victim" turned out to be
policeman who didn't know he needed rescuing. It was rather amusing, but
before we knew what was happening people were literally up in arms.  

Go back thorugh previous postings for more info.  Pennsic has been frequently
and thoroughly discussed.  In addition to Lord Dur's postings on fire safety,
I have posted info on how to to survive Pennsic with babies, and so has Marian
Greenleaf, and there have been numerous other contributions on various
subjects, not to mention plenty of war stories and debates about how to run
the land grab.

Yours in service,
awilda halfdane
sgj%ctj.uucp at wb3ffv.ampr.org
Bright hills, Atlantia
Baltimore, MD

From:    Martin Ellis
To:      Charles Jacob Cohen
03-May-90 12:18am
Subject: Re: Pennsic - a new person needs help

From Gavin Kilkenny greetings;
   Send a SASE to Sedalia MacNare 51 Roxbury Rd. Garden City NY 11530.
She is Pennsic Autocrat this year and can give you an awful lot of info.
Between the two of us we've got 24 years of going to Pennsic.

From: L6PJDU%IRISHMVS.BITNET at MITVMA.MIT.EDU (Cathy Lindsay 239-5262, 219)
Date: 30 Apr 90 13:57:00 GMT
Organization: Society for Creative Anachronism
Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

I've read with great interest the postings on eating at Pennsic.
But for anyone who's going for the first time, there is one more
bit of information they may want to know: there is another way.
Unlike many camping events or standard campgrounds, Pennsic has
*restaurants*.  Last Pennsic there was a wonderful middle eastern
establishment which had great food for reasonable prices.  There
were also other worthy establishments purveying things like meat
pies, roasted chicken, and even breakfast!  Additionally, there
is the Coopers' store, with lots of mundane supplies: ice, milk,
fruit, sandwiches (tho with the interesting food available, why
bother?), and some camping and personal supplies.

Last Pennsic, (my third), there was no cooking at Baroness Megan's
encampment.  The Baroness isn't interested in spending her time
cooking, and Claus the Toymaker spent his time making toys and
dealing with his apprentice, Geimle.  Then there was me --
I was with child and in no mood to cook either.  For breakfast
we usually bought donuts and milk from the aforementioned
store (or occasionally splurged for breakfast at a food merchants).
Lunch was quite often brought to us -- there are also roving food
merchants in the merchants area (as I understand it they are not
allowed to sell their food elsewhere).  Dinner was at one of the
fine dining establishments - last war, usually the middle eastern
merchants (who, BTW, run a middle eastern restaurant mundanely
in town, which may account for the high quality of their food.  Wish
I could remember their name!).

Anyway, there is quite a variety of food options available at
Pennsic, if you can afford them.  If money is tight, you may opt
to eat very simply in the day and then enjoy a good dinner at a
food merchant.  This is a decent compromise, and keeps expenses

Katherine of Constantinople                 Cathy Lindsay
Shire of Whitewaters, MK                    Notre Dame, IN

From: ddfr at tank.uchicago.edu (david director friedman)
Date: 3 May 90 02:19:20 GMT
Organization: University of Chicago
Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

On the subject of Pennsic food, the following has been our strategy
for some years.

I. Bring lots of period nibbles. That includes ready-to-eat things
that keep made from period recipes (hais, hulwa, khushkhanaj, current
cakes (actually 17th c.), etc.) and also bought things that are
ready-to-eat and were eaten in period (bread, cheese, sausage, dried
fruit, some fresh fruit). One can live pretty well on a selection of
the above.

II. During the nine days we are at Pennsic, we cook one or two
dinners and invite the encampment to share. These are period meals
that use ingredients that keep and are not a lot of work. There is no
particular reason why period dishes should be any more work than out
of period ones, and we have a very large base of period recipes to
select from. The real work is in cooking anything and cleaning up
afterwards. Doing a cooked meal every day would eat up too much of
our time.

III. Two or three other people or couples in the encampment do II, so
we end up with cooked meals about every other day.

IV. When bored with I and II or III is not available, eat at one of
the restaurants.

This year we will have an infant with us, as will Dain and Euthemia,
so Allah alone knows how things will work out.

