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ca4penn
04-11-2006, 07:50 AM
How are numbers in your group? Ours is "kind" of fine. However, I've been in and out of a few units over the years and a pattern I've been seeing is the graying of the hobby. There seems to be less and less twenty year olds. The +35 crowd seems to help make up the numbers. But you just don't see the less than 30 crowd like you used to.

Another problem are the gun laws. The way things are going I expect large size sales of black powder to be illegal in less than five years. We will get the standard line "prevent crime and stop terrorism". Yep, Civil War reenactors have to do their part in stopping drive by musketings and terrorist led artillery bombardments.

Anders
04-11-2006, 09:04 AM
WE are our biggest enemy, and as to the younger crowd, most of the "campaigner/Progressive" organizations are made up of over 50% of those under 30.

They are still in the hobby, just looking for something more challenging and realistic, that's all.

Pards,

Ephraim_Zook
04-11-2006, 09:09 AM
We've got on our roster six young people in the 16 - 21 year range, and we've seen only two of them, occasionally, for several years now. The rest, contacted by e-mail, claim that they are still interested but haven't the time to participate. So what's the problem?

Here's my take on it: College, summer classes at college, internships, summer jobs. Two of ours are in their high school bands -- with band practice in late summer, then football games almost every fall weekend through Thanksgiving. Many young people barely have time to go to the sinks any more, nevermind spend time at a hobby that may take up 2 or 3 days at a time, including travel to and fro. Then, as they approach their mid to late 20s many start thinking about graduate school.

Maybe the hobby is greying because we greybeards are the only ones who have time to participate. I dunno.

Ron Myzie
Reg. Penna. Dep. Agr.

major
04-11-2006, 09:17 AM
Gun laws will certainly come into play in the upcoming years, unless our politicians take the time to read the “Bill of Rights” and adhere to the text their, we may find ourselves reenacting with wooden muskets.

In New York State there is a bill in the Senate that would outlaw anything 50 caliber and up, and muskets are not exempt from it. This is another example of our law makers coming up with a solution in search of a problem. (when was the last time you heard of someone using a musket or even a modern 50 caliber rifle to commit a crime?)
Terry

31stWisconsin
04-11-2006, 06:07 PM
That's because 50 caliber rifles can shoot down airplanes and cause buses full of nuns to explode! And they are EVILLLLLLLL. (At least that's what the media told me, so It MUST be true.)

Thank god on the federal level black powder, non-cartridge weapons are considered "antiques"

bill watson
04-11-2006, 08:28 PM
Clearly the biggest threat to the hobby is the existence of buttonholes. And, you know, everybody has them, so, we're surely doomed.

I hadn't actually realized the hobby was threatened. It gets ever more expensive, ever more fragmented between those who say the egg must be broken at the large end and those who insist that only the small end will do. It gets more difficult to willingly suspend disbelief as my hair turns white and my knees turn into two sharp pains. I get distracted more easily and it may be that I can actually see the moment coming when there's nothing new left to learn or experience. But whether the hobby is threatened, or it's just following a natural cycle of birth, growth, decline and death, or whether that's all just my perception based on my own journey through life, remains to be seen.

So probably the buttonholes really make as much sense as anything. :-)

JBW
04-11-2006, 10:00 PM
Hmmmm…Buttonholes………….

It seems you have two groups contesting whose vision of the future is the one to follow. Both sides are populated by a variety of personalities, from the thoughtful to the rude. Throw in egos, politics, and those who enjoy inflaming the masses, and you have a recipe for conflict. As either side loudly claims to be “THE” only correct one, the more stubborn the other side becomes. The rational voices in the middle tend to get drowned out by the yelling. Neither side has yet proven itself correct. What can we expect next?

We, as historians, should be learning from the past. It seems to me that we can draw lessons from conflicts such as this. One that comes to mind started with a provocation of reinforcing the garrison at a fort and the subsequent firing upon said fort. These actions resulted in the deaths of 600,000. Will we repeat this? I certainly believe not. We will however need to silence the extreme elements of both groups, so common ground can be found and built upon. This is just my opinion. Take it and a dollar to Starbucks and see what you get. :shock:

I mean no disrespect to anyone, I'm just ranting out loud.

On the other hand, maybe it is just buttonholes……….. :lol:

nyczouave
04-11-2006, 10:17 PM
Bill I think you're right. I think it is the natural progression of any hobby. It grows and then levels off and then it shrinks as those who have carried the ball for a number of years get burned out. I think the lack of a succesful marketing tool in the recent past (i,e, a Succesful Civil War Movie) also has hurt the recruiting numbers.

I am the recruiting chairman for the 5th NY and I have to tell you it's not really the expense that I see turning off new recruits so much as the desire for us to want them to show up at events. Sure, for some young college students even the most minimal out lay (gas and regrstration fees) may be more than they can afford, I know it would have been for me, but I think for many people, talking about being a reenactor is more appealling then actually going out and doing it. They like the idea of buying the gear and talking on the forums, but the reality of showing up some place 6 to 8 times a year to shoulder a rifle and drill all day in the hot sun is less appealing.

I don't have a solution (I wish I did). I hope the wheel will turn as we get closer to the 150th anniversary. Though I am not holding my breath.

As always just my two cents.

nyczouave
04-11-2006, 10:17 PM
So it must be the button holes...

ley74
04-11-2006, 10:19 PM
Bill is correct.

Forward march.

indguard
04-11-2006, 11:29 PM
SCRU U.. I say it's the stinkin' buttons NOT the holes!

--jess kiddin", I jess gots ta be contrary!

WTH

captdougofky
04-12-2006, 12:43 AM
The gun laws are not what we have to worry about its the fuel-gunpowder. if they make it to the point where you can not afford it the hobbie is dead. Need I remind you gas is now 3 dollars a gal. If gunpowder is 20 dallors a pound how many times do I shoot at a reenactment. The cost for me has DOUBLED since 911 with hazmat etc. I feild a cannon that shoot 1 pound shots, Ladies and Gentlemen do the math. They will not take the guns only the fuel it cost to drive them.

