We headed out to Settmour Swamp last weekend to support youth combat at Ducal Challenge. This was the first time YC was offered at the event, and while we only had a handful of kids, it was a lovely day. They set up the youth lists in a shady corner of the site and the kids had a blast.
Pells are poles used as a target for sword practice. They’ve been used for at least two thousand years, as documented in this article on the ARMA site.
Common pell forms used in SCA adult armored combat practice are generally based on a 4×4 post wrapped in rope, with the base sunk in a 5 gallon bucket of concrete encircled by an old tire, or set into a post bracket attached to a wooden base.
Unfortunately, these pells are hard to transport in a crowded car, and the rough edges of the wood tend to shred the padded weapons used in youth combat.
I constructed a cheap, portable break-down pell appropriate for youth combat using an H-frame base made of PVC pipe. There are a few H-frame pell designs online; this one at ARMA is pretty similar to the one I describe below.
On June 8, we drove up to the Shire of Glen Linn to demonstrate Society youth combat at a medieval-themed Girl Scout Jamboree.
Hundreds of girl scouts came by during the day, first watching a demonstration of adult armored combat, than of youth combat, and finally taking turns doing a bit of sword practice against a target pell.
The kids seemed to enjoy it, especially the pell practice — after the event I found that there were a dozen of our foam-padded weapons that needed repair because the girls had been so wild with them that they had torn the tape or split the foam!
Marshals in the SCA use black-and-yellow staffs when supervising combat activities. The staff allows people to recognize the marshal, and may be used to signal the beginning of the fight, to call attention to the edge of the field, or to keep fighters from crashing into spectators.