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Standards, umbrellas and new guys

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  • rgrokelley
    Howdy, ... The short answer to this is... you haven t found the right unit. I don t know where you are located, but there are quite a bit of serious
    Message 1 of 16 , Sep 27, 2005

      > I, and my family, have been in the hobby for about five years now
      > have found that among the people in the hobby we have the most
      > respect for, those that can answer any question and will openly
      > you where they found the information, are surprisingly not in any
      > unit.

      The short answer to this is... you haven't found the right
      unit. I don't know where you are located, but there are quite a bit
      of serious historians and researchers in many units down here. A
      lot of us write books about this information so that we can spread
      the information on a large scale. These are folks like Larry
      Babits, Mike Cecere, Todd Braisted, and many others (though Todd is
      not quite from "here"... you get my meaning). So if you want to
      find a unit that does some serious research and those who also let
      everyone know where the information came from, you need to find a
      better unit. Heck, make your own.

      > If you can carry a musket you are welcome, the less you know
      > the better, and woman are there strictly for support.

      Unfortunately in a military camp, and a battle reenactment, the
      women are in a supporting role. It is different in civilian type
      scenarios, but on the battlefield THE show is the soldiers. There's
      no way to sugar coat that one, since the fight is what folks come to
      see, or it is what the reenactment is about. There have been
      several posts by women of the things that they do at events, and it
      covers a lot of different areas. So women can find their niche in a
      predominately male, battle scenario.

      >We could start our own unit but, as it was so
      > specifically pointed out to another member on this list, we as
      > newbies have no right to start a unit.

      I don't think anyone said that you don't have a right to start a
      unit. Go ahead, make one. The only thing that is mentioned here is
      that you may be reinventing the wheel. There may be another unit
      that does what you like. The other big problem with new folks
      starting a unit is that you will be the blind leading the blind for
      a long time. But you want to do it, go right ahead.

      > A possible solution for this I would suggest is for a unit such as
      > the BAR being in over all control of the hobby and to set
      > for all the units.

      That would definately not work down here (The South). Though
      there are a few units that belong to the BAR, the bulk of the units
      do not belong to any organization that has control over them. A few
      of us belong to the Continental Line, but they do not set the
      standards for our unit. They have the minimum standard required,
      but they cannot tell my unit what to wear or what to do, since it
      would not make any sense to do so. Who would know more about my
      unit? Me, or someone sitting 500 miles away who is not in my unit?
      If any umbrella attempted to become a large, beauracratic
      dicatorship, we would merely not join and continue to do what we
      always have down here. The next big 225th event down here is the
      battle of Cowpens. This is a great example for how we do things
      here. No umbrella is running that event, a single unit is, and they
      are getting help from other units.

      >It sure would be
      > nice to attend an event without having to hear someone say "there
      > shouldn't be any public at the events" or "I wish the stupid
      > would leave so we can have fun".

      A few years ago someone posted the different types of reenactors
      on this list. I am at work right now, wasting your taxpayers
      dollars, so I don't have a file of it to tap into. However it
      listed the reasons why folks do this and the different types of
      One was the educator. This was the type of reenactor who wants to
      interact with the public, want to educate them.
      One was the powder burner. This one just wants to do the fight.
      Another was the experience junkie, wanting to live it exactly like
      it was then, and try to reach that certain reenactor "nirvana"
      of "being there".
      I am one who does not like to interact with the public at all. I
      will, but I won't do it willingly. This is mainly because I am a
      teacher and I have to teach all the time. Reenactments are my time
      away from standing up and giving a lecture.
      Just recently I was asked to be the Sergeant Major for a unit at
      Whitpain. I told them that I just wanted to be a private, no
      leadership roles for me there. This is because I have also led
      troops in one fashion or another since I was 19 years old.
      Sometimes you don't want to be in charge, and just want to kick
      back. So I would be guilty as one of those folks who would like to
      get away from the public.
      The great thing about reenacting is that in any unit you can find
      all the different types, and there will always be someone to hop out
      in front of the public and teach them about 18th century life.

      > The last item I have on my mind is more of a question. We were
      > by one unit that our daughter could not be a musician as "that
      > not be historically accurate".

      Again, you need to find the unit that fits you. Some do not
      allow women, or beards or anything such as this in their ranks.
      Nothing wrong with that, since each unit controls its own
      standards. However other units do. Down here the fife and drum
      section of the field looks like a sorority at times.

      >Do we
      > continue with a double standard on historical accuracy or do we
      > exclude a large number of people that have a right to enjoy this
      > hobby as well?

      There is no right to belong to someone else's unit. If a unit
      excludes certain folks, and no one joins that unit, it will die
      off. However if that same unit excludes anyone that doesn't meet
      its standards, and they thrive, there's not much you can say about
      it. I don't look at it as a double standard. They put out their
      standards, and they live by it. It would only be a double standard
      if they didn't actually adhere to their own rules.
      We don't have any rule that says no women can fight in the
      ranks. However we also have never had any woman wanted to do it, so
      it never really has come up yet. We do tell some members that we
      may have to shave off beards for certain events. If they don't want
      to shave we don't tell them to quit, we just tell them they can't
      come for that one specified event that requires shaving. S
      Each unit makes up their own rules, and that is what is great
      about this hobby. There is a unit out there, whether you are a
      stitch counting Nazi of the highest order, or a bearded Jeremiah
      Johnson wannabe (WAUGH!).
      Find the one that fits you and run with it.

      Patrick O'Kelley
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