ANST - How to involve young folk- attn Legal Eagles and Parents

Casey&Coni cjw at
Wed Jul 1 08:43:04 PDT 1998

Ulrica wrote....

>Ampgard is killing us out here on recruiting the teenagers.  Is this
>happening other places?  Their whole group is basically young and
>enthusiastic.  They can fight and feel lots of ownership in their group.  I
>think we, as a whole, are really letting our teenagers down when it comes
>finding, holding, and doing things to get and keep them involved.  Opinions

OH MY GOSH, have you ever hit a big topic with me!

Let me tell you a story...

Once upon a time, there was a young Ansteorran knight of german descent (who
was, incidentally, *devastatingly* charming... but that's not really part of
the story).  This knight would regularly- nay, almost annually- visit
Estrella war.  While at war he would watch as the parents of the little Aten
citizens took their kids out to THEIR OWN BOFFER TOURNEY FIELD!  They had
their own armor, their own weapons, and displayed their own arms.  There
were two marshals on the field and one parent from each of the contestants
of a bout on each sideline.  The marshals were impartial but did assist them
in calling blows.

The young knight marveled at what he saw and wondered aloud, "Now, why is it
that Ansteorran youths don't have anything this cool to do?"

A fellow Ansteorran who was standing nearby said, "Why, it's against either
Texas state law or Oklahoma state law... not sure which... for kids to be
involved in this type of full contact roughhousing.  I thought *everyone*
knew that."

You mean like pee wee football?... Oh, that's incidental contact, not
children actually *trying* to hit each other.

Oh, so you must mean like karate classes or junior boxing leagues, right?...
Ummm, uhhh...

Yeah, right.  After *asking* a Texas state attorney (albeit, not
specializing in law pertaining to children and also not vouching for
Oklahoma state law) I walked away with a couple of clear ideas:

1) anybody can sue anybody else for anything. (even yourself)

2) that doesn't mean they'll win the lawsuit. (but that doesn't mean the
court costs won't kill ya)

3) sca combat has a high risk factor.  (duh)

4) the addition of kids fighting with pool floaties in armor (groin, head,
hand and eye protection) and parental supervision will not significantly
increase our risk factor.

I have, right now, sitting on my hard drive, a letter for the new KMoC, the
KKM, the KS and the Crown with a proposal on beginning a boffer tourney
system for our young people.  If any of you parents out there would like to
give your children another reason to come to events besides toting, setting
up, tearing down, and doing cut-and-paste heraldry with the five-year-olds,
let me know.  This may require petitions or surveys or I-don't-know-what.  I
have no clue what type of response this is going to get, but I see the same
gaping hole that Ulrica does and I'd like to try to do something about it.

When I started, you could fight in armor with rattan at 16.  I can't tell
you what a huge draw this is.  I think that one of the issues that
membership growth hinges on is youth involvement.  Anyone who might think
I'm wrong on this should take a peek at the state of Arizona's (or New
Mexico or Colorado where I have also seen boffer for youths) demographic
similarities to us and examine their respectively high numbers of members
(vs. their total populations).  I think this is one of the cornerstones of
the future of the sca and if we ignore it... well, we may not go defunct,
but the word 'stagnant' does come to mind.

Now, I am just SURE this post will cause some laptop lawyers to chime in
with what they *know to be certain* on this issue... all I ask is for you to
check your facts before you present them.   Jeremy?  Alexis?  Maggie?  Are
any of you guys qualified to audit responses?

Also, how do you parents feel about it?  The basic system is height based
rather than age (but you have to be at least eight).  Any input on how best
to write up proposed rules (which I expect I'll be doing) would be welcomed.

Ritter Dieterich

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