Always Doug
Capt Lyons Battery CS
Kentucky

captdougofky
04-12-2006, 01:00 AM
I think the biggest threat is by a few individuals that either be hardcore or just want to be in charge of something. Somehow they seem to have put themself in a position where they can tell the rest of us what to do. I think based on my ten plus years reenacting that there is enough room on the battlefeild for everyone no matter what you would like others to look like. This is a hobbie and not everyone will veiw it in the same light. Everyone needs to look this as public service not a personal crusade. Nobodys right or wrong in this hobby but unless we learn how to get along those less informed will suffer.

Always Doug
Capt Lyons Battery
1st. Ky Vols. CS

7thMDYankee
04-12-2006, 07:26 AM
Joel,

Thank you. Heck, I'll spot you at Starbucks and buy you lunch... Enough people start thinking like you and this hobby will look like it did 20 years ago, i.e., everyone moving forward.

ca4penn
04-12-2006, 10:18 AM
$3 per gallon gas and a nuclear Iran will do more to crush attendance at large events than any one law or a recruiting shortfall. One energy analyst predicts that fuel could hit $4 per gallon by the middle of summer of '06.

I have to drive from Michigan for a large event in the east. Virginia or Tennessee are no less than 600 miles from my home. That is 20 gallons one way in my van, a $60 charge. That is $120 to attend an event just in fuel. That does not count event fees, meals, nor other costs.

Then there is unemployment. In Michigan the Delphi plants of GM just closed doors in Saginaw, Flint, and Detroit. Saginaw lost over 5,000 jobs. When a person loses their job you will see the toys appear for sale fast. Reenacting is a hobby. Hobbies don't last too long when the mortgage is due.

P.S. I did drag my 17 year old kid to an event. He had as much fun as a Vietnam era draftee in the army. He likes the military and is a member of the Army National Guard. He just does not like reenacting. His quote was "some of the officers don't know what they are doing".

flattop32355
04-12-2006, 08:03 PM
He just does not like reenacting. His quote was "some of the officers don't know what they are doing".

And he thinks this is limited to CW reenacting? That's been true of every military/semi-military/historical recreation of the military that has ever occurred.

In other words.....it's authentic!

Curt-Heinrich Schmidt
04-13-2006, 12:06 PM
Hallo!

And he thinks this is limited to CW reenacting? That's been true of every military/semi-military/historical recreation of the military that has ever occurred.

That has been true of every military as well that has ever been and will be.

HA! How long has the lad "been in?"

:-) :-) :-)

Curt-Heinrich Schmidt

ca4penn
04-13-2006, 12:22 PM
The "lad", my son, was on his third reenactment. He is a member of the Army Guard. Some of his officers and NCOs may not be great in the Guard. However, many Guard NCOs and officers have seen a deployment and deployments tend to get rid of the bad leaders. Next, he is paid for his Guard weekend; we pay to run around with a musket.

I think he was just badly saying that he didn't care for CW reenacting. He likes the Guard. He likes paint ball.

ley74
04-14-2006, 10:34 PM
Capt Doug:

You seem to be of two opinions. Not sure what you are trying to communicate with the "hardcore" comment (2nd of 2). My little group took **** for years from our mainstream unit, as we were just trying to coexist.

This crap cuts both ways. How's membership these days?

bob 125th nysvi
04-14-2006, 10:36 PM
Actually as has been pointed out WE are the biggest threat to the hobby.

We (generic) as a nation don't vote so politicians pretty much just cater to those who do. In NY it happens to be liberals and big government protect us from everything (also known as your to stupid to think for yourself so I have to protect you) types.

The COST of joining the hobby is very high especially for a guy just starting out. I don't know about you but when I was first out of college and starting a career, marriage and buying a home I didn't have two spare nickles to rub together never mind a couple of Gs to throw away.

Then we have those who are constantly lecturing people on not being authentic enough and you need top shelf equipment (read MORE money) and oh by the way you aren't doing this right and this right and that right. They are a small but very VOCAL minority and if you're new to the hobby they can be very intimidaign especially on the internet where people go for info. Who wants to join an activity where everyone is going to tell you you are stupid and wrong.

Finally we are fighting the tide of popular misconception and misinformation that does nothing to make it appealing for people to join the hobby.

Maybe there should be a thread on what we can do to ENHANCE the hobby instead of sitting around the fire complaining.

I also agree with Bill, buttonholes, especially those on the fly, are killing us.

Bob Sandusky
Co C 125th NYSVI
Esperance, NY

Bill_Cross
04-15-2006, 01:29 PM
Actually as has been pointed out WE are the biggest threat to the hobby.
A good start. Too bad you don't continue in this vein.

We (generic) as a nation don't vote so politicians pretty much just cater to those who do. In NY it happens to be liberals and big government protect us from everything (also known as your to stupid to think for yourself so I have to protect you) types.
Yes, several young men have declined to join the Rowdy Pards because Liberals and big govmint are repressing them. Of course, we weren't going to ask them to join anyway, since we have several Liberals in the group, and big govmint is paying the tab for some of our members, especially those who are serving in the Armed Forces.

The COST of joining the hobby is very high especially for a guy just starting out. I don't know about you but when I was first out of college and starting a career, marriage and buying a home I didn't have two spare nickles to rub together never mind a couple of Gs to throw away.
Funny, but those same individuals seem to have enough money for big-ass trucks, movies, girlfriends and gas at $3+ per gallon. If you like something, you find the money for it.