I forgot V. Give a class on something concerning cooking or al-Islam,
and have Joshua ibn-Eleazar show up and feed me yummy rampart bread
from his translation of the Andalusian cookbook. also

VI. Get invited out to dinner at least once. and

VII. Go into the Coopers' store to drink a diet coke and eat an
icecream sandwich. The Coopers' store is my personal disenchanted
ground--the one place at Pennsic where I assume I am being out of

David (Cariadoc)

From: mjc at nl.cs.cmu.edu (Monica Cellio)
Date: 9 May 90 17:50:36 GMT
Organization: Carnegie Mellon University
Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

>Is Pitsburg the closest airport?  

Pittsburgh is the closest airport, but it's close to an hour's drive so don't
plan on taking a cab.  There are shuttle services of some sort available.
The Pennsic information in the June newsletters contains a number to call for
more information on this.  Pennsic itself does not sponsor a shuttle, and you
will call down the wrath of the autocrat and/or the Coopers if you call the
site from the airport and ask to have someone pick you up.  (There are ~6000
people at Pennsic.  There is one incoming phone line.)

>What kind of site fee should I exspect?

I *think* the weekend rate this year is $20 for members, $30 otherwise.  This
covers Friday (the 17th) through Monday.  Each additional day is, I think,
$4 this year.  I pasted the camera-ready Pennsic info directly into the
June Pikestaff and sent it off to the printer last week, so I actually don't
have the info on hand to quote.  Sorry.  I can post more in a week.  If
you're coming out for the land grab. plan to spend around $65 for site fees.
The Coopers do not take checks or plastic; bring cash or travellers' checks.

>Any suggestions of things I might need to bring that I wouldn't
>have thought of coming from California?

Clothing for wet and/or cold weather, as well as for very warm weather.
Daytime temperatures are in the 90s; nighttime temperatures are highly
variable and *can* get down into the 30s, though ~50s is more common.
Plan for serious rain; it'll happen at least once during the week.

Ellisif Flakkingskvinne
From:    Simon Of The Beautiful Waters
To:      Various
15-May-90 10:53am
Subject: see above

Brianna Arielle Durand writeth:

> I have a couple of questions for the veteran Pennsic attendees. Is
> Pitsburg the closest airport?

Yes.  Not exactly *close*, but at least closEST.

> What kind of site fee should I exspect?

Reasonable.  If memory serves, it was something like $35 for me (non-member)
to get in, the Saturday evening before the War, and camp thru the Monday
morning after the War.

> Is there a shuttle from the airport to the site?

No.  However, thou mayst be able to make arrangements to have someone drive
down to pick thee up.  It would help if thou couldst find someone with a van,
pickup, or station wagon, who could take several people in one trip.

> Also- Any suggestions of things I might need to bring that I wouldn't
> have thought of coming from California?

It getteth *COLD* at night.  Bring warm jammies (or a warm lover, tho it
shouldn't be too hard to find one there).  Also, it almost ALWAYS raineth at
least once, and heavily, so make sure thou bringst a waterproof container for
at least one complete set of clothes, and if thou canst get hold of a period
(or at least so-looking) umbrella, it may help.


Pennsic Footwear�
12 Jun 92
From: cat at fgssu1.fgs.slb.COM ("Rather B. Fishing")
Newsgroups: rec.org.sca
Organization: The Internet

Aryk> My main piece of Pennsic advice:
Aryk> Wool Socks.  Lots of 'em.

Very good advice.  I bring lots of socks too, both cotton and wool.  I might
also add that I bring extra walking shoes, because I typically will get
one to two pairs soaking wet.  Back in the days when I was penniless college
student, I didn't have spare shoes, and as a consequence got more blisters
than I would have normally if I had had dry shoes to wear.


Subj: Pennsic -- First Time Advice�
Date: 15 Jun 92
From: whheydt at pbhya.PacBell.COM (Wilson Heydt)
Newsgroups: rec.org.sca
Organization: Pacific * Bell, San Ramon, CA

Liz Stokes (Ilaine de Cameron) writes:
> oroboros at whocares.nmsu.edu (The Wyrm Ouroboros) writes:
>>This will be my first Pennsic.  I will be going with others who have been
>>there before, but I'm giving a question to the .net --
>>What is best for me to bring, suppies-wise?  
>       If you are like the rest of us, you will find your car filling fast
>with camping necessities and SCA luxuries.

This I agree with.  Gears expands to exceed all available space.

