We travelled north to the Shire of Midland Vale for the Tournament of the Daffodils this weekend.
A small group of fighters warmed up with one-on-ones before an extended all-ages grand melee.
Dragonship Haven hosts a wide variety of martial activities at this annual event, including youth combat. We had a mix of experienced fighters and relative newcomers in both Div II and Div III.
The turnout for Mudthaw was a bit lower than last year, but we had eight kids take the field, and the smaller numbers meant it was easier for the marshals to chat with kids about technique and take occasional breaks.
Galen, a new fighter from Østgarđr’s canton of Whyt Whey, was the division II champion, and Alax was recognized for his good spirits and sense of humor.
Winter is finally drawing to a close, and the outdoor fighting season is starting to come into focus.
Here are some upcoming youth combat events on our calendar:
March 24: Mudthaw (Settmour Swamp – Rosaland, NJ) First regional event of the year.
April 21: Balfar’s Challenge (Dragonship Haven – Meriden, CT)
April 28: Tournament of the Daffodils (Midland Vale – Goshen, NY)
April 29: Picnic in the Ruins (Østgarđr – Brooklyn, NY)
May 12: An Dubh–Østgarđr Challenge (An Dubhaigheainn – Middle Island, NY)
May 19: Viking Fest (Brokenbridge – Owl’s Head Park, Brooklyn, NY)
June 2: Farmingdale Demo (Lions End – Farmingdale, NY)
June 29–July 1: East Kingdom 50th (Schaghticoke, NY)
July 7: Blood and Axes (Northpass – Carmel, NY)
August 2–10: Pennsic (Slippery Rock, PA)
September 7–8: The Feast of John Barleycorn (Northpass – North Salem, NY)
September 22: River War (Iron Bog – Mullica Hill, NJ) Youth combat unconfirmed.
September 22–23: Queens Farm Demo (Queens County Farm)
September 30: Cloisters Demo (Whyt Whey – Fort Tryon Park, Inwood)
October 20: Goat’s Tavern (Northpass – Peekskill, NY)
No rodents were harmed in the making of this image.
Thankfully Alex is now almost as into the SCA as we are, so he’s not embarrassed by our garb and antics, although he still thinks my sense of humor is awful.
The Cloisters demo is the name we’ve given to the SCA’s encampment at The Medieval Festival at Fort Tryon Park, New York City’s largest annual medieval event, with over fifty thousand visitors.
For the first time this year, we had a dedicated youth combat list field fenced off, which alternated between bouts of youth armored combat and periods of pell practice open to the younger members of the public.
I quickly lost count, but somewhere well over two hundred kids came through during the course of the day, eager to handle a padded sword and take a few whacks at our target.
We also had five first-time Division I fighters who had made arrangements to join us on the field, get strapped into our loaner armor, and face off against our two more-experienced fighters.
At the annual two-day Queens County Fair, the members of the Crown Province of Østgarđr provided demonstrations of a wide range of medieval activities, from many types of arts and crafts to archery, thrown weapons, fencing and armored combat.
We supported this effort with a display of the weapons and armor used for youth combat, allowing members of the public to strike a practice pell.
A youth fighter also worked with the adult fighters to demonstrate the tools and techniques of armored combat.
The weather was perfect for fighting at Barleycorn, held every fall in Northpass (just north of New York City).
We had a half-dozen youth on the field, ranging from age six to sixteen, and from a first-timer to an experienced veteran.
Thanks to Eikaterine and Lorenz for sharing the marshaling duties.
Last photo by Oliver deBainbrig.