Children at SCA Events

Children are the future of the SCA and we promote SCA as a family oriented educational group. Children can be one of the greatest joys of the current Middle Ages and I can think of few things which are as touching as seeing a child exhibit courtesy and good manners. However, your children are your responsibility.

  1. Every Child Should Know “HOLD!’’: Hold is the word used in SCA to make anyone freeze. It is not just used for fighters on the field. Even toddlers can be taught "Hold", just use it every time they start to reach for something that they should not touch, such as a hot oven. (This also helps children learn to distinguish between "No" as something you don't want them to do and "Hold" as being something they don't want to do because it hurts or is dangerous.) Hold is used universally in SCA, so when your child wanders into danger any adult who sees them can yell "Hold" and avert a disaster. Try to play freeze tag with older children but yell "Hold" instead of freeze.

  2. Dress the Part: Children should also have garb. Children work well in layers of simple tunics with one heavy cloak or pinned blanket for cool weather. Sportswear cotton is heavier than broadcloth and comes in a wide range of colors. It washes well and wears very well. Older children can easily make their own tunics and coifs if they wish.

  3. Teach your Children Please and Thank you: Being courteous and polite is part of what SCA is all about, so make sure your children know the basics.

  4. Do Not Touch Without Asking: Children should learn to ask before they lop off their fingers by grabbing someone's dagger.

  5. You are Responsible for Your Children: The SCA is not a baby sitting service and just because there are other parents on site does not mean they wish to supervise your children. If you find that your children wish to spend time with other children, go introduce yourself to the other parents. You may find yourself making new friends and finding someone you can trust with your children for a bit. When your children are playing in someone else's campsite, be sure they are welcome and check on them frequently. It is rude to expect them to come get you when your child has worn out their welcome.

  6. Do Not Make Your Children Go To Events: If they don't want to be there, they are not going to have fun. It will just irritate those who want to be there. To combat this, encourage children to get involved by learning a skill or helping out. However, you must supervise your children at all times or arrange for supervision.

  7. Page School: Page school is geared towards teaching children age appropriate skills. Parents should find out what activities are planned and if they are appropriate to the age of the child. Many activities require that the parents remain with the child. Page School is not a baby sitting service.

  8. Toys: Children should have their own toys or activities at events. Mundane toys should be confined to campsites and away from the Eric. Wooden or cloth toys can be wonderful additions to period encampments and children can help make them. Do not forget coloring books, crayons or pencils. They are wonderful ways to keep people occupied. Crayons should be stored in resealable and water proof plastic bags in the cooler at hot events. (This saves a great deal of clean-up later.) Toy weapons should be confined to boffer weapons with the appropriate foam padding. Wooden weapons can sometimes be grabbed by enthusiastic children who want to go play boffers with their friends, so it is sometimes better to leave them at home. Most children have not learned to pull a blow.

  9. Teach Children to Curtsy and Bow: Adults and children alike should know how to bow or curtsy. Take your child on a tour of the site and practice curtsying or bowing to passing royalty. Its fun for all.

  10. Children Should Help: Parents often find children feel more included if they have jobs. Something as simple as serving bread at a feast, putting on plays, handing tools to people, or working as a runner for the list table.

  11. Page Food: Parents generally forget that they teach their children what to like when it comes to food. If you expect the child to like it, they will and if you expect them to turn their nose up at it they will. There are many different types of period food which are appropriate and appeal to children such as sausages, fruit, bread and cheese.

  12. Tell Them When They Are Good: Children who are behaving properly should be told. Sometimes we forget as we have to correct them. A simple "Hey, you did a good job" or "Well done!" when they are good is worth far more than the promise of a cookie if they will just behave for an hour. (As a mother of four children, I have rarely seen this method to be effective.)

  13. Children Need Rest: Even older children need to have a break from work or play once in a while. Sometimes we forget they need a quiet place or time to relax and wind down. Set aside a quiet corner of camp for your children. A lot of whining and crying can be eliminated by allowing children some private time.

  14. Ask An Adult: Teach your children to ask or tell an adult if they are hurt, scared, bored or confused.

  15. SCA is Supposed to be Fun: Do not forget the fun part, that is why we are here
This information provided courtesy of the Barony of Vinhold, original author unknown.