Being an Urchin for the Pennsic Independent

What's an Urchin, anyway?

Urchins are some of the most important people to the newspaper at Pennsic. An Urchin is generally a young person, twelve years old or older, who sells newspapers around the campgrounds. Urchins receive 10¢ for each paper they sell, as well as any tips they receive. We also offer cool bonuses for our top performers.

How do I become an Urchin?

Read the rules with your parents. You can e-mail the Circulation department of the paper to let us know you want to be an Urchin. Then, when you arrive at Pennsic, come to the newspaper office with a parent and have them sign a permission form for you to sell papers. You don't have to sell papers every day, but the more days you sell them, the more money you will make and more bonuses you can earn.

Selling begins at 9:00 a.m. on the first Saturday of the event. The final selling day is the last Saturday of Pennsic. Urchins can report in and pick up a route from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. All Urchins should complete selling and report back in by 3:00 p.m.

What's this about Bonuses?

Each Urchin who sells at least 25 papers each day they sell will recieve a coupon for cool FREE stuff from various Pennsic Merchants when they report in. These coupons can be taken to the merchant and redeemed for the bonus. So far, our bonuses include a free Urchin glass bead necklace from By My Hand, and 5 free Fairy Coins from Starhammer Arts. We are working with other merchants to get more bonuses.

Urchin Party

We are working on plans for an Urchin Party sometime during Pennsic. We need at least two Parents to help with this party. If your Mom or Dad is interested in helping with the party, please contact Circulation.

Urchin Rules

Our Urchins are very important to us. This year, the Circulation Manager/Urchin Wrangler (Aurora) will have a daughter at the War who will be an Urchin. The health, safety and happiness of each urchin is essential to their enjoyment of the position. Therefore, we have some rules each Urchin is required to understand and abide by. As parents, we are sure you will understand our concern and help your child to understand and follow these rules before signing the permission form. Thank you.

  1. All Urchins must have a parent sign a permission and acknowledgment of responsibility form at the newspaper office before beginning selling. Parental responsibility for a child or children is not removed by the child or children volunteering to sell newspapers. With their signature, the parent verifies the accuracy of the information they have provided and acknowledge that they have not relinquished in any form their responsibility for the behavior and safety of their child or children.
  2. A parent or responsible teenager (“baby-sitter”, 13 years or older) must check children in at the beginning of each shift and out at the end of each shift. Urchin shifts will be strictly limited to four hours and will begin no earlier than 9:00 A.M. and end no later than 3:00 P.M. We do not keep track of Urchin whereabouts once they leave the newspaper office. However, if parents come to meet an Urchin at the end of the shift and the Urchin turns up missing more than once, the Urchin will be dismissed. Likewise, if a parent or responsible teenager or adult fails to meet their child at the newspaper office more than once, the Urchin will be dismissed. Urchins 13 years or older may, with parental permission, serve as their own escort.
  3. Urchins MAY NOT sell subscriptions or take money in advance for papers.
  4. All Urchins under twelve years of age must be accompanied by a responsible adult or teenager on each route. Children age twelve and older may sell alone but are strongly encouraged to have another child, teenager or adult accompany them.
  5. Urchins must NOT enter ANY encampment other than the one in which they and their parent(s) or court-appointed legal guardian(s) are camping. Sell at camp gates only.
  6. Urchins must wear shoes or sandals at all times. If an Urchin reports in without shoes on, he or she will be sent back to camp to put them on before being sent on a route.
  7. Urchins must wear a hat or veil. If an urchin reports in without a hat, he or she will be provided with one which must be returned.
  8. In case of rain, all Urchins will be provided with a rain poncho. In a storm, Urchins should take cover until the storm is over, even if it means they will be late reporting in. We will understand those conditions.
  9. Urchins are responsible for the condition of their papers. However, if papers are accidentally ruined in rain or other uncontrollable conditions, they will not be held responsible for damaged papers. Simply return the damaged papers and get a new set.
  10. Urchins should be able to do math and make change. Begging for tips is not permissible. Always offer change. If you are polite, you are more likely to get a tip. Urchins will receive one warning if we receive a complaint about begging or withholding change. Two complaints is cause for dismissal.
  11. Upon reporting in after selling papers, any remaining papers will be counted, commissions paid at 10¢ per copy sold, and all tips returned to the Urchin. Discrepancies should be discussed with Circulation at that time. We welcome parents to come to us with any complaints or concerns.
  12. Urchins selling 25 or more papers each day they sell will receive a bonus consisting of a coupon for free merchandise from various merchants. We encourage parents to accompany their Urchin to the merchant to redeem their bonus coupons.
  13. Urchins are required to be quiet and polite while waiting for papers or reporting in after sales. We are very near several classrooms and conduct business near the Urchin desk. Inappropriate or rude behavior when reporting in is grounds for dismissal.
  14. Urchins will be provided with a selling pouch printed with their route number. Urchins should not "poach" other Urchins routes, although they may sell in their home encampment. If selling seems uneven, we will adjust routes to make things fair for everyone. Hay Wagon and shuttle stops are fair game.
  15. Urchins sharing routes must reach their own agreement on splitting tips and paper sales proceeds.
  16. Please feel free to contact us with any questions you may have about these rules or anything else.