2016 04 20: Weekly Meeting/Event Planning

posted Apr 21, 2016, 2:36 AM by Freydis Egilsdottir   [ updated Jan 8, 2017, 6:43 PM by Mikhail H- ]
The past few meetings being so small, this meeting was held at House Ravenspeak with the Heimdallsons (since it was probable that everyone would fit, and there are a lot of projects to work on for camping season). Again, a very small turnout: Three adults and four kids. Ulrich, Mikhail, and Freydis, being the owner of the site and the two local autocrats for the Stronghold's camping event in August, discussed the upcoming site preparations in detail and have generated a site layout (subject to change upon further information), and a list of what they think is everything that will need to be done to prepare for it. If you think of anything else, or have any questions, please let one of those three know.

Good news: The ground, having dried our enough for driving on, has also dried levelly enough that ploughing will not be required after all and we can go straight to raking!

Also, the neighbour with the spring just off the edge of the field has okayed an accessible location that, while technically still on his property, is on our side of the treeline, which means we won't need to bring the water over several metres from the source, but can just dig straight down and install the hand pump there, which will take a lot less effort and require a lot less pipe.

On Sunday Mikhail and Freydis retrieved their trailer from storage, and on Monday Freydis brought it out to Ulrich's for a load of garbage from the edge of the camping field (previous owners had left something of an unofficial dump). Ulrich has loaded the trailer, so tomorrow morning Freydis and the pick-up will return, and she and Ulrich will take the load to the dump before returning the trailer for another load.

The previous Saturday, a large tree that had fallen onto the field was bucked up for firewood and stumps by Mikhail, Ulrich, and a neighbour, who loaned a trailer for removing usable scrap.

There will be a site prep workday this weekend, on Sunday, at Ulrich's house (barring rain). If you have them, bring rakes; if you don't, come anyways as they have extra. The job for the day will be to rake up the dead grasses and weeds, and to gather loose rocks from the field. This will be an all-day work party. Bring your own lunch.

The List:

- Raking. This is the first job, and will happen this weekend. As said above, the field needs to be raked to remove the dead overgrowth (which is already very flat and should tear out easily). Surface rocks pushed out over the winter will also need to be collected.  

- Fire pit. A pit will need to be constructed, most likely with rocks picked during the raking. If we have enough people for the raking (or not enough rakes to go around) this can happen on the same day.

- The water system needs to be installed. This will be a hand pump, along with a supporting structure to raise it to a convenient height, that is not glaringly modern. Depending on water flow we may also put in a barrel or cistern by it.

- Water barrels. We want to make or acquire two water barrels, buckets, or butts, to supplement the pump water (unless we have so much flow that it is not an issue). Norse buckets are pretty straightforward, so once we have the materials together, they shouldn't be too much of an issue to build.

- Outhouses. We need to build at least two. They will mostly be built of scrounged material, so if anyone has any lumber, timber off-cuts, or toilet seats they want to donate to the cause, again, contact either Ulrich or Freydis and Mikhail (who have a pick-up and can probably get it there for you, with the caveat that their move begins next Thursday and will last at least a week at the very, very best, so it will take them a bit). Building them ought to only take a day if we can get at least three people together for that.

- Fencing (for privacy and security). There is an existing fence but it is extremely broken down, consisting of two wires supported by badly-rotted posts. We want to reinforce this on either side of the field with traditional wattle fencing. Ulrich will cut the willow, but we will need help to weave the actual fence. Learn a traditional skill! Many hands make light work.

- Gravel. The parking area will need to be gravelled. Ulrich is getting a load in and will put small piles of it in the area; we will need bodies and rakes to help spread it out.

- We may need to source tables, for Gate and possibly for merchanting, but it sounds like the local community hall may be a source for them. If you're considering merchanting, though, best to plan for being in an empty field and bring everything (including tables) that you would need.

- We will also, very shortly before the event, need to flag out the various areas of the field (the eric(s), Merchant's Row, mundane and period camping areas, parking, etc). The day before we will also need to put out SCA signs from the highway.

- Garbage removal/site clean-up. It will be the responsibility of each encampment to remove their garbage when they leave, of course. However, inevitably, there will be a certain amount of site clean-up to do after as well; that will happen the week following the event.

- Event post-mortem/summary. Very soon after hosting an event, it is an excellent idea to get together and go over how it went: What worked, what didn't, what should be done or not done next time. This needs to then be documented for next time. This helps to build a body of accessible knowledge so each event and autocrat doesn't have to start over from scratch. "Lessons Learned" are extremely valuable.

In addition, we will need to gather information to hand out to each encampment as they come in (and have at Gate as well): A list of important emergency information (including directions and a map to the hospital, which is only eight minutes away); directions to downtown Berwick from the site (along with an idea of the types of facilities available there., such as groceries, pharmacies, Timmy's, the NSLC... you know, the important stuff).

We also will be contacting Their Excellencies, who are hoping to attend, to find out how much space to reserve for their encampment, and if they want to have court space right beside them or elsewhere.

We will need volunteers for the various site prep jobs, as well as during the event itself. If you have an interest in organizing any of the jobs (if, for example, you want to be the person coordinating when the wattle fence gets built), let Ulrich, Mikhail, or Freydis know. Ulrich will ensure the materials for the job is at hand when you tell him when you want to do it.

Meanwhile, this Sunday, April 24th, come out with your rakes, work gloves, and sun hats (if you have them) along with a lunch (we can probably make a camp fire if you want to bring along hot dogs). I'd also recommend long pants, long sleeves, a T-shirt and sunscreen, and of course runners or work boots or some other appropriate footwear.

It looks like a lot of work, but we have several months in which to do it all, and a lot of the items are pretty straight-forward, especially with a few extra bodies. So come on out as often as you can, and let's show Ruantallan what we've got!