What to expect – an average weekend event

If you are a member or new recruit considering attending one of our weekend events we will need you to answer the following questions please:

  1. Will you be joining us for all or part of the weekend event? If yes tell us what days and when you plan to arrive and depart. Please answer even if you cannot attend.
  2. Will you be there for set-up and break down of the camp? We desperately need help to make it go smoothly. (Set-up is usually between noon – 6pm on Friday and break-down is between 5-7pm on Sunday)
  3. Will you be sleeping in camp?
  4. Will you be participating in our food plan? (about $25-$30 for the weekend). The absolute deadline for letting us know if you are in or out of the food plan is 7 days before the event. We start the food shopping at about that time and we budget very tightly. If you change your mind after we food shop you are still liable for your share financially – because we already spent your money.
  5. Do you need to borrow anything? If you are a new recruit we probably need to loan you everything – that’s ok!

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Here is the usual schedule and plan for our average weekend event:

Friday, between noon and 2pm: The trailer arrives and we begin unloading and setting up the camp.  The more people helping the faster and easier it goes. Setting up the camp consists of the following:

  • Clearing the site if necessary, raking leaves – removing any debris
  • Putting up the tents
  • Obtaining straw and stuffing the ticks (mattresses)
  • Digging a fire pit
  •  Filling the buckets with water
  • Setting up tables, chairs and beds
  • Putting any modern items back into the trailer/cars and park the trailer for the weekend.
  • Make sure everything we need in secure and within a tent for the evening
  • Each person then sets up their own area making sure their bed is ready to sleep in

Friday, after dark: We go out to dinner as a group in a local restaurant and have a mini meeting to go over the plan and scenario for the weekend. Upon returning to camp we are often tired and go straight to sleep. On occasion of a lovely evening we may sit by the campfire for a few hours.

Saturday Morning: Is often a mad rush to be ready for when the site opens to the public. Depending on the site it is usually about 9:00 am when members of the public start visiting us. That gives us precious little time to be ready to go in the morning.

  • Everyone is expected to be onsite and helping at least one hour before the public hours begin.  Be historically dressed and ready no later than a half hour before open to the public please.
  • Each person will splinter off to set up whatever area is their specialty or help another.
    • There are usually a minimum of three areas where activity and demos take place throughout the day:
      • The Armory with weapons and armor where we “recruit” the public. They may touch and try on the armor, handle the weapons (with supervision) and learn all about warfare and the military aspects of England in 1471. This area gets very populated and we need to watch that the public take turns politely, no-one gets hurt and that none of these expensive items “walk away” by accident.
      • The Gentlewoman’s Pavilion where our Gentlewoman demonstrates fingerloop braiding, yarn spinning with a distaff, historic (reproduction) books and singing.
      • The Cooking area where our meals are prepared. The scent and sight of meat roasting on the fire often draws people in by itself. Recipes are shared with the public and techniques and spices common for England in 1471 are discussed. Sometimes we have a group of children make noodles with us (they love that!).
      • We may also have a Gentleman’s Pavilion and an Archer’s Bell Pavilion where the interiors are set up for public viewing. At some events we have an Archery field for our archers to compete and show off their skills.
  • At about 8:30am we have a breakfast of scrambled eggs and bacon (sometimes oatmeal too).
  • The main meal of the day is the midday meal and is usually served around 2-3pm. There is always a meat, a vegetable and almost always a soup as well as bread, cheeses, fruits and some form of dessert (see our Food and Recipies section under research for a sample menu). If there is time we sit down and eat like normal humans – if we are crazy busy we grab and eat what we can between moments with the public. Our cook will likely mother you and make sure you eat something and stay hydrated, especially if it is warm.
  • Once the public day is done we clean up and put things away to prepare for nighttime. All armor, weapons and tools are put into tents for protection. Dishes are done and food is either eaten or put away. You may change into modern clothing if you wish.
  • At our March event at Jamestown they provide a lovely buffet dinner for the reenactors. Other weekends we eat leftovers from the midday meal, roast sausages over the fire and sometimes sneak in modern s’mores. Evening is usually spent visiting neighboring camps, lounging by the campfires and socializing. Some members sleep in camp and others stay at a nearby hotel.
  • Sunday morning is the same as the Saturday morning routine with bacon and eggs for breakfast.
  • Along the day on Sunday we will start to prepare for disassembling the camp as we can. Clean any dishes, gather items for packing – start packing what we can. However some weekends are so packed with members of the public that we cannot even think of breaking down camp until closing time – which is usually between 4-5pm.
  • On Sunday at public closing time it is a mad dash to get it all packed up and into the trailer as fast as possible. Again, the more help we have the faster it goes. To breakdown and pack-up camp we have to:
    • Pack up and protect all dishes and crockery in ways that will not break them
    • Break down tables and furniture
    • Bring down and fold the tents. Gather all tent ropes, stakes, pins and finials.
    • Empty all ticks and fold them. Fold bedding and tablecloths.
    • Gather all dirty/stained fabric items into one pile/bag.
    • All borrowed clothing into one pile/bag
    • Fill the fire pit back in.
    • Everyone walk the site looking for anything left behind (it happens, often).
  • If there is time after pack-up we may go to dinner as a group.