Then we have those who are constantly lecturing people on not being authentic enough and you need top shelf equipment (read MORE money) and oh by the way you aren't doing this right and this right and that right. They are a small but very VOCAL minority and if you're new to the hobby they can be very intimidaign especially on the internet where people go for info. Who wants to join an activity where everyone is going to tell you you are stupid and wrong.
Again, that's funny, because the complainers who moan about the evil hardcores are often in more-prominent places like this forum, while the evil hardcores are "sulking" off on THAT OTHER FORUM. And God forbid that anyone should try to improve standards, because that's going to piss off all those people who aren't joining the hobby anyway. :roll:

Finally we are fighting the tide of popular misconception and misinformation that does nothing to make it appealing for people to join the hobby.
What misinformation? That the South lost the war? You'd think it was the other way 'round with the mis-matched events where graybacks outnumber bluebellies 3-1. That slavery wasn't the root cause of the war? Yes, that's keeping many out of the hobby, though apparently not enough given all the people who deny that the "peculiar institution" was the reason most firebreathers cited for leaving the Union.

Maybe the hobby is not attracting new members because interest in the Civil War has waned? Gasp, what a thought! The last CW movie was a turkey and few watched it (imagine what sales would've been if thousands of y'all hadn't been in it or looking to see your friends in it?).

Maybe the young fellers who come to an event don't see the up-side in coming back to that same event staged somewhere else a few months later? After all, what makes Cedar Creek or Manassas or Gettysburg or most recurring events different? Seen one, you seen 'em all. Even campainger events like McDowell have to re-invent themselves to continue attracting folks. After three in a row (all in blue), I'm probably done for the next McDowell, unless the RPs go in gray.

Maybe there should be a thread on what we can do to ENHANCE the hobby instead of sitting around the fire complaining.
I'm all ears. But if I suggest that we have more-realistic events, many of y'all will decry how your members won't want to come (though the growth of McDowell, for example, proves the members vote with their feet, or those who are first-timers at campaigner events in the West). If I suggest that we march some historical route, that will mean the many, many overweight members of your units are sure to stay away. It makes my heart hurt to see some of the fellers sweating in the heat with 50-100 pounds extra on their frames, but I digress. If I suggest we relax the already almost non-existent standards are most events, then many of the young fellers will not come back, since all but the most-obtuse know Indians in breech cloths and "ice angels" were not present on the battlefield. But as one of y'all already insisted "there should be room for everybody." Well, maybe the younger, more idealistic ones find that field too crowded.

I been at it a few years now, not as long as many, but enough to see that the only way to bring them out is to offer something they're going to enjoy. If its "beer, battle and ball," then you better offer a good one. If it's more authenticity, then you better find a way to get beyond the usual ration issue, march and guard duty. Sadly, few will come out and tell someone "I think your unit sucks," they just don't re-up.

Both "wings" of this hobby could do a better job. No one faction is to blame, and blaming "the other guy" ain't going to cure the ham.

captdougofky
04-16-2006, 01:34 AM
Capt Doug

After a few years and a couple of dollars, I may be of one or more thoughts concerning this conflict. Don't try to tell me for what I have seen, no reenactor pays more for the honor to be one than Artillery.
North or South not to leave anyone out. You alllllllllllll talk about what you'd like to see, Artillery talks about what they done.

Always Douglas E. Thomas
Capt Lyons Battery
1st. Ky. Vols. C.S.

ley74
04-16-2006, 09:41 PM
So, which is the BIGGEST threat to the hobby of your two opinions or, would you like a third chance to blame someone else?

As I stated above, I agree with my fifth cousin, twice removed. We are the problem.

If spending $40 grand on a piece of equipment bought wonderment and joy, you would surely own a bright corner of the world. Problem is, the 5 1/2 inches between our ears does not appear to help solve anything.

Kevin O'Beirne has a wonderful atricle in the lastest installment of Civil War Historian. More folks should read it.

dedogtent
04-16-2006, 10:22 PM
Kevin O'Beirne has a wonderful atricle in the lastest installment of Civil War Historian. More folks should read it.[/quote]

Ley, I agree with you 100% on Kevin's article: 'A guide to Leadership in Reenacting'...Part 3: 'Leadership off the Field'. I feel this is a 'Must Read' for everyone in the hobby as the article is very well laid out and written. I am taking the magazine to 'Boys of 61' this weekend and in some downtime, I am going to insist it is read by a few people...

bob 125th nysvi
04-16-2006, 10:42 PM
Qoute - Yes, several young men have declined to join the Rowdy Pards because Liberals and big govmint are repressing them. Of course, we weren't going to ask them to join anyway, since we have several Liberals in the group, and big govmint is paying the tab for some of our members, especially those who are serving in the Armed Forces.

Unfortunately you read what you wanted instead of what I was referring to. For example the qoute about NY government was a direct reference to Terry talking about NYS debating outlawing weapons above 50caliber and not making allowances for balck powder weapons. Whether or not big givernement is paying for your members or not is not my concern but a restrictive governmental environment that draws exhorbinant taxes out of the taxpayers is a problem. As to members of the armed forces they have served (always Thank whoever) whether we have had big governments or not. defense is probably the ONE legitimate function of all governments.

Quote - Funny, but those same individuals seem to have enough money for big-ass trucks, movies, girlfriends and gas at $3+ per gallon. If you like something, you find the money for it.

BA trucks can be leased or financed, I don't remember ever seeing a personnel loan at a reasonable rate and quite honestly most of my girlfriends were more interesting than the civil war. And $3 a gallon gas, in NY $0.66 is taxes.

Quote - Again, that's funny, because the complainers who moan about the evil hardcores are often in more-prominent places like this forum, while the evil hardcores are "sulking" off on THAT OTHER FORUM. And God forbid that anyone should try to improve standards, because that's going to piss off all those people who aren't joining the hobby anyway. :roll:

Actually if you are researching the internet you can discover the "evil" other forum where the "progressives" hang out. And if you objectively read messages on that board you will see a certain condesending tone by a number of people. No one wants to be talked down to and effective progressives don't talk down to people. The majority I've met are not effective communicators and they talk down to people. No wants to join a hobby that is NO FUN.

