Volunteering at Pennsic

by Baroness TSivia bas Tamara v’Amberview, O.L., Pennsic Independent Feature Writer

Once upon a time, the concept of a War was dreamed, and the Dream was good. A few friends came together to practice the arts of War and of “No S**t There We Were” stories. From these humble beginnings between the Middle and East Kingdoms came the Pennsic War, first of the great inter-kingdom Wars in the SCA today.

Since those humble beginnings over thirty years ago, the Pennsic War has grown to a celebration of all things SCA: fighting, archery, fencing, cooking, arts and sciences, and so much more. And like the things which are medieval and/or renaissance in theme, there are the service things many of us love to do at Pennsic: public safety patrols, marshalling, chirurgeoning, waterbearing, disability access, Dead Rabbits, and so much more.

Without the gentles who serve us in myriad ways so that we may all enjoy our War and our holidays, things would not be nearly so enjoyable. Similarly, if we do not offer up an hour or two of our time to pick up trash, cook a meal, kiss a boo-boo or drive a cart, Pennsic would not run smoothly.

Every service at Pennsic could do with an extra set of hands or three. Imagine Chirurgeon’s Point at three in the morning if you fell on a tent stake and cut your knee but no one was there to offer comfort and first aid because no one volunteered. Imagine trying to co-ordinate a field battle without marshals, waterbearers, chirurgeons, and everyone else who gives of their time. Many fighters voluntarily take themselves off the field and into marshal tabards so that everyone else can fight and have a great time.

If you haven’t done something of a service nature this War yet, how about trying something new? Waterbearers can always use a helping hand, as can Public Safety. You don’t have to have first aid training to help out the Chirurgeons: they can always use a scribe or two. Want to meet some fascinating people? Offer to drive a golf cart for Mobility Access Services. Even Information Point can use volunteers.

So, if you are enjoying your time at Pennsic, why not give a little back? Choose a service you think might be fun, and find out if they can use a hand between now and the end of the War. Remember, places like Chirurgeon’s Point can use hands to help in packing down at the end of the week as well. Big or small, young or old, you can do some good at Pennsic by being a “helium hand” and volunteering.

Photo by Baron Erick Longacres of Ealdormere

Pennsic’s youngest volunteer, Thorbjorn Aaronson of Ealdormere, helping out with Public Safety. At three months, it will probably be a while however, before he gets his golf cart waiver.