>Ice in the cooler melts, and you can't keep meat more than a couple days

This I have to disagree about.  At Beltane last year, we were quite
successful at packing meat for a 10 day event.  I ordered the meat in
advance from our butcher and had him freeze it--he being able to
freeze it more quickly and colder than I could.  We took one ice-chest
with the frozen meat packed with dry ice.  It was only neccesay to
open that chest once a day--to take out the meat to be thawed for use
that day (and--it helped keep the food that was only on ice chilled as
well).  It was only the last couple of days of this event that meat
was already thawed--and that is within the limits you gave for keeping
meat under camp conditions.  Net result:  We lost no meat to spoilage.


        Hal Ravn, Province of the Mists, West Kingdom
        Wilson H. Heydt, Jr.,  Albany, CA 94706,  510/524-8321 (home)

Pennsic -- First Time Advice
15 Jun 92
From: schuldy at progress.COM (Mark Schuldenfrei)
Newsgroups: rec.org.sca
Organization: Progress Software Corp.

My example: I brought a wooden cloths drying rack, and it was
really handy for handwashing and drying cloths, and dishes.

Mark Schuldenfrei (schuldy at progress.com)

Pennsic -- First Time Advice
17 Jun 92
From: erd at kumiss.UUCP (Ethan Dicks)
Newsgroups: rec.org.sca
Organization: Not an Organization

In article <1992Jun12.225027.21743 at nmsu.edu> oroboros at whocares.nmsu.edu (The Wyrm Ouroboros) writes:
>This will be my first Pennsic.  I will be going with others who have been
>there before, but I'm giving a question to the .net --
>What is best for me to bring, suppies-wise?  I am planning on being there from
>the Second Saturday (the 10th?) until the end of the War; roughly 9 days.  What
>food should I bring, what drinks?  What amounts??

Recommended supplies: one or two coolers, your own band-aids and aspirin,
any prescription medication you might need for the entire time, extra
socks, dry clothes (to leave in your car), sun block, a dry tent, a warm
sleeping bag or other bedding, more than one can opener.

Recommended food: any food you can stand which does not require elaborate
preperation or refrigeration.  Produce is available from the Coopers'
store and there is a Giant Eagle supermarket (open 24 hours) within a 20
minute drive.  I usually cook lots of canned food or oriental food with
noodles.  Fresh chili and clam chowder (from canned seafood and dried
soup starter) are also good.  I also cook a potato soup on the Saturday
before the battle because a sack of potatoes, a bunch of celery and
a gallon of milk will feed lots of hungry, tired, freshly arrived
potentially vegitarian campers who have just spent all day driving to
the war just to wait in line at the troll!

Recommended beverages: bring enough for a few days and consider either
going into town or sending someone into town.  In Pennsylvania, wine
and liquor are sold through a state store distribution system.  The
prices are better there than in many states (like Ohio).  Beer is sold
by the case at warehouse type stores.  There are many beer stores within
30 minutes of the War.  For myself and the parties I throw, I can usually
count on going through at least three cases of beer and a case-and-a-half
of Jolt.  Try and find Jolt in your area... it can be difficult to find

Eadred Aethellystan
Saxon at Large

Pennsic (Bart's Pennsic thingy)
19 Jun 92
From: aryk at gpu.utcs.utoronto.ca (a.j.s. nusbacher)
Newsgroups: rec.org.sca
Organization: University of Toronto -- Hart House

Two things to add to the Pennsic comments (you might want to add these
to your list, Schuldy):

1.      Every time you use a wooden bowl, trencher-board, cutting board,
etc., give it a good rub with ordinary table salt.  This serves to scrub
tiny food particles out of the wood grain, and make the surface inhospitable
to living things.  I am told that the City of Toronto has mandated that
restaurants use wooden cutting boards because salting works, as opposed to
plastic cutting boards, in which critters can live.

2.      If I'd known this word last year, I would not have left Pennsic
a day early in physical misery:  Imodium.  Imodium is a friendly little
over-the counter tablet that is the diametrical opposite of a laxative.
It was handed down by God to help those afflicted with the Botch of Egypt
(lower GI infections).

Oh, and did I mention wool--that magical fabric that stays warm even when
it's soaking wet?  It breathes, and it's period!  Never travel without it,
myself.  I keep a pair of wool socks in the glovebox of my car up in the
parking lot.  Because I am an old Pennsic hand, I keep the socks in a
ziploc bag, just in case the water rises above the level of my car.


