kids at pennsic
90% of the people I know who have kids and go to pennsic DON’T bring their kids. They have many valid reasons and for people in MN (or further) a 12+ hour drive is daunting all by itself. If you want a ‘vacation’ vacation – leaving your kids home is a good start but also going to a beach in Mexico is a better start since Pennsic is a vacation I NEED a vacation from when I get back.
Lets be honest here. Me taking 3 kids ‘solo’ was on the crazy side. Here is a list of the things that went wrong;
- Someone regressed to the point where she would not use a toilet, I nearly had to go get diapers. Luckily she would use her little potty but I still ended up just throwing out underwear because I’m not dealing with poop while camping.
- There are no doors at pennsic. No bedroom to put a tired child to work it out.
- I was bitten
- Someone, in a manic overtired phase, did about 30 laps around camp – 5 were naked, the remainder in a pullup
- Small feet fall through pallet gaps (but thankfully that pallet was replaced asap by a kind campmate
I was also lucky because I never lost anyone, nobody fell into or dropped anything into the portapotty, and 2 of 3 fell asleep in under 5 min every night. My kids are also good walkers, love to drink Gatorade (so no dehydration), are very patient with putting on sunblock and nobody got sick or hurt. The ultimate ace is that I camp in a wonderful spot with infastruture AND my parents so they are at ‘camp grandma’.
There are hard things too like
- getting them to eat the food that is for dinner
- removing the dirt layer nightly
- working around the heat of the day and the freeze of the night
- lack of internet and electronics
So why do I say it was worth it? Because they will remember it. They will remember how much they loved meeting other kids, staying up listening to drums and bagpipes and stories. They will know people from all over the world that they can only see again there. They will have a map of this place that they walked and walked burned into their soul. These things will mean they will want to come back every year, they will feel like they belong. And I’ll also be there, so, hopefully, at least yearly, I’ll see my grown up kids.
The SCA is something that the whole family can really ‘be’ in. It is something that is there when you need it and nobody minds if you take a few years off. You can move from your hometown to anywhere in the world and find SCA, and, while they might be total strangers, they ‘know you’. It is a powerful network because nobody really ever leaves, they just get less active. There are plenty of things in the world that have many of the same vurtures but I can’t thing of any that are that whole package. My parents saw it for what it was and I’m very very glad that they made something the whole family could do the priority rather then all splitting off into our own hobby or sport.
Nothing worth doing is easy all the time and that is Pennsic in a nutshell
if you want to see a few more pictures here is a link; https://goo.gl/photos/c54xaR6y1YJFuB3N6