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Are the NPS Rules Worth the Trouble?

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  • Scott Jeznach
    Okay, I think everyone on the list knows I m not the NPS s biggest fan. David made some valid points regarding Parks Canada sites. What David needs to
    Message 1 of 3 , Sep 3, 1999
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      Okay, I think everyone on the list knows I'm not the NPS's biggest fan. David made some valid points regarding Parks Canada sites.

      What David needs to realize, along with others not familiar with the NPS here in the states is that they are never satisfied with status quo. All the way back to the AWI Bicentennial, every time the reenactors adapted to their rules, they made more which were even more ludicrous. They only backed down when the civilian public and reenactors formed a united front and voiced their frustration.

      I love going to Parks Canada events because the difference is night and day. The parks and their personnel are friendly and encourage their relationships with the reenactors. Plus, they allow safe and interesting battles on the property, including pyrotechnics. This makes the 9 hour drive from here worth every minute.

      For some reason, the NPS feel we should be honored to step onto their property, and do everything they tell us to do without a qualm. Frankly, I get treated better as a visitor then I do as a reenactor. There is no quid pro quo with them.

      Years ago, there was a riff between reenactors and Colonial Williamsburg. It was only through intense negotiation with them that reenactors were allowed to participate on their property. At first, the reenactors walked on egg shells with the knowledge that one small slip could lead to the end of reenactment events at CW. As years passed, reenactors became the highlight of CW's schedule. Their highest visitation weekends are those associated with the British Army invasion, the Continental Line encampments, and the militia musters. Now, CW looks for other opportunities to have reenactment weekends.

      The moral of this long-winded story is: REENACTORS ARE ASSETS, NOT SLAVES! And we should be treated as such.

      Until reenactors realize this, the NPS will continue to come up with more stupid rules and expect us to agree with them.

      Some folks are right. Don't go the NPS events if you don't agree with their rules. I don't.

      Scott J.
      Royal Marines
    • David_Webb@pch.gc.ca
      I am sorry to hear that there are so many difficulties between the NPS and reenactors. Perhaps part of the problem is with some sites and their historic
      Message 2 of 3 , Sep 3, 1999
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        I am sorry to hear that there are so many difficulties between the NPS and
        reenactors. Perhaps part of the problem is with some sites and their historic
        weapons supervisors. I know that Gerry Altoff and all of the staff at Perry's
        Victory at Put-in-Bay have always been very reasonable, and indeed the very
        models of hospitality. Setting up meetings to clear the air with the sites that
        people wish to continue to support, might be an idea. It is also possible that
        widely reported incidents like the one involving the French cavalry guy at
        Gettysburg last year, have spooked senior management, and people are reacting to
        this.
        While hearing that Parks is nicer than the NPS flatters the smug Canadian
        inside me, I'm not sure that it is true in all cases. I know that there are
        Parks Canada event horror stories, and I am sure that Parks staff have horror
        stories about reenactors. Sorting out conflicting goals, clarifying
        expectations and ensuring ongoing communication are things that could help avoid
        and resolve problems. If you have a lousy time at a site, or there are problems,
        let them know. If you have questions about safety or other rules, raise the
        matter constructively. If you are being jerked around, excercise your other
        options.
        As far as earplugs go, we have worn the disposible foam kind while firing
        cannons in movies, and just daubed makeup on them. Louisbourg has some that you
        can hear people talk, and they just block really loud noises. They are not
        disposible, or inexpensive.
        The use of most safety items, such as flashguards, hammerstalls, artillery
        gloves and earplugs, is constantly questioned and debated. Some of the safety
        items could actually constitute safety hazards. If the person tending the vent
        on a cannon cannot hear that he or she has lost the seal, because they are
        wearing earplugs, and the person sponge/ramming is similarily equipped, then
        this is a real hazard. Every organization, or site has to make decisions, and
        these should be based on reliable information. These decisions should continue
        to be challenged, and those responsible should be asked to justify their rules
        in a logical manner. No one is perfect, and we need to listen to one another
        and learn from our experience. No individual or organisation has a monopoly on
        expertise or safety.
        --Dave Webb
      • Craig Williams
        There are flesh-like coloured foam ear plugs available at some sporting stores and although the colour ain t perfect they are very hard to see from more than
        Message 3 of 3 , Sep 3, 1999
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          There are flesh-like coloured foam ear plugs available at some sporting
          stores and although the colour ain't perfect they are very hard to see from
          more than ten feet. And for the record I personally don't have a prblem
          wearing plugs to fire artillery.
          -----Original Message-----
          From: David_Webb@... <David_Webb@...>
          To: WarOf1812@onelist.com <WarOf1812@onelist.com>
          Date: Friday, September 03, 1999 11:56 AM
          Subject: Re: [WarOf1812] Are the NPS Rules Worth the Trouble?


          >From: David_Webb@...
          >
          >I am sorry to hear that there are so many difficulties between the NPS and
          >reenactors. Perhaps part of the problem is with some sites and their
          historic
          >weapons supervisors. I know that Gerry Altoff and all of the staff at
          Perry's
          >Victory at Put-in-Bay have always been very reasonable, and indeed the very
          >models of hospitality. Setting up meetings to clear the air with the sites
          that
          >people wish to continue to support, might be an idea. It is also possible
          that
          >widely reported incidents like the one involving the French cavalry guy at
          >Gettysburg last year, have spooked senior management, and people are
          reacting to
          >this.
          > While hearing that Parks is nicer than the NPS flatters the smug Canadian
          >inside me, I'm not sure that it is true in all cases. I know that there
          are
          >Parks Canada event horror stories, and I am sure that Parks staff have
          horror
          >stories about reenactors. Sorting out conflicting goals, clarifying
          >expectations and ensuring ongoing communication are things that could help
          avoid
          >and resolve problems. If you have a lousy time at a site, or there are
          problems,
          >let them know. If you have questions about safety or other rules, raise
          the
          >matter constructively. If you are being jerked around, excercise your
          other
          >options.
          > As far as earplugs go, we have worn the disposible foam kind while firing
          >cannons in movies, and just daubed makeup on them. Louisbourg has some
          that you
          >can hear people talk, and they just block really loud noises. They are
          not
          >disposible, or inexpensive.
          > The use of most safety items, such as flashguards, hammerstalls,
          artillery
          >gloves and earplugs, is constantly questioned and debated. Some of the
          safety
          >items could actually constitute safety hazards. If the person tending the
          vent
          >on a cannon cannot hear that he or she has lost the seal, because they are
          >wearing earplugs, and the person sponge/ramming is similarily equipped,
          then
          >this is a real hazard. Every organization, or site has to make decisions,
          and
          >these should be based on reliable information. These decisions should
          continue
          >to be challenged, and those responsible should be asked to justify their
          rules
          >in a logical manner. No one is perfect, and we need to listen to one
          another
          >and learn from our experience. No individual or organisation has a
          monopoly on
          >expertise or safety.
          >--Dave Webb
          >
          >
          >
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