TRMs of the East and HRM Atlantia take their turn at Troll Tuesday evening.
Photo by Mistress Constance de St. Denis
Written by: Mary of Montevale
Have you seen Pennsic 45 class listings for a location called Bog U and wondered just what and where this is? This year there will be for the first time, a “satellite campus” of Pennsic University known as Bog University or Bog U. For many years now, there have been classes offered in private camps or at merchants’ spaces. The latter have come about mostly as a matter of convenience for the instructor—particularly in the case of those who are also merchants—or to permit longer, noisier, or messier hands-on classes than are possible in the tents in the University block. Longtime residents of the camping area around the lake (The Bog) and in other remote camping blocks have grumbled about how far it is to get to the University classroom tents and then back home. Long treks to and from the University Point area can be a problem in extremely hot weather especially when steep hills are involved. Bog U is situated in E24 where there is an area set aside, totally separate from any private camp, for a covered pavilion in which classes will be held. The South Loop of the bus service runs right past the new campus and bus drivers are aware of the location. Bog University was not born in a day. A group of people from several camps in that part of Pennsic have been working with the more traditional Pennsic U since the War ended last year to be sure that everything about the creation of this new location meets the stringent requirements of the “old” university in terms of location, facilities, staff, safety, class offerings on period topics and Pennsic/SCA culture, etc., so that it will be an official satellite of the University area “up top.” Social media has been used to spread the word about Bog U and its class offerings this year. As of two days before Land Grab Friday, this new venture had 42 fully registered classes, representing 6 kingdoms, multiple branches of A&S, and a raft of instructors with previous Pennsic teaching experience. Because the setting is the Bog, there will be no classes scheduled before 10 am and no loud classes earlier than noon. The organizers have described it as “more low key” than the traditional University class area. Like private camps and merchant spaces, the classes offered at the Bog U location are listed in the Thing and in the printed schedule (if submitted by the deadline) found in the Book which you received at Troll. Any changes, additions, or cancellations will appear daily on the signboards at University Point and in the Pennsic Independent. A major difference for this new campus is that it is an actual extension of Pennsic U so that rules about minors age 12 and over are the same at both locations. The founders have high hopes that Bog U will only continue to grow in future years by offering more and more classes on “period” topics and that the Bog itself can establish a venue for more SCA-oriented activities as well as for the numerous nighttime parties for which it has long been famous. Another class/workshop area situated almost as far away from the Pennsic U. block as the Bog is the Artisan's Easement at Atlantia Royal (N40). This is the location of the Fiber Arts pavilion this year. Mostly hands-on classes such dyeing, using a loom, tablet weaving, and spinning wheel construction (discussion). To reach Atlantia Royal, walk or ride the bus (South Loop) to the intersection of many roads by the North Gate and then walk back Long Way. The rules about minors attending classes in private camps will apply here. Very different from Bog U, but also the brain child of some Bog residents’ desire to have less formal class and workshop opportunities closer to camp is Lakeside Community College. LLC is not part of Pennsic U, but they are trying to promote Pennsic U classes (including Bog U) that are located from the Middle Eastern Tent on down through classes in private camps in the W- and E- blocks. Their listing of classes can be found on their web site, pennsiclakeside.org. The center column “Pennsic U” shows “Yes” for classes that are listed in the Thing, and “No” for classes which are LCC in origin. LCC’s own classes are much less formal, both in setting (private camps) and content, and are scheduled for a later start in the morning or may run later in the evening. Some of them are not on “period” topics, but they are classes that residents in that part of Pennsic expressed an interest in having. Some of them are more social than instructional, such as the plans for a jewelry making session in which all present are working on their own projects. A number of classes are intended only for adults, and this is clearly indicated in the class description. The Pennsic rule stating “all minors must be accompanied by a parent” applies to all LLC class listings in private camps, just as it does for private camp classes elsewhere at the War. However, ages 12-17 may attend Bog U (E24) classes without being accompanied. Whether you ride or walk, if your journey to E24 for classes is a lengthy one, don’t neglect also to make a stop at the Hydration Station which is in the same block. The Gypsy Kitchen is in the same area, but only opens around midnight, by which time the day’s classes in the Bog will be long over.