From: corun at access.digex.com (Corun MacAnndra)
Newsgroups: rec.org.sca
Subject: Re: pennsic questions
Date: 15 Mar 1993 16:14:24 -0500
Organization: Express Access Online Communications, Greenbelt, MD USA

In article <1993Mar14.231135.8967 at pellns.alleg.edu> asheffie at carr106.alleg.edu (Ann Sheffield) writes:
>1. Is there something like a "day pass" to Pennsic for people who want to  
>see what it's all about, but who don't need land?  If such a thing exists,  
>whom should I contact to get one?

No, M'lady, there is no day pass. The best you can hope for is to pay your
fee for the last four or five days of the event. These are when the main
action takes place anyway. The battles, the courts, the parties (well, those
tend to go on all the time). Of course shopping is always available, and
the closer to the end of the event you get, the more price slashing occurs.
Merchants would rather take home money than merchandise that didn't sell.

>2. If this works out, what activities do you recommend for a bewildered  
>person blundering around on her own (or possibily accompanied by an  
>equally bewildered friend dragged along for moral support)?  

Shopping, battles, shopping, courts, shopping, parties, shopping, dancing,
shopping, eating, shopping. A tour of the site to see the various encampments
is always nice. The larger groups have been getting more creative, like
Trimaris for example. I wish the gypsy wagon from Canada would return. Then
there's always shopping.

>3. What SCAdian customs should I know about to avoid offending anyone?  
>Right now, I wouldn't know how to tell a king from a beggar (apart from  
>the M.P. Holy Grail test, which I suspect is unreliable).

Don't call the Tuchux Lord or Lady. They are dogs and wenches. Don't take a
camera to the classic swimming hole. Don't try to sneak into Horde camp. ;-)
Don't call a king by yelling "Yo! Sparky!" Don't do sheep impressions around
Scots or Vikings.

Things to have are, a hat of some kind, a fan, a mug or goblet that you
can tie to your belt, a knife, comfortable walking shoes (preferably period
looking, but it's Pennsic, and nobody's going to yell, so comfort is more
important), a cloak (even though it NEVER rains at Pennsic), lots of money
in case you might do some shopping (did I mention there was shopping?),
something to carry your loot in.

That's about all I can think of at the moment. I'm sure someone else here
will come up with something.

In service,

    Corun MacAnndra    | Nothing's perfect.
  Dark Horde by birth  |      I've seen it, and it is.
    Moritu by choice   | T. Koenig

From: cozzlab at garnet.berkeley.edu ()
Newsgroups: rec.org.sca
Subject: Re: camping at Pennsic
Date: 21 Apr 1993 20:19:44 GMT
Organization: University of California, Berkeley

In article <9304202135.AA04063 at milo.UUCP> garwood at milo.UUCP (Bert Garwood) writes:
>Then you gotta hope someone from your group has been to Pennsic at least
>once, so they might have a clue what mght be a good site. (tough for a
>year-old shire full of newbies)

Not to mention that opinions differ on what is a good site.  The
prestigious sites, the ones that old-timers have been camping on for
years, are the hilly and wooded bits near the lake.  Then there's a
gigantic cleared space which used to grow corn and now grows pavilions.
Naturally, there are no trees there, and they call it the Serengeti
and scorn it.

But if you camp on the Serengeti (as I did last year), you will not meet
up with all the mosquitoes that hang around the lake and that the
old-timers complain about.

Do bring sunshades.

Dorothea of Caer-Myrddin Dorothy J. Heydt
Mists/Mists/West UC Berkeley
Argent, a cross forme'e sable cozzlab at garnet.berkeley.edu

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca
From: sclark at epas.utoronto.ca (Susan Clark)
Subject: Re: Serengeti hints....
Organization: University of Toronto - EPAS
Date: Mon, 9 Aug 1993 18:45:34 GMT

Thanks to everyone for the advice so far (never would
have thought of earplugs...)
And to Dorothea:  Last Pennsic was not normal.  Trust
me.  The year before the plains of the Serengeti were a vista
of dried grass and dust.  Last year was heaven weather-wise for
those of us accustomed to hot, humid, but
often overdryj(except for the big downpour which islways during
Court or a mahor battle) Pennsics.

