This year’s Barleycorn saw four returning Div III fighters take the field alongside four less-experienced Div I fighters, including several first-timers.
It was another great year of youth combat at Pennsic, with even more kids participating than last year. For more than a week straight, nearly every day had three sessions of youth combat in the morning, the afternoon, and the evening.
The Known World Baronial Youth Champions tourney was a particular highlight, with dozens of champions of youth combat representing baronies from numerous kingdoms.
And as always, the week culminated in the massive castle battle with all three age divisions fighting scenarios at the gate, sally port, and tower.
We had a pleasant meet at the recent Blood & Axes event in Northpass. Two returning fighters helped to train five newcomers who put on armor and took to the field for the first time.
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 22–23: Queens Farm Demo (Queens County Farm)
September 30: Cloisters Demo (Whyt Whey – Fort Tryon Park, Inwood)
October 20: Goat’s Tavern (Northpass – Peekskill, NY)
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.