Qoute - What misinformation? That the South lost the war? You'd think it was the other way 'round with the mis-matched events where graybacks outnumber bluebellies 3-1. That slavery wasn't the root cause of the war? Yes, that's keeping many out of the hobby, though apparently not enough given all the people who deny that the "peculiar institution" was the reason most firebreathers cited for leaving the Union.

The civil war (and all wars) in general are misunderstood by the vast majority of people. By the Smithsonians own estimates 75% of teenagers don't even know that the consitution is the basis of American law. People get their history by reading the news, watching marginal TV and 'social studies' programs that try to cover history in far to prefunctory manner for most people to grasp the concepts. So why should someone want to 'play soldier' when they neither understand WHY history is importanat and WHY the civil war is extrememly important in American history.

Quote - Maybe the hobby is not attracting new members because interest in the Civil War has waned? Gasp, what a thought! The last CW movie was a turkey and few watched it (imagine what sales would've been if thousands of y'all hadn't been in it or looking to see your friends in it?).

A movie is a poor substitute for reading but I did watch 4 classes of 7th graders sit in absolute rapt silence through Gettysburg and then I saw a bunch of smart teachers follow that up with a week of excellent presentations. A bad movie followed up by a good cirriculum is a whole lot better than you sitting around the fire complaining about what a bad movie it was.

Qoute - Maybe the young fellers who come to an event don't see the up-side in coming back to that same event staged somewhere else a few months later? After all, what makes Cedar Creek or Manassas or Gettysburg or most recurring events different? Seen one, you seen 'em all. Even campainger events like McDowell have to re-invent themselves to continue attracting folks. After three in a row (all in blue), I'm probably done for the next McDowell, unless the RPs go in gray.

So it isn't 'authentic enough' for you and your taking your ball and going home to complain. Let me ask a question, what was the wheel arrangement of the steam engine you arrived behind for your last reenactment? I'm sure the vast majority of the CW soldiers arrived on the battlefield in an airconditioned SUV like many do. If you want people in the hobby you welcome ALL comers and then try to convince them of why your tent is better than the what the other guys are doing. Or ACCEPT that they don't see it your way and welcome them any way so you have someone to play with. Of course you can always go off in the woods by yourself but you should remember that the vast amount of revenue which keeps this hobby going is generated by the "farby mainstreamers".

Qoute - I'm all ears. But if I suggest that we have more-realistic events, many of y'all will decry how your members won't want to come (though the growth of McDowell, for example, proves the members vote with their feet, or those who are first-timers at campaigner events in the West). If I suggest that we march some historical route, that will mean the many, many overweight members of your units are sure to stay away. It makes my heart hurt to see some of the fellers sweating in the heat with 50-100 pounds extra on their frames, but I digress. If I suggest we relax the already almost non-existent standards are most events, then many of the young fellers will not come back, since all but the most-obtuse know Indians in breech cloths and "ice angels" were not present on the battlefield. But as one of y'all already insisted "there should be room for everybody." Well, maybe the younger, more idealistic ones find that field too crowded.

How about a little serious mentoring to new guys, and I don't mean 'you need to buy your gear here" nonsense. I mean this is what it means to be a CW soldier here is what we expect of you. Not for you well what are you looking for? Ok here's a unit a little closer to what you are looking for. No you aren't for us go away (and I refer you back to one of your opening paragraphs). Few people are going to dive into anything hardcore, first they need to see what they like or don't like. Make the initial experience an easy pleasent one. Have a 'debriefing' afterwards in which you talk to the new recruit about what they liked and didn't like. Comment favorably on what they did right. Provide POSITIVE critique on what they did wrong. the best sargent I ever had (in the REAL military) never told you what you were doing wrong. He'd tell you why he did something a certain way, how it made everything easier on you. he gave you a way to buy into the Army way of doing things. Since he survived Nam unscathed, I lsitened.

Qoute - I been at it a few years now, not as long as many, but enough to see that the only way to bring them out is to offer something they're going to enjoy. If its "beer, battle and ball," then you better offer a good one. If it's more authenticity, then you better find a way to get beyond the usual ration issue, march and guard duty. Sadly, few will come out and tell someone "I think your unit sucks," they just don't re-up.

How will a new guy know if he's at a 'good' event or not? He just started. If your going to an event give him positive reason for going to the event. If he's going to an event you don't like, don't discourage him, encourage him to go but to be prepared to evaluate what he did and didn't like about the event so you can talk about it afterwards.

No neither wing is to blame but there is an awful loy of talking down to people because of the way they do (or don't) do things. New people need to be encouraged to experiment or try things and to try different things. You need to explain to them why this is a fun hobby (there is nothing more bewildering to someone looking for information of how/why to join the hobby than someone doing a first person impression they refuse to get out of). They need to be re-educated about some of the come misconceptings of the civil war and they need to encouraged by your enthusiasm.

Bob Sandusky
Co C 125th NYSVI
Esperance, NY

ley74
04-17-2006, 11:04 PM
Qoute - Yes, several young men have declined to join the Rowdy Pards because Liberals and big govmint are repressing them. Of course, we weren't going to ask them to join anyway, since we have several Liberals in the group, and big govmint is paying the tab for some of our members, especially those who are serving in the Armed Forces.

Unfortunately you read what you wanted instead of what I was referring to. For example the qoute about NY government was a direct reference to Terry talking about NYS debating outlawing weapons above 50caliber and not making allowances for balck powder weapons. Whether or not big givernement is paying for your members or not is not my concern but a restrictive governmental environment that draws exhorbinant taxes out of the taxpayers is a problem. As to members of the armed forces they have served (always Thank whoever) whether we have had big governments or not. defense is probably the ONE legitimate function of all governments.

Quote - Funny, but those same individuals seem to have enough money for big-ass trucks, movies, girlfriends and gas at $3+ per gallon. If you like something, you find the money for it.