sclark at epas.utoronto.ca

From: cozzlab at garnet.berkeley.edu ()
Newsgroups: rec.org.sca
Subject: Re: Serengeti hints....
Date: 9 Aug 1993 17:25:11 GMT
Organization: University of California, Berkeley

In article <1993Aug9.004819.23926 at epas.toronto.edu>,
Susan Clark <sclark at epas.utoronto.ca> wrote:

> So, can any Pennsic veterans still on the net offer any advice?
>(Besides the obvious "stay out of your tent at midday"?)
>Hoping it's not too dusty,

I camped on the Serengeti last year (my first and only Pennsic), and did
not find dust a problem.  The Serengeti itself is covered with lush grass;
it's only the roads that are bare earth and I found mud more of a problem
than dust.  

Make a sunshade if you can.  In the West, where we camp a lot, most house-
holds have sunshades anywhere from middling-large to humongous; the wind
blows through them and it's nice.  If you set up a sunshade _over_your_
tent_, your tent will stay cool too.

Dorothea of Caer-Myrddin Dorothy J. Heydt
Mists/Mists/West UC Berkeley
Argent, a cross forme'e sable cozzlab at garnet.berkeley.edu

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca
From: dillon at world.std.com (John T Dillon)
Subject: Re: Serengeti hints....
Organization: The World Public Access UNIX, Brookline, MA
Date: Wed, 11 Aug 1993 23:10:08 GMT

Camping on the Serengetii is actually quite easy as long as you plan on
bringing your own shade.  Nylon tents become ovens after 10:00, but a
simple cloth cover at least a foot over the tent can drop the internal
temperature by as much as 20 degrees.

Plastic works, but is warmer than natural fabrics.

Plan on building any supports that previously you relied on trees for.
The 84 lumber yard is a good cheap source for wood poles and supports.

Keep lots of water around and drink copious quantities.

If you feel a headache coming on, go shopping, wander the barn, or head
into the wooded areas where it will be cooler.

If you must stay in the Serengetti at mid-day, stay in the shade and make the
best of it.

John McGuire

Every year I camped where I had parked the previous year.  Last year I parked
beyond the second hill...  Hmmmm....

From: cozzlab at garnet.berkeley.edu ()
Newsgroups: rec.org.sca
Subject: Re: Serengeti hints....
Date: 12 Aug 1993 16:01:33 GMT
Organization: University of California, Berkeley

In article <CBMB0w.G04 at world.std.com>,
John T Dillon <dillon at world.std.com> wrote:

[much good advice]
>Plan on building any supports that previously you relied on trees for.
>The 84 lumber yard is a good cheap source for wood poles and supports.

If the 84 lumber yard is anywhere near the Pennsic site, plan on hitting
it up for lumber early--if you're coming early--or else bringing your
own.  Last year John Theophilus decided to go and get us some lumber
and building a little table for the Western encampment.  (This was,
like, Tuesday of the last week.)  He came back with the most apalling
collection of scrap.  The lumber yard was sold out of everything better.
He made the table anyway, and it worked fine, but it _looked_ as ugly
as sin.

*Sigh* I wish I were going this year.  I have just figured out one of
the major things I liked about Pennsic--it was a week of real vacation,
in which there was almost nothing I had to do.  (Except compose songs for
my Prince, and perform at his command.)  A week of rest.  *Sigh*

Dorothea of Caer-Myrddin Dorothy J. Heydt
Mists/Mists/West UC Berkeley
Argent, a cross forme'e sable cozzlab at garnet.berkeley.edu

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca
From: mittle at watson.ibm.com (Arval d'Espas Nord)
Subject: Re: Return from Pennsic
Date: Wed, 25 Aug 1993 19:04:06 GMT
Organization: IBM T.J. Watson Research

> Is the date of Pennsic fixed?

The two weeks leading up to the 3rd Saturday of August.  That definition is
given in East Kingdom law.

Arval d'Espas Nord                                   mittle at watson.ibm.com

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca
From: sclark at epas.utoronto.ca (Susan Clark)
Subject: Re: Return from Pennsic
Organization: University of Toronto - EPAS
Date: Wed, 25 Aug 1993 21:16:34 GMT

Pennsic is a movable feast--sort of.  The third Saturday of
August will fall in the main weekend. That's how they figure it.

sclark at epas.utoronto.ca

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca
Subject: Re: Return from Pennsic
From: schuldy at zariski.harvard.edu (Mark Schuldenfrei)
Date: 25 Aug 93 22:41:39 EDT
Organization: My own little corner.

