How to Organize and Run a Pennsic Encampment
Without Strangling Your Friends
By Baronne Belphoebe de Givet
PLANNING THE ENCAMPMENT
1. FIRST THINGS FIRST
· Decide what kind of encampment you want:
o Open = Anyone can camp there. Example: Most Baronial encampments.
o Private = Invitation only.
· Register your encampment with the Cooper’s. Remember, the land agent must be at Pennsic for the entirety of War.
· Request that whoever is camping with you pre-registers with your encampment. This is important for land allotment and planning.
· Ask your campers to use the exact name of the encampment as registered with the Cooper’s. Otherwise, they will find themselves registered elsewhere or in single’s camping.
· If people have large pavilions, make sure that they register enough “ghosts” so there will be no cramping and fire hazards. This will also ensure some common area for dayshades, sump, firepit, etc.
· As far as we can tell, registering “ghosts” is not usually a problem as long as you register them as adults and pay the adult fee. It *IS* a problem, however, if people register children as ghosts, as the fee is much lower. Plan accordingly so you and your campers do not get in trouble.
· Decide whether you want a basic encampment or an encampment with a meal plan.
· Meal plans generate the most chores. If your campers are not into doing any chores, don’t have a meal plan.
· Make a budget and stick to it.
· If you end up having a lot of equipment, think about how and where you are going to store it until next Pennsic.
2. BASIC ENCAMPMENT
· Hose, backflow preventer, filters, and adapters for water (they are cheap).
· Some way to mark your spot. (Flags and twine, stakes and rope, etc.)
· Trashcan and plastic bags to dispose of garbage.
· Fire extinguishers. This is a Cooper’s requirement whether or not you have a firepit.
· First aid kit.
· Tools to dig your sump and set up your encampment.
3. ENCAMPMENT WITH A MEAL PLAN
· All the stuff listed on Section II.
· Kitchen tent (screened).
· Table(s) for preparing food.
· A wagon for ice runs.
· Propane stove(s).
· Shelving for your supplies.
· Dining area. (Can be under the dayshade.)
· Table(s) and chairs or benches. Chairs can be camp chairs.
· Kitchen utensils and implements.
· Pots and pans.
· Cleaning supplies.
· Shower tent (with propane water heater or using individual solar shower bags). Don’t forget to dig a sump!
· Utility sink (they are cheap at Home Depot or Lowe’s). It also needs a sump. Can be the same that you use for your hose and water filtration system.
· Portable propane insta-heater for your sink or shower. (They are worth the investment.)
· Storage tent.
· Firepit. It can be dug out, or it can be a “Viking” style firepit (wooden frame filled with sand).
· Firewood for your firepit. If your camp is small, you’re better off buying small bundles at the supermarket instead of having a load delivered.
· Solar lamps.
· Erasable whiteboard.
· Decorations Galore.
· Inflatable pool.
· Storage unit.
· Camp fee: This should cover things such as rope, firewood, sand for your Viking firepit if you have one, storage unit if applicable, water filtration system, and other basic needs for the camp. It may also help defray the cost of things such as a common dayshade, if you are buying one for the encampment as opposed to lending one; sheetwall; etc. Depending on your camp, fees usually run anywhere between $5 and $35, but this can vary.
· Meal plan fee: It will all depend on what are you covering. Our encampment does meal plan from Sunday to Friday of War Week, and includes breakfast (hot and cold), lunch meats and other items for those who don’t want to have lunch at the food court, and dinner. Our fee is normally $7 per day. We don’t serve dinner on Wednesday as it is Kingdom Court, but we still charge the $7 because there is still breakfast and lunch available, plus munchies if you want to have for dinner.
1. COMMON SENSE:
· Get to know your neighbors.
· Ask your campers to come help set up at land grab
· Tell your campers that they will be expected to help break down camp at the end of War.
· If you have a chore list, post it every morning where everyone can see it. An erasable board is very useful for that.
· If you have a meal plan, having everyone join the meal plan saves a lot of trouble for all.
· Organize your cooks. Some people have a Camp Cook, some others take turns. Just make sure that everyone is clear of who’s cooking when.
· Try having a set time for dinner for everyone.
· If someone didn’t make it to dinner, save a portion for them.
· Check out the attached sample guidelines for Camp Rules.
2. SAFETY IN THE KITCHEN
· Always wash your hands and arms up to your elbows when cooking.
· Wash your utensils and kitchen implements as well.
· Keep your counters clean and disinfected.
· If you use non-stick spray, keep it away from the propane stove. Whatever you do, don’t spray your pan when it’s on the fire.
· Make sure your coolers and food always have enough ice.
· Keep your coolers away from the sun.
· Wash your dishes with warm soapy water.
