WB-Checklist-art – 8/21/06
"Waterbearing: A Checklist for Autocrats" by Lady Zubeydah Jamilla al-Badawiyya.
This article was submitted to me by the author for inclusion in this set of files, called Stefan's Florilegium.
These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org
Copyright to the contents of this file remains with the author or translator.
While the author will likely give permission for this work to be reprinted in SCA type publications, please check with the author first or check for any permissions granted at the end of this file.
Mark S. Harris...AKA:..Stefan li Rous
stefan at florilegium.org
Waterbearing: A Checklist for Autocrats
by Lady Zubeydah Jamilla al-Badawiyya
It is the heartfelt goal of the Waterbearers Guild of Ansteorra to improve the experience of all those in attendance of events held beneath the banner of the Black Star. The needs of a Waterbearer can be specialized, and thus not known to those who are running events. This checklist of questions can help the autocrat better serve their event and assist their Waterbearer in Charge; I hope that it is useful If you have questions about waterbearing in your area, please contact the Northern Regional Waterbearer, Lady Zubeydah Jamilla al-Badawiyya, at zubeydah at northkeep.org . See you on the field!
* Do you expect to have combat in any form at your event?
Yes: Lovely! Please see question #2.
No: Lovely! Please consider setting out some water coolers for the ease of use of your attendees.
* Do you have a Waterbearer in Charge?
Yes: Excellent. Please see question #3.
No: Well, that's not ideal. If you have a Chirurgeon In Charge, they may be able to assist you in arranging a waterbearer for you, or you can arrange for one on your own, or you can contact the Regional or Kingdom Waterbearer for help. The Waterbearer In Charge will work under and with the Chirurgeon in Charge, and they can then arrange for additional staffing needs.
* Does my site have running, drinkable water?
Yes: You've just gotten past a huge hurdle. How close is the water source to the areas where there will be combat or organized activities? Are there multiple sources? Your waterbearer needs to know this in advance of the event. It's best to place your field as close as possible to the water source, to save time and energy better spent on providing the water, rather than toting it.
No: Let all attendees know this in event flyers and notifications. Contact your Chirurgeon and Waterbearer (C&W) specifically, and ensure they are aware of this. The quantity of water they will need to bring will fluctuate based on the activities planned for the event. Your local group may have supplies of coolers and other containers for water. This is extremely urgent information.
* Does my event have a budget line item for Waterbearing?
Yes: Darn, you're good!
No: Please reconsider. Would you assume that your Feastocrat handle the cost of the meals being served out of pocket? While it's on a smaller scale, there are many things that are needed to provide good waterbearing service. This falls under the adage that an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure. Waterbearing doesn't necessarily cost a lot, and can make or break the experience of an event for participants. No idea what to budget for? Talk to your C&W. At minimum, certain supplies are needed, and may need to be purchased if your regional group does not have them available. (The list below is not all-inclusive by any means, but is simply an indicator of the types of things you will need to budget for.)
¥ 5 gallon water coolers – usually a minimum of three. One for gatorade, one for iced water, and one for unchilled water.
¥ Water dispensing containers with non-contact 'squirt-straws' or squeeze/squirt top bottles
¥ Cooler chest for spoilable items & ice
¥ Long spoons for stirring up drink mix, trash bags for cleanup of area
¥ Gatorade or Sports drink mix – a bare minimum of two containers, should not be flavors that are clear or red in color to avoid confusion with water or blood.
¥ Extras: pickles, olives, carrots, celery, cherry or grape tomatoes, fighter biscuits, etc., dishes, cutlery, cutting boards, garbage bags, buckets, etc for preparation of these items.
¥ Hand sanitizer and bleach
* Does my event plan include space for waterbearing?
¥ Yes: Wow, you're 4 for 4!
¥ No: All too often, waterbearing is an afterthought when it comes to space planning. There's a cooler chest plopped on one end of the list mistress's table, and that's about it. But food preparation, vital sanitation, and efficient work flow at the WB station really requires more than 3 square feet of space at the end of a crowded table. Please consider setting aside an entire tent for the use of your W&C, as well as planning for at least large table, ideally more, and a chair or two. It needs to have clear egress to the list fields, and near a source of potable water. If the Chirurgeonate is also using the space, it would be useful to have a cot available at the station.
Other things your Waterbearer In Charge needs to know / needs to plan for:
¥ How many fields of combat will be going on simultaneously? This includes archery, KAS, light and heavy weapons. How many individuals (estimated) will be participating?
¥ If the event is of unusual (500+ people) size, will you have a golf cart and/or walkie-talkies available for your waterbearers & chirurgeons to utilize? Their job is to safeguard the well being of your attendees, and second to the autocrat themselves, they need access to communication and transportation.
Working together, we can improve the experience of attendees at Ansteorran events. Superb waterbearing really does have a positive effect on your event: When combatants and staff (and participants) are kept hydrated, they have a more enjoyable event. They feel taken care of, and bring a sense of hospitality and good will from your event, making them more likely to return! In the long run, good waterbearing is an investment in the success of your event.
If you should have any questions or comments about this article, about waterbearing in general, or about setting up a stronger Guild presence in your area, I invite you to contact me at the email address listed below.
Copyright 2006 by Bethany Vann, <Zubeydah at northkeep.org>. Permission is granted for republication in SCA-related publications, provided the author is credited and receives a copy.
If this article is reprinted in a publication, I would appreciate a notice in the publication that you found this article in the Florilegium. I would also appreciate an email to myself, so that I can track which articles are being reprinted. Thanks. -Stefan.