Dorothea asked:
  Is the date of Pennsic fixed?  Is there some algorithm by which you can
  infallibly tell when it's going to be next year and the year after that?

From East Kingdom Law Part VII.C.1:
  The  Pennsic War is hereby scheduled for the third weekend of August.
  The third weekend  is  hereby  defined  as  the  one containing the
  third Saturday in August.

Mark Schuldenfrei (schuldy at math.harvard.edu)

From: erd at kumiss.cmhnet.org (Ethan Dicks)
Subject: Re: Pennsic Troll
Newsgroups: rec.org.sca
Date: 28 Aug 93 23:35:58 EDT
Organization: Not an Organization

David Salley (salley at niktow.canisius.edu) wrote:
: Bertram writes:
: > Does anyone have any clue as to why people showing up on Saturday
: > afternoon, August 21st, were turned away and not allowed to stay
: > on site?  Not long ago once the Troll Booth closed people were
: > allowed to come in free.

One of the reasons for the change was explained to me by Dave Cooper.  He
said that the last couple of years had seen an increasing number of locals
(mostly teenagers) coming after Troll was closed (for free) to party Sunday
night.  Last year, especially, they had a real problem with this.  The
solution that the Coopers choose was to limit access to the site to only
those who had paid admission to be on site.  Also, the repeated notification
that people who have not paid are trespassing falls apart if you let people
in without paying.  If the gate is letting anyone through, how can you
tell the unauthorized minors from anyone else?  In addition, if you aren't
processed by Troll, you don't have a signed waiver on file <insert various
arguments on the importance and validity of waivers here>.

Eadred Aethellystan
Saxon at Large

From: powers at cis.ohio-state.edu (william thomas powers)
Newsgroups: rec.org.sca
Subject: Pennsic Activities
Date: 23 Jun 1995 19:17:01 -0400
Organization: The Ohio State University, Department of Computer and Information Science

As I look over the list of all the things I wanted done before Pennsic,
(made before I started working days, nights and weekends on my job), I
came across the following.

Suggestions for Pennsic Activities

I have found that the fastest way to meet people doing the things
I'm interested in is to work on a project at an event.  Like moths
to a flame like minded people will congregate to your work area.
Folk will hunt down other folk and drag them over to meet you and
while you may not get as much accomplished; you will make friends;
learn other methods; share tips; share documentation on your project,

So my suggestion for Pennsic is: Bring something to do!
Bring a craft project to work on and share.  Make a virtue of necessity!
Pennsic is a great place to do a project "all by hand".

I try to make something at each Pennsic that I will use in the SCA; then each
time I use it, I remember the Pennsic I made it at.  I have no Pennsic
photos; but I have my Pennsic XX pen-annular broach, my Pennsic XX roasting
fork; a pattern welded billet from Pennsic XXI, the niello used to decorate a
pommel was Pennsic XXII; bodkin points and more pattern welded steel from
last Pennsic...and so on.

As more and more people realize that Pennsic is what *we* make it;
things start happening.   Last Pennsic there were two "sheep to shawls"
held; a household that has an early period focus hosted an Early Period
A & S contest;  folk interested in crossbows had a get together;
knife/swordmakers had a get together; and probably many more that I did
not participate in or hear of!  At previous Pennsics there have been pole
lathes, an iron smelting furnace, niello making, silver & bronze casting,
pattern welded steel making, blister steel making, spinning; all done on
people's own initiative!  Not part of a formal "class" but just people
doing things that they were interested in usually in their own camps.

Stop thinking "thats really neat and I hope they do XXX at next Pennsic"
and start thinking "how can *we* do XXX at next Pennsic?"
And when you get to Pennsic, start asking people you meet if they
have heard of any activities being put on privatly that involve areas you
are interested in. (Note: some activities are *private* and by
invitation only; please respect a courteous refusal.)

If you decide to host an activity; let other folk know about it
and any restrictions you are putting on it. (Somethings you just can't
do with a large group.) Good methods of publicizing something are to
ask if you may post a note at the A & S point or leave information with
merchants who deal with items related to the activity.

willelm the smith; who was involved in most of the above activities;
brings a forge and pattern welded steel supplies, casting supplies,
wood working tools, etc and wonders how anyone could survive without them!