· Make sure you rinse your dishes well. Most Pennsic plague comes from soap residue more often than from food residue. (Propane heater for your sink is sooooo convenient!)
· Don’t chop meat on the same surface you used to chop vegetables and vice-versa.
· Once you are done with your meal, put the leftovers in the cooler.
· Keep your fire extinguisher and first aid kit handy.
3. FIREPIT SAFETY
· If you start a fire, someone needs to stay up until the embers are extinguished.
· Keep your fire extinguisher at hand.
· Keep a bucket of dirt or sand at hand.
· Don’t fall into the firepit.
· Kilts and cloaks are flammable. So are belly dancers. Plan accordingly.
4. CAMP RULES
· It is a good idea to have camp rules or at least some sort of guidelines. This will help avoid all sorts of drama. See sample camp rules below.
SAMPLE PENNSIC RULES
CAMP WE ARE THE WALRUS (*)
REGISTRATION AND INVITATIONS:
· Remember to pre-register with the Cooper’s. In order to camp with We Are The Walrus, you must be pre-registered. Deadline for pre-registration is [DATE].
· When pre-registering, remember to write We Are the Walrus in the form. Exactly that spelling. Otherwise the Coopers will send you to Never-Neverland and not to We Are The Walrus, and they are weirder than we are.
· We Are the Walrus is a Household/Invitation Only encampment. Invitations to camp at We Are the Walrus shall be discussed and approved by the Household before being issued. No exceptions.
FEES AND MEAL PLAN:
· We Are the Walrus has two fees: a camp fee for the needs of the encampment in general, and the meal plan fee.
· Camp fee will be $35, and it will be payable to Joe Smith (Lord Mundungus, the Slightly Confused), who will act as Treasurer. It must arrive to him no later than [DATE]. Should you have any problems and need an extension, contact him.
· Fee for meal plan will be $7.00 per day, and will include three meals per day: hot or cold breakfast, cold lunch, and hot dinner. Menus and list of ingredients will be posted to the list and the webpage.
· Unless we get more than five cooks, Wednesday Night is Free Night, which means that nobody is cooking, but there will be cold cuts and munchies for anyone who wants to fix his or her own dinner. And of course, there will be breakfast as usual.
· The meal plan will run from Sunday to Friday of War Week. (Unless, of course we get more cooks and we can add more days.) Wednesday is included because the three meals are still available, except that dinner is not hot.
· Everyone who camps with We Are the Walrus is on the meal plan for the number of days of his or her stay at War Week. For example, if someone arrives Sunday morning and leaves Thursday evening, he or she will participate for 5 days. Someone from Sunday to Friday, for 6 days. The calculation of the price of the meal plan will be done on that basis. No exceptions!
· Payment for meal plan must reach Mundungus no later than [DATE]. If you have any financial problems and need an extension, drop him an email so you can work something out.
· We will be taking payment for both camp fee and meal plan in either cash or checks, but any payment made at Pennsic will be cash only.
· Yes, you can have dinner guests, as long as you:
o Notify the Head Cook for the particular day you want to have your guest at least 48 hours ahead of time. This will give the Cook time to figure out if there are enough supplies for one or more extra dinner plates or to see if anyone is doing a town run for supplies.
o If the Head Cook gives you the green light, then you will pay $5.00 in cash to Joe, who will then forward it to whomever is doing the town run.
o What the Head Cook says goes.
o The Cook is the Boss. Worship the Cook. Do not make the Cook mad as he (or worse, she) can – and will – chase you with a cleaver . . .
· Lord Frederick Schmorgasbord is the Choremaster. Fear and obey the Choremaster. You disobey him at your own risk.
· Everyone will be assigned tasks, which will be posted every morning in the common tent. They are not many and you can volunteer for specific ones. Contact the Evil Choremaster on that.
· If something needs to be done, do it even if it is not your task. If you show up asking, “What’s for dinner?” you just volunteered to chop veggies. Do it gladly, as it will be fun and you will make brownie points with the Cook.
· Remember, this is everyone’s vacation. If all of us pull together, everyone will have fun and nobody will feel harassed or unfairly treated.
· Medical forms are downloadable from the We Are the Walrus website, or I can send them to you in PDF form. Please fill them out and hand them to Lavinia the Bloody, our Camp Chirurgeon.
Edwina “Your Mom Don’t Live Here” Perez of the Dusty Hills
Your Friendly Camp Coordinator
* NOTE: Camp We Are the Walrus is an imaginary camp loosely based on Camp Fallen From Grace. The names have been changed to protect the innocent. Any similarities with anyone alive, dead, undead, sort of dead, or just passing by, is pure coincidence. We are a figment of your imagination, so move along. There is nothing to see.