BA trucks can be leased or financed, I don't remember ever seeing a personnel loan at a reasonable rate and quite honestly most of my girlfriends were more interesting than the civil war. And $3 a gallon gas, in NY $0.66 is taxes.

Quote - Again, that's funny, because the complainers who moan about the evil hardcores are often in more-prominent places like this forum, while the evil hardcores are "sulking" off on THAT OTHER FORUM. And God forbid that anyone should try to improve standards, because that's going to piss off all those people who aren't joining the hobby anyway. :roll:

Actually if you are researching the internet you can discover the "evil" other forum where the "progressives" hang out. And if you objectively read messages on that board you will see a certain condesending tone by a number of people. No one wants to be talked down to and effective progressives don't talk down to people. The majority I've met are not effective communicators and they talk down to people. No wants to join a hobby that is NO FUN.

Qoute - What misinformation? That the South lost the war? You'd think it was the other way 'round with the mis-matched events where graybacks outnumber bluebellies 3-1. That slavery wasn't the root cause of the war? Yes, that's keeping many out of the hobby, though apparently not enough given all the people who deny that the "peculiar institution" was the reason most firebreathers cited for leaving the Union.

The civil war (and all wars) in general are misunderstood by the vast majority of people. By the Smithsonians own estimates 75% of teenagers don't even know that the consitution is the basis of American law. People get their history by reading the news, watching marginal TV and 'social studies' programs that try to cover history in far to prefunctory manner for most people to grasp the concepts. So why should someone want to 'play soldier' when they neither understand WHY history is importanat and WHY the civil war is extrememly important in American history.

Quote - Maybe the hobby is not attracting new members because interest in the Civil War has waned? Gasp, what a thought! The last CW movie was a turkey and few watched it (imagine what sales would've been if thousands of y'all hadn't been in it or looking to see your friends in it?).

A movie is a poor substitute for reading but I did watch 4 classes of 7th graders sit in absolute rapt silence through Gettysburg and then I saw a bunch of smart teachers follow that up with a week of excellent presentations. A bad movie followed up by a good cirriculum is a whole lot better than you sitting around the fire complaining about what a bad movie it was.

Qoute - Maybe the young fellers who come to an event don't see the up-side in coming back to that same event staged somewhere else a few months later? After all, what makes Cedar Creek or Manassas or Gettysburg or most recurring events different? Seen one, you seen 'em all. Even campainger events like McDowell have to re-invent themselves to continue attracting folks. After three in a row (all in blue), I'm probably done for the next McDowell, unless the RPs go in gray.

So it isn't 'authentic enough' for you and your taking your ball and going home to complain. Let me ask a question, what was the wheel arrangement of the steam engine you arrived behind for your last reenactment? I'm sure the vast majority of the CW soldiers arrived on the battlefield in an airconditioned SUV like many do. If you want people in the hobby you welcome ALL comers and then try to convince them of why your tent is better than the what the other guys are doing. Or ACCEPT that they don't see it your way and welcome them any way so you have someone to play with. Of course you can always go off in the woods by yourself but you should remember that the vast amount of revenue which keeps this hobby going is generated by the "farby mainstreamers".

Qoute - I'm all ears. But if I suggest that we have more-realistic events, many of y'all will decry how your members won't want to come (though the growth of McDowell, for example, proves the members vote with their feet, or those who are first-timers at campaigner events in the West). If I suggest that we march some historical route, that will mean the many, many overweight members of your units are sure to stay away. It makes my heart hurt to see some of the fellers sweating in the heat with 50-100 pounds extra on their frames, but I digress. If I suggest we relax the already almost non-existent standards are most events, then many of the young fellers will not come back, since all but the most-obtuse know Indians in breech cloths and "ice angels" were not present on the battlefield. But as one of y'all already insisted "there should be room for everybody." Well, maybe the younger, more idealistic ones find that field too crowded.

How about a little serious mentoring to new guys, and I don't mean 'you need to buy your gear here" nonsense. I mean this is what it means to be a CW soldier here is what we expect of you. Not for you well what are you looking for? Ok here's a unit a little closer to what you are looking for. No you aren't for us go away (and I refer you back to one of your opening paragraphs). Few people are going to dive into anything hardcore, first they need to see what they like or don't like. Make the initial experience an easy pleasent one. Have a 'debriefing' afterwards in which you talk to the new recruit about what they liked and didn't like. Comment favorably on what they did right. Provide POSITIVE critique on what they did wrong. the best sargent I ever had (in the REAL military) never told you what you were doing wrong. He'd tell you why he did something a certain way, how it made everything easier on you. he gave you a way to buy into the Army way of doing things. Since he survived Nam unscathed, I lsitened.

Qoute - I been at it a few years now, not as long as many, but enough to see that the only way to bring them out is to offer something they're going to enjoy. If its "beer, battle and ball," then you better offer a good one. If it's more authenticity, then you better find a way to get beyond the usual ration issue, march and guard duty. Sadly, few will come out and tell someone "I think your unit sucks," they just don't re-up.

How will a new guy know if he's at a 'good' event or not? He just started. If your going to an event give him positive reason for going to the event. If he's going to an event you don't like, don't discourage him, encourage him to go but to be prepared to evaluate what he did and didn't like about the event so you can talk about it afterwards.

No neither wing is to blame but there is an awful loy of talking down to people because of the way they do (or don't) do things. New people need to be encouraged to experiment or try things and to try different things. You need to explain to them why this is a fun hobby (there is nothing more bewildering to someone looking for information of how/why to join the hobby than someone doing a first person impression they refuse to get out of). They need to be re-educated about some of the come misconceptings of the civil war and they need to encouraged by your enthusiasm.

Bob Sandusky
Co C 125th NYSVI
Esperance, NY

My adult attention deficit disorder kicked in half way through. As Tiger Woods would ask "Could you repeat the question?"