From: root at epee.ultranet.com (root)
Newsgroups: rec.org.sca
Subject: Re: Virgin Pennsic-goer
Date: 27 Apr 1995 02:57:18 -0400
Organization: Privateer Systems

Victoria Gilliam (z009341b at bcfreenet.seflin.lib.fl.us) had to say:
: KATHLEEN GORMAN (KNGORMAN at ARTSPAS.watstar.uwaterloo.ca) wrote:
: : Meadhbhni writes:
: : >  Make sure you bring along a good selection of clothes--both warm
: : >and cool weather.  The days may get hot (2yrs ago it got up to 100!) But
: : >the nights are very cool.  

: : But remember that cool and hot are relative to what you're used to.  
: : (For instance, I expect to see people in shorts this week if it gets as
: : high as the 60 degrees they've predicted.)


One thing you should be aware of that no one EVER remembers to tell newbie's
is this:  Cooper's is in a Rain Shadow.  Subsequently, it can (and often
does) get very "dewey" at night.  My first Pennsic, I didn't know this and
wasn't prepared.  The cloting in my backpack soaked up a great deal of
moisture just sitting in the tent.  If you are camped on the Sarengetti
(sp?) you should be okay up to a point - it still gets dewey but it's hot as
hell during the day and things dry off.  My fix for this was to pack the
clothing inside sealed plastic bags individually and to also bring extra
tarps for ground-cloths and a rain shield for the tent top to provide an
extra level of protection.  This worked *very* well last Pennsic.

Another helpful: Bring a Shower Bag (portable shower), three bedsheets and
about 40' of nylon rope.  If you are in any of the single areas, generally
up in the hills, there are plenty of trees close enough together to rig up
privacy curtains and the shower.  An added touch is to get a plastic pulley
so that raising and lowering the waterbag is easier.

Just my hard-learned hints.


  Chris Faubert
root at epee.ultranet.com (

Subject: Pennsic hints
Date: Wed, 20 May 98 10:07:29 MST
From: "Bernard J. Theiss" <lunawood at infonline.net>
To: "Mark.S Harris (rsve60)" <rsve60 at email.sps.mot.com>

About hints for Pennsic.  We've found that a canopy or tarp securely added
over the top of a modern tent creates its own shade and also improves the
life of the tent.  Of course white is best.  Beware of trapping rain; the
weight may break the ridge poles.  See you at Cooper's!

From: David Corson <cerdic at sympatico.ca>
Newsgroups: rec.org.sca
Subject: Pennsic suggestion
Date: Tue, 23 Jun 1998 14:49:46 GMT

For those of you attending Pennsic this year - a request from the lady
that gets to answer the outside telephone line....

Please leave a copy of your pre-registration form with whomever might
need to contact you on site --- it has all of the information to make
finding you easier!!

Check with the booth across from the Cooper's store on a daily basis -
we only post most messages - if we have to come looking for you it is an
emergency!!  So, check to see if you, or someone in your camp, has a
message on the list....

Also, please let thoseh who might want to contact you know that we have
ONE incomming line - and no way to page you in your tent.  If they can
give us your 20th Centruy name, SCA Name and Camp site - along with a 3
line message - we will do our best to get the message to you as quickly
as possible......

Thanks in advance - Hope we all have a safe war.......

Elaina of Oaklawn - telephone answer lady for PW 27....


From: "Kelly Williams" <williamsk at erols.com>
Newsgroups: rec.org.sca
Subject: Re: Pennsic
Date: 17 Jul 1998 16:19:42 GMT

> 7. Bring a camera and plenty of film (the disposable cameras work pretty
> well too)

Here's a suggestion for those people who bring disposable cameras.  Write
your name on them.  If I had a dollar for every camera that wound up at
security/lost and found and could not be identified by the owner, I'd be

To: trimaris-temp at egroups.com
From: pdruss at aol.com
Date: Sun, 29 Oct 2000 11:03:18 EST
Subject: [MedEnc] pennsic search engine

New!   Alexander's Pennsic War Page now has its own search engine and
database _dedicated_ to Pennsic War and related topics.



<the end>

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Comments to the Editor: stefan at florilegium.org