How To Deal With Event Disinterest When You Don’t Fight
With the SCA hugely focusing on martial arts what do you do at an event if or when you don’t fight?
Most events have activities for non-fighters with classes, shopping, vigils and A & S competitions to fill the bill. But not all. Recently I went to Calontir‘s Winter War Maneuvers (WWM) and checked out what people did who weren’t fighting.
WWM is and annual event hosted by the Barony of Mag Mor to prepare Calontir fighters for the coming Gulf War. When I arrived eager fighters were already on the field with dawdlers still arming up. (You know, the customary preparation state of affairs.) Along with them were their support “staff”. Spouses, family, significant others, and camp followers. Some at the time doing non-fighting tasks. The perfect time to take photos showing what you can do at an event besides fight.
While many planned ahead for their event activities because they knew what the day would bring others came from far flung fields prepared for any situation. So here’s what I found people doing who weren’t fighting arranged by categories.
Every event needs volunteers. Whether you’re from the local group or an out-of-towner staffing Gate check-in is a way to briefly meet people. Donating an hour or two of your time gives the local appointed gatekeepers a break and be party to their event activities for real.
Heraldry discussions happen at most events. And Winter War Maneuvers was no different. But did you know Heralds are the most welcoming people even if you don’t have a submission to research? They’re entertained by sharing all things heraldic and know fascinating ways to bedazzle your gear or garments with your arms. Some just for giggles and grins.
If there’s an Inn the staff might want help serving prepared food, beverages, or cleaning up. Inns provide simple fare with limited onsite cooking. It may not be glamorous but it doesn’t take tutelage or training to distribute items or clean up.
At times you’ll catch non-fighting officers doing their delegated duties. Offering assistance may lighten their load or at least let them know you’re interested. Consider helping the Tournament Minister and learn to run the fighting line-up. Or lend a hand to the Calontir photo historian B. Rhiannydd and learn how you could become one too. Showing an officer you care about what their efforts may garner gains for your SCA future.
Events aren’t all about fighting and volunteering. It’s okay to check in and enjoy your stay. Having pleasant pastime pursuits helps you with that.
When support “staff” aren’t assisting their fighter what do you think they do? I caught a birds-eye-views of them working on an SCA project.
Here’s M. Ivetta drawing a pattern on fabric. Later I learned she was helping B. Kezia with a Medieval game project for the coming Lonely Tower Medieval Games Revel.
Fiber craft projects seemed popular both on the main floor and the balcony. All types were done. Weaving, embroidery, kumihimo, even the modern crochet. Whatever they concocted to bring was their plan.
You often see people working on persona related projects at events. It speeds their completion while displaying your skills to everyone there. Inquiring minds may want to know what you’re creating and how it’s done especially if it’s like Ld. Yoichi‘s unique Japanese waraji rope shoes.
Calontir is known throughout the SCA for its bardic and music. You often see people at events playing a harp or other instrument. And our post-revels celebrate in song historic happenings and Calontiri word-fame. You don’t want to miss a chance to hear the best.
Depending on the venue, the type of event, or your budget you could plan ahead and catch up on projects requiring a digital device. SCA tasks like historic research, A & S documentation or your officer report just to name a few.
The SCA is a social organization wrapped within a history education base. In our own wallflower way we enjoy chatting with friends or making new ones. An event is the perfect place for that.
Sharing food in groups is popular within and without the SCA. In the region we call Calontir it’s how we connect with family, friends and even foe.
While I didn’t see any meetings scheduled at Winter War Maneuvers judging by who was present this may be an impromptu gathering of fiber artisans.
When events don’t have designated youth activities kids create their own. And combat done safely is now a popular option. As with most SCA activities it takes pre-planning and prior training. But it’s now a welcomed activity for kids and SCA parents.
But creative kids have always entertained themselves in novel, striking ways. Sometimes in unanticipated places. Capturing their diversion is like chancing a ray of sun shining on a gloomy day.
The youngest among us take select, safe supervision. Keeping toddlers contained is a demanding duty that takes conscientious care and concern.
You can tell by my earlier posts I enjoy court. Seeing people receive the awards scribes create cheers my inner core. It is the highlight of my day.
For Winter War Maneuvers I timed my arrival so I’d be there for evening court. But uniquely Their Majesties held it early. An unexpected afternoon delight. It was kind if you – like me – aren’t a fighter and don’t usually attend post-revels. Kind for people who traveled long distances. Kind for my dog waiting at home with her legs crossed hoping I return soon.
What to Bring
You might wonder what an event is like and what things you will need to bring. For sure you’ll check out the event’s flyer but then bring what makes you feel comfortable and what you plan to do. For me that’s a camera or scribal supplies. For many who don’t fight it’s a fiber craft or two. Depending on the venue or your situation it might be a pet. (I couldn’t pass up a picture of this sweetie.)
Don’t let quiet, sneaky disinterest invade your event enjoyment because you don’t fight. It may take preparation at home to have an enjoyable, clear sailing event experience. But it’s worth it.
“Life is more fun if you play games.”
― Roald Dahl, My Uncle Oswald
Other court tidings:
HRH Jason Drysdale brought gifts from Ansteorra.
The Barony of Mag Mor presented largess.
Mistress Briganza la Voyaguer presented new banners for display during vigils.
A boon was begged for Seamus Yanger to join the Order of Chivalry.