Children at events
Potential members are sometimes unsure of the situation regarding children. The answer is very simple: they are welcome, whatever their age. We have members whose children have been coming to events since soon after they were born and others whose children are now old enough to go on the field with their parents.
There are two aspects to attendance by children that need to be considered: their welfare in the plastic camp and whether or not they will be in kit during the opening hours.
WELFARE IN THE PLASTIC CAMP
Generally speaking, members’ children play together when their parents are in the plastic camp and, because they will make friends with children whose parents may be camped some distance away, they will tend to wander all over the camp.
The point to bear in mind here is that most members have children of their own so they are well aware of the concerns that parents have. As a result, they will keep an eye on the children who are running around to make sure that they come to no harm.
The one thing to bear in mind, if you have very young children, is that if you pitch your tent near the area where people will gather in the evening, your children may be disturbed by chatting well into the night and, sometimes, singing. So you might want to pitch your tent on the edge of the camp.
But that’s the only real issue. Your children will make new friends with other children who are there and they will have a ball.
CHILDREN IN KIT
We always need children as part of the civilian area: there would have been children around in the seventeenth century and we need to represent that fact. Sometimes, the one difficulty with costume is that boys up to the age of five or so need to be in skirts in order to be accurate. However, from your point of view, this is an advantage because a child’s skirt is easier to make than a pair of breeches.
If you need clothing for children, it’s worth asking around other members. Anybody whose children have grown up in re-enacting will have clothes that they have grown out of.
Obviously, no children are allowed on the battlefield until they are at least 16 years old.
Overall, though, if you have children, this is a great hobby for you and for them. If you ever wonder about this, ask when you’re at an event and there will be people there who have grown up in the hobby, got married within it and now have their own children taking part.