MDRebCAv
04-18-2006, 08:16 AM
21 of our current membership of 50 are in the 16-25 year range. Just got three new applications from fathers wanting to join along with their sons...so we are close to 50% at this time.

Bill_Cross
04-21-2006, 02:52 PM
[quote=bob 125th nysvi]Unfortunately you read what you wanted instead of what I was referring to.
Funny, it's my fault you can't make yourself understood. I guess it must be like that big govmint that's oppressing us all so grievously.

And $3 a gallon gas, in NY $0.66 is taxes.
When the roads need to get paved so you can drive your truck, who pays for that?

Actually if you are researching the internet you can discover the "evil" other forum where the "progressives" hang out. And if you objectively read messages on that board you will see a certain condesending tone by a number of people.
No!! Don't tell me they're being condescending on the AC Forum?? Next you'll be telling me they're using irony and sarcasm!! Not like this forum, where everyone is serious, polite and always positive (sarcasm alert!!!). Perish the thought that someone might get talked down to (sorry for the dangling preposition, I'm just too broken up to talk straight), or worse, get sarcasmed or ironied. What's the world coming to?

Sheesh, some of y'all have awfully thin skins. Did some evil hardcore talk down to you? Well, that's probably a good defense for murder, or at least for slapping your wife around ("I was talked down to on the Internet, your honor").

No wants to join a hobby that is NO FUN.
This is one of the few things you've said that I can agree with whole-heartedly. Some in the CPH wing have taken the fun factor out of the experience, but when you're trying to "stretch the envelope," that's going to happen. And sometimes the people who are busting their asses to put on good events are less-than-mild-mannered. John Cleaveland and I don't exchange Christmas cards, but he has put on some damned fine events I've attended, and I'd probably do my best to attend another one if he were in charge.

So why should someone want to 'play soldier' when they neither understand WHY history is importanat and WHY the civil war is extrememly important in American history.
Uh, because the CW remains interesting DESPITE the flaws of education? Besides, playing soldier is fun. You don't need to understand history (certainly the level of mis-information among members of this hobby would prove that).

A bad movie followed up by a good cirriculum is a whole lot better than you sitting around the fire complaining about what a bad movie it was.
The events I attend do not allow modern talk. So I'm not your perp.

So it isn't 'authentic enough' for you and your taking your ball and going home to complain. Let me ask a question, what was the wheel arrangement of the steam engine you arrived behind for your last reenactment? I'm sure the vast majority of the CW soldiers arrived on the battlefield in an airconditioned SUV like many do. If you want people in the hobby you welcome ALL comers and then try to convince them of why your tent is better than the what the other guys are doing. Or ACCEPT that they don't see it your way and welcome them any way so you have someone to play with. Of course you can always go off in the woods by yourself but you should remember that the vast amount of revenue which keeps this hobby going is generated by the "farby mainstreamers".
I don't complain, I usually try to work on events that offer more history than camping out old timey style. I arrive in a van, but what does that have to do with reenacting? By your logic, we might as well sleep in hotels and motels, wear modern clothes and simply talk about the war with spectators?

Anyone who's interested in joining the Rowdy Pards is welcome. We take new members all the time, mostly fellers from mainstream units who are looking for something more authentic. We never ask them to give up their mainstream unit(s); simply encourage them to improve their kit as their circumstances allow. Some of our "hardcore" members are exceptionally generous loaning out gear. And we're quite patient with how long it takes to improve a basic kit. Fact is, most of our new members are eager to improve their kit, and do it faster than we suggest.

We accept ALL comers WITH the proviso that they are ready to improve their impression. If this makes us elistists, then so be it (there are those in the CPH community who insist we're just a bunch of farbs for going to that "mainstream" event in McDowell). You are free to draw your own conclusions. But the fact that we've put on or been a part of some of the better alternative events over the past few years will say more than I can.

How about a little serious mentoring to new guys, and I don't mean 'you need to buy your gear here" nonsense. I mean this is what it means to be a CW soldier here is what we expect of you.
As I said, we take fellers from the mainstream on a regular basis. It's not about the gear, it's about the attitude and the desire to experience what the CW soldier did (not a cot in a big-assed tent with a cooler hidden under some straw).

Few people are going to dive into anything hardcore, first they need to see what they like or don't like. Make the initial experience an easy pleasent one. Have a 'debriefing' afterwards in which you talk to the new recruit about what they liked and didn't like. Comment favorably on what they did right.
I suspect you've never been any closer to a "hardcore" event than in your dreams. I'm smiling at the thought of us big, bad hardcores ripping the emotions of poor newbies. Truth? People who come to "our" events go back home energized, and usually return. Truth? We don't have time to rip people about their impressions at events, we're doing the things solders of the CW did (guard mount, ration issue, digging fire holes, finding wood, getting water). We DO provide guidance, guidelines and loaner gear AHEAD OF TIME. Usually months ahead, so you can upgrade your hat, lighten the unnecessary contents of your knapsack, get some correct rounds-- not 150 grains of powder wrapped in pieces of shipping paper like I've seen at some mainstream events). We identify the drill you'll need ahead of time, and yes, even the bugle calls. It was quite inspiring at the last McDowell to hear several buglers echoing the correct calls, then seeing the units move correctly according to those calls.

How will a new guy know if he's at a 'good' event or not?
Oh, I think you sell the newbies short. Here are the seven danger signs you're at the wrong event:

1.) Women in camp;
2.) Children in camp;
3.) Field music playing loudly as you recreate an early AM charge;
4.) Officers & staff showing up Saturday AM and taking several hours to "figure out what they're doing" (CPH events have staff meetings Friday night and guard mount out by dusk);
5.) No guidelines or none enforced (scariest moment in the hobby for me was the 13 year-old Reb drummer boy with the pistol pointed straight at my gut);
6.) A tents for rank & file (unless an early war event and then only with 4-6 per tent);
7.) Coming home with a sense of "why the $%#@ did I drive all that way?"


