We’ve done it — we’re now level 2 in the SCA! How do we figure that? If we can survive our second Pennsic, we deserve to level up!
Pennsic last year was epic, but this year was even better! We remembered all sorts of promises and goals we’d set last year after various incidents, including:
- We brought more garb! We both had more stuff to wear. AND this year we set up a proper laundry station and clothesline behind our pavilions, so we could wash things during war … made a big difference! Alas, we still need more. Next year we’ve set a goal of having more Pennsic-appropriate garb, which for us means more linen shirts/smocks and doublets/gowns.
- We used our space better! Last year we borrowed a 14×14 Regency that was just too small for the three of us. This year we purchased TWO 12 ft. round pavilions that we setup side-by-side — one for us, and the other one for my son and my mother. MUCH better! I had my own little space which no one ever need enter where I managed to put in a small desk and vanity, and I was ever so much happier.
- We improved our beds. While we used the same double bed as last year, I did NOT bring the cotton futon nor the cotton sheets — last year they held moisture and I was miserable at night. Instead, I brought several foam pads (one camp pad and two pillowtop pads) all covered by microfiber sheets — such a difference! The bed was always dry and comfy. And Alexander has a special “KidCot” with a tent over it — keeps him off the ground (dry) and enclosed (warm and bug-free).
- We did more. I made it to the A&S Display (awesome), taught an embroidery class, and experienced my first Pennsic Party. Gregor fought in EVERY battle this year (so proud of him). And we were Head Retainers for Their Highnesses, and as a result, we saw new sights.
That said, we still have a fairly long list of things we want to improve upon or make for next year, which I will record here in the hopes we remember!
- Leave earlier! We left at 11:00 am, but we should have left before 9:00 am. We had to set the second pavilion up in the dark.
- Pick classes in advance. I didn’t attend classes early on because I was too distracted, so by the time I was ready, there wasn’t much I wanted to take (except for one class, A Tale of Two Aprons, which was cancelled!)
- Teach more classes. At least two, if not three. This is such a fantastic opportunity to meet people. Which leads me to my big one…
- Meet more people! My darned shyness is always getting in the way here, but this is such a great place to meet new people, and I really need to try harder. I want to go to more parties next year, introduce myself to more people, and get more involved. It’s so easy to feel lost in the crowd, and only I can remedy that.
- Help more. Everyone seemed to think that being Their Highnesses’ Chamberlain was “enough,” but it wasn’t … I wanted to be more involved and be more helpful. I suspect this will come in time. Last year I had nothing to do, and I remember being really bummed about that, and I went home and fixed it by volunteering for various things. So this year I had more, but I still felt like I had more to give.
- Make more stuff. Things we want to make by next year include: a break-down wagon, a vanity with drawers, mirror, and small bowl, an armor stand, another chair for Gregor, more cool garb, and finials and banners for our pavilions.
Highlights of this year at Pennsic include:
- Marching out to the field twice with Cynnabar, music playing, drums beating, banners flying … just love this.
- Welcoming Gregor back after every battle.
- Being interviewed by Channel 10 during the A&S Display.
- Introducing my mom to both Pennsic and the Society!
- Discovering that one of my class students had a connection with me in the mundane world, and neither of us knew it!
- Going to a party with Ceara and sharing some of Straum’s meat … (get your mind out of the gutter!)
- Watching my 7-year-old haul 130 lbs. of ice back to camp by himself. So proud of him!
- Having good enough garb that I got compliments and photos taken of me
- Being sketched by three lovely ladies in the market … quite delightful!
- Getting the Award of the Tower’s Foundation from my Barony, our mid-level award for service … wow!
- Going to bed early and getting up late …
- Retaining for Their Highnesses when two lords were made into knights and watching their faces …. I cried!
- Being able to help Their Highnesses and Their Excellencies during court
- Rounding up retainers, scheduling them, and giving them little tokens as thank-yous … my first time doing this and it went smoothly.
- Shopping with Her Highness one afternoon … the crowds parted for us!
- Watching it hail … and having our pavilions and shadefly weather the storm!
- Drinking mudslides with the ladies in camp!
- Getting a pity beer from Hjorlief while out “wandering” with Ceara
- Seeing the gorgeous dragon kite flying above the battlefield
- Wearing striped stocks the ENTIRE war!
- Sitting with my creations at the A&S Display … what fun!
- Marveling at how good Gregor looked in his doublet, his hat, and his new helmet.
- Celebrating Alexander’s 8th birthday with a ‘smore cake of his own creation, complete with lighted toothpicks for candles!
- Being of help to my fellow campmates in various ways … love being helpful!
- Dancing under the shadefly during the big thunderstorm that popped up during Drunken Court
- Receiving Eggbert, a little green knitted dragon from Gregor <3
Suffice it to say we had a wonderful time. We were sad to see it end and we can’t wait for next year!!