By Lord Stephan Calvert deGrey
With the size of the Pennsic War always growing by leaps and bounds each year, there are some areas that have generally proven more difficult for Pennsic Public Safety to patrol than others because of distance and accessibility. The newer campgrounds in the Bog are just such an area. Since they are so far from the main parts of the war and are very heavily wooded (many of these camps are located in the old Woods Battle site), this has proven to be problem areas over the last few years, particularly after dark in areas where it is difficult to see well. Last year, many of the camps that reside in the area decided to do something about it. Thus the Swamp Watch was born.
The Swamp Watch is an informal, yet highly organized volunteer security force operating with the full approval of and in cooperation with Pennsic Public Safety. They monitor activity in the southern parts of the site which host many of Pennsic’s more popular parties. This helps to ensure the safety not only of the residents there but of the many travelers who head down to the Bog for the parties and are often unfamiliar with the layout, particularly at night. They ensure that all the roads are well lit in order to deter predators. They also maintain quick response radio relay to Public Safety and the on-site EMS service. Due to their efforts, there were no incidents last year in the area and information regarding a minor medical emergency that occurred was handled far more quickly than it had been in the recent past, dramatically decreasing the response time of medical services to an area where it is very easy to get lost.
Lord Blaze of Clan Kindred of the Wolf (E31) is the organizer of this year’s Swamp Watch. He said that the response to the Swamp Watch by the Bog residents has been exceptionally positive and the vast majority of the camps there have enthusiastically embraced the project. One hundred or more volunteers participated. While many of the residents there are prepared for the dangers that can lurk in the darkness, Blaze and the other camp leaders in the area were very concerned for the safety of the partygoers who camp in the higher elevations and do not travel to the Bog often.
If you need to find the Swamp Watch, go to their pavilion on My Fan Way between the Causeway and Abandon Hope, directly in front of the Three Swans Camp in Block E27. Their people may be identified by a special silver baldric worn somewhere about their person. They also need your help. Not only would they appreciate additional volunteers, they also need supplies of kerosene fuel and wicks to keep their street torches lit throughout the nights at War.
Remember that the Swamp Watch is working to help ensure that you have a good time at Pennsic. When you go down to the Pennsic Swamp, don’t be afraid to go down at night. The Swamp Watch is there for you.