If he's going to an event you don't like, don't discourage him, encourage him to go but to be prepared to evaluate what he did and didn't like about the event so you can talk about it afterwards.
Again, it's apparent you've never been to any alternative events. First of all, we're all usually too tired by the end to do anything but enjoy the chance to rest and reflect on what happened. Even flawed events like "Into the Wilderness/Recon 3" were occasions of reflection and satisfaction when the rank & file said "great event." The only criticism meted out to those who served in my unit was to an officer who bugged out Saturday night without telling any senior officers he was leaving (this after he got lost Saturday after ignoring orders).
The myth of the "evil hardcore" is one of those bugaboos that those with a vested interest in preventing change use to frighten their fellows into steering clear of alternative events. The truth is that we welcome anyone who brings the right attitude and a willingness to improve. This is because most so-called "hardcores" are aware of the need to improve their own impression. None of us has a perfect kit, and we're all learning more about the way it was done back then; in many cases, "everyone" knew it back then, so no one thought it necessary to write down what some of the commands really meant.

No neither wing is to blame but there is an awful loy of talking down to people because of the way they do (or don't) do things. New people need to be encouraged to experiment or try things and to try different things. You need to explain to them why this is a fun hobby (there is nothing more bewildering to someone looking for information of how/why to join the hobby than someone doing a first person impression they refuse to get out of). They need to be re-educated about some of the come misconceptings of the civil war and they need to encouraged by your enthusiasm.
Funny, but most of the negativity seems to come on this forum, usually straw men labeled "evil hardcores." It's a fun hobby to different people for different reasons. If you like to sit around the campfire with your friends and get shit-faced drunk, then you and I aren't going to enjoy the same events. If you like sleeping on the ground in the cold, eating whatever rations are issued, and standing a few hours of guard duty, then we're going to be pards.

As to first person, oh come on!! That's such a crock and you know it. The taters get into it, but that's another tool to frighten your members away from the "dark side" ("they'll make you play act and pretend you're someone else"). Truth? Our one restriction is: no modern talk during the event. If you need to talk software downloads, who has the kewlest jean cloth, or why you hate Bill Cross or Kevin O'Beirne, save it for after the event. Yes, some of us assume historical characters. At the last two McDowells, I portrayed Capt. John Rieg, but that's because I was leading a "Dutch" company of Germans. Sorta makes sense, don't it?

If you want to find fault with campaigner events, I suggest you attend one or two. Bad-mouthing campaigners who camp off in the woods by themselves shows me you've never attended an alternative event, you're just drawing conclusions from a handful of folks who want to "do their own thing." That's not campaigning, that's just being a free spirit.

I've seen both wings of the hobby. If "beer, battle and ball" make sense for you, then that's fine. It's just not what I'm looking for after driving 5-10 hours each way. My 17 year-old son's even worse: he wants total immersion all the time. So "let the Indian come" is my motto, I just won't be there to see him.

TheQM
04-21-2006, 04:47 PM
To echo what Bill Cross said. I am a member of the Rowdy Pards. I am also a member of the First Battalion, ANV. I attend a range of events during the course of a season, and get different things from the events I attend.

I have been attending the more authentic events for five or six years. Not once has anyone ever said anything negative about my impression. It's all pretty simple. Go to the event's web site and read up on the requirements for the event and make a good faith effort to meet those requirements. If you have any questions, just ask; but remember, people aren't going to change their event to suit you. If you aren't willing, or able, to play by the rules, stay home.

To me, the biggest threats to the Hobby are insurance and liability issues, along with the difficulities in finding suitable land to hold reenactments. There's a reason the Manassas Reenactment is being held on the Cedar Creek Battlefield this year.

bill watson
04-21-2006, 09:34 PM
"I'm sure the vast majority of the CW soldiers arrived on the battlefield in an airconditioned SUV like many do"

Well, if you want to have an event where we have to get there in period fashion, I'm your huckleberry. I happen to know where I can get my hands on an operating steam locomotive and, while there are undoubtedly some entanglements with Conrail and Amtrak, I'm sure those museum folks would be good sports when they get to work and find out someone borrowed their 2-4-0 for a run down to Virginia. Besides, state police cruisers don't operate on train tracks, so I'm good to go.

But the thing is: How we get there doesn't really matter. It's what happens after the gong sounds marking "the start of the event." This is a key concept, "the start of the event." Otherwise, none of us who try to be authentic could reenact, because none of us -- I'm going out on a limb here -- lives the way our great grandparents lived. Much as we might like to sometimes. And so we'd all be disqualified. Some of us have twigged to the idea that if we all agree to be as authentic as we can be after "the start of the event," go full tilt for 30 hours or so, and then sound another bell, or even a bugle, marking the end, why, we can make this work without being hypocrites, without being living, breathing oxymorons, without our heads exploding from thinking about the physical and metaphysical contradictions of existence in two times at once.

I thought it might be time we shared this with everyone, so folks can see how we worked it out to our mutual satisfaction. It's apparently a big mystery, because this idea that there's no sense being concerned with history since we all drive to reenactments keeps coming up.

Now everyone knows how we've solved the problem, and we can move on to other things.

Bill_Cross
04-21-2006, 11:10 PM
To me, the biggest threats to the Hobby are insurance and liability issues, along with the difficulities in finding suitable land to hold reenactments.
There's a reason this man has lasted in positions of responsability as long as he has: common sense.

In reverse order: I had a dandy event cooked up to commemorate the colored troops units fighting in VA. The idea was to have the gray participants hold the land Friday night, then yield to the USCT troops on Saturday (who would have marched up to the site from another location), marching off to another parcel of land. Had several USCT groups excited, had the land, had the state official in charge all psyched up. Then his boss nixed it. Wants to wait until they dedicate the monument.

The problem is: they haven't even given out the bid on the monument. My son's kids will be in college before that event happens.

