[Sca-cooks] Official Pennsic Class Response

Elise Fleming alysk at ix.netcom.com
Tue Jul 6 13:08:50 PDT 2010

Greetings!  This is the official response from the Deputy Mayor for 
Cultural Affairs.  I note that the wording is now modified from "legal 
guardian" to the definition of a guardian as being another responsible 
adult. - Alys K.

Dear concerned SCAdian, parent, Pennsic teacher, or friend of youth at 

Please forgive me for sending this automated response, the sheer volume 
of email in my inbox makes it impossible for me to individually reply to 

First let me suggest that you read carefully my letter on the Pennsic 
A&S webpage http://www.pennsicwar.org/penn39/cultural.html. It may 
address some of your concerns. Second, and after you have read the 
website letter, I would like to clarify some points regarding the new rule:

     1. Yes, the rule does indeed go beyond the scope of the Society 
standard by asking parents to arrange supervision of not just children 
under 12 but of youth 13-18; however, it applies only to those classes 
held by Pennsic University in A&S tents.

     2. The rule does require adult supervision of youth, by a parent or 
by a "guardian"--which is defined for our purposes as a responsible 
adult designated by the the parent to attend the class with the youth. 
Let me repeat that. We are not requiring a legal court-appointed 
guardian, simply a responsible adult. (My thanks  to the Society MOY and 
especially to the Pennsic 39 Mayor for allowing us that interpretation 
of the rule).

     3. The teachers of Pennsic classes are not required nor expected to 
check IDs or ages of anyone attending their classes. We trust that 
parents will use good judgement in sending their children and youth to 
appropriate classes; and that the teachers will use good judgement and 
inform the responsible adult with any youth if material in the class is 
unsuitable for minors.

     4. This rule is in effect for Pennsic 39. The rules for next 
Pennsic will be set by the Mayor and the staff of Pennsic 40 at that 
time. This is not Society policy, nor does Cultural Affairs staff wish 
to debate the justice of the rule. Yes, there were reasons for the rule. 
No, we will not be disseminating that information for debate in SCA 

     5. This rule has been in effect since early May, it was not a last 
minute decision and it was never intended to drive parents or children 
away from Pennsic. If you find that you cannot adapt to this rule and do 
decide not to attend Pennsic because of it I am truly saddened, but all 
I can offer you are my apologies for the inconvenience. If you do decide 
to return to Pennsic in future years, please take time to read carefully 
all the rules of Pennsic for that year and follow the announcements for 
changes (which always happen) arise.

Please understand, neither I nor the staff of Pennsic University are 
against children or youth partaking of all that Pennsic has to offer--my 
own four children grew up in the SCA, my grandchildren currently attend 
Pennsic. This rule will affect them as well. I have been a pre-school 
teacher and a daycare director, I am currently faculty at a state 
university. So please believe me that I do understand how this may 
affect your Pennsic, whether you are a parent or a teacher, as I know it 
will affect mine.

I have and will take time to read all the emails I receive on this 
matter. I am very impressed by the range of knowledge and experience you 
all hold as well as the thoughtful responses many of you have taken the 
time to express. I welcome your input and will pass along your ideas 
wherever I think they will do the most good. I encourage you, if you 
would like to make a difference, to offer your services to the fine 
volunteers running Youth Point and A&S Point. The more sane and sensible 
folk we have actively participating in volunteer capacities, the fewer 
rules we are likely to have to make both at Pennsic and in the SCA.

Thank you for your patience and understanding,

Mistress Chai
Deputy Mayor for Cultural Affairs
Pennsic 39
Elise Fleming
alysk at ix.netcom.com

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