For those of you new to the SCA this year, Pennsic is a huge SCA event in western Pennsylvania where approximately 12,000 people, both SCA and some other groups who like to come play with us, get together for a war between the Midrealm and the East. I'll leave it to others to explain how this was started over 30 years ago now, but it's a very funny story. Pennsic lasts two weeks, but the main week is the second week and that's when you could be busy 24/7 and still not get to do everything.
There is a large campground which turns into a city of tents, with districts, just like in many cities. There is the swamp and bog, down by the lake at the south end of camp. That is typified by lots of shade, but also very loud parties each night. It's very good for people who want to be up all night, but not great for people who are family campers and who have busy daytime schedules who want to sleep at night at be active during the day. Then there is the area between the lake and the main shopping area. This area has been claimed by some traditional groups, such as Cognizenti, The Great Dark Horde, and several royal encampments, including the Midrealm royal encampment. It is land that works it's way uphill through area which have some trees. At the top of the hill, it flattens out and you'll find the camp store and hundreds of SCA merchants and food vendors selling almost anything that you'd ever want to find at an SCA shop. We even have our own version of Starbucks which is an almost 24 hour coffee shop where you can while away an evening sipping warm drinks and listening to stories and songs on an almost continual basis. Past these areas, the campground opens out into what used to be large fields, with the western half termed the Serengeti, for it's broad flat treeless expanse, and to the east the battlefield. On past each of these areas are a couple of hills with a bit of camping on them and the archery range, which will be past the easternmost hill this year. On the western hill and all around it to the north is a huge parking area. (No, you can't park at your camp, you offload your stuff and move the car within a couple of hours.)
Most people pre-register to go to Pennsic because it is cheaper and because it allows you to camp with an established group. At Pennsic, land is assigned to groups and single campers who aren't pre-registered get stuck with what is left, often in corners and at the far north end of the campground with no space for a fire. To camp with a group, you need to ask their land agent before pre-registering. We have several established groups in the Barony who have formed Pennsic camps. Most of the information I give here will be for camping with the Baronial encampment, but much also applies to any camp you camp with as far as space and advice. If you have special interests that you think might be better suited to a camp other than the Sternfeld encampment, please talk to me and I'll try to steer you to one of the others. If you want to go to Pennsic and camp with the Baronial encampment for the first time, please see me to get a briefing on the rules (pretty much, don't be rude or stupid or unsafe) and I'll happily give you premission to camp with the Barony. People who have camped with us before, just need to pre-reg and drop me an e-mail to let me know that I should be seeing their names on the pre-reg page to make sure the system didn't go wonky and lose them.
Baroness Moira MacGillavrey
Baronial Land Agent for Pennsic