Then there's insurance. Make sure you don't have cavalry at your event, unless you're on someone else's policy. The cavalry don't have insurance. And most policies specifically exclude horses. Go figure that one out.

ca4penn
04-23-2006, 02:59 PM
It's at $3 per gallon. Futures are at $75 per barrel and there is talk of $4 to $5 per gallon at the end of May. That means a trip in my 35 mpg car will cost no less than $140 per event and that's just for gas! If I do just four reenactments in 2006 it will cost me $560. When you toss in fees, food, and other stuff the price could be $800 or higher.

My economic woes are nothing like artillery or mounted units that have to come in with their 15 mpg monster trucks pulling a trailer. Even those wealthy doctors from western states can't stand getting hammered for $320 per event just for fuel.

I've heard some stories of people selling their gear to raise some spare money. It may not happen to me. However, I'm worried.

Ironic. The civil war helped expand the oil industry (the whale ships were captured or sunk by the Confederacy). Now reenacting could be very hurt by the lack of cheap oil. Who would have "thunk"?

Reenacting in 2006 is going to bite.

zouavecampaigner
04-23-2006, 06:06 PM
It seems you have two groups contesting whose vision of the future is the one to follow. Both sides are populated by a variety of personalities, from the thoughtful to the rude. Throw in egos, politics, and those who enjoy inflaming the masses, and you have a recipe for conflict. As either side loudly claims to be “THE” only correct one, the more stubborn the other side becomes. The rational voices in the middle tend to get drowned out by the yelling. Neither side has yet proven itself correct. What can we expect next?


Joel,

its kinda interesting how you put it. It made you think of the Civil War, but the first thing that came to my mind is the varied religious wars the world has seen since time immortal, i.e. the "Crusades".

- Two Sides who both say THEY are correct
- To the outsider, they are both similar, yet different
- Personalities run the gamut from nice to jerk (for the sake of argument)
- Some members of each side try to understand and work with the other

Maybe if we can get some peace in the Middle East, we can try to work on reenacting afterwards! LOL

Just something I found interesting, and a bit comical, that's all!

Regards, and have a good day!

Shaun Grenan
114th PA Zouaves

JBW
04-23-2006, 08:25 PM
......... It made you think of the Civil War, but the first thing that came to my mind is the varied religious wars the world has seen since time immortal, i.e. the "Crusades"..............Maybe if we can get some peace in the Middle East, we can try to work on reenacting afterwards!

Shaun,
I hadn't really thought about that angle, but you're absolutely right! I guess we could apply that to a lot of things we humans do. If we could get enough people to see this we might start to change a few things.
(like those #*/@$% pesky buttonholes) LOL.

ley74
04-23-2006, 10:25 PM
Wouldn't it be great... Lions lying down with lambs, the Israelites, Christians and Islamic clerics all realizing we are people of one God, the sons of Abraham. Peace would guide the planets and love would fill the stars.

Imagine, hard-cores, mainstreamers and down-right farbs co-existing on the field of battle. Spending countless hours educating the public, reliving the glory of our forefathers and getting closer to how "they" lived four short years.

As Steve Martin would say...
"Naaaa".

tompritchett
04-23-2006, 11:53 PM
Interestingly enough it is the threat of war that is, at least partially, and will be responsible for this latest rise in crude prices - the threat of a shooting war with Iran. When over 25% percent of oil exported oil has to travel through a strait that could be easily interdicted by one of the two potential combatants, the oil world gets VERY nervous.

Bill_Cross
04-24-2006, 02:09 AM
Imagine, hard-cores, mainstreamers and down-right farbs co-existing on the field of battle.
It's funny how the mainstreamers seem to miss the hardcores. I don't know too many posts over on the AC Forum about "sheesh, imagine how great it would be if the streamers and us got together." Fact is, campaigners don't spend a lot of time thinking about mainstreamers (or criticizing them, or all the other negative stuff that some of y'all imagine over here). Truth is, they spend most of their time when they're negative squabbling amongst themselves. So I hate to disappoint you, but you won't find many of us missing y'all.

Spending countless hours educating the public, reliving the glory of our forefathers and getting closer to how "they" lived four short years.
That would be hard if it's a field of battle where the ranK & file are sleeping on cots in A-tents, with coolers hidden nearby and women making paincakes and Eggos in camp.... :roll:

FWL
04-24-2006, 08:59 AM
" Fact is, campaigners don't spend a lot of time thinking about mainstreamers (or criticizing them, or all the other negative stuff that some of y'all imagine over here). Truth is, they spend most of their time when they're negative squabbling amongst themselves.

I could'nt agree more Bill. Most of the so called HCs I know don't go to the farb events or really even think about them. If they do go to a "cross over event" they are actually pretty tolerant (because they know what to expect) except when they see extreme farbisms. The stuff on this forum poking fun at the farb events and practices, is what it is, internet games.

However HCs squabbling amongst themselves, that takes conflict to another level. And I'm sure I'm not privy to half of it.

Frank Lilley
Detached

Bill_Cross
04-24-2006, 10:15 AM
However HCs squabbling amongst themselves, that takes conflict to another level. And I'm sure I'm not privy to half of it.
Actually, it's pretty pedestrian stuff, Frank. Sometimes personality clashes are behind the struggle, sometimes just power games. In that respect, the campaigner side of the hobby is no different than what goes on in many streamer units-- largely because humans are political by nature (just crack open your Aristotle if in doubt). When there's a position of power, no matter how ephemeral that power may be, there will always be two people squabbling over it. Ask your Missus about the last school PTA board food fight.

This forum is well-served when posters and lurkers think for themselves, and deal with REAL issues, not straw men. The campaigners put ZERO thought into the mainstream, don't wonder why y'all aren't attending our events, or debate the wisdom of returning to the fold. We're too busy with our own problems (declining interest in the hobby, land permissions, insurance, keeping events interesting) to put five seconds of thought into whether the Manassas reenactment will be good or bad. I personally didn't know it was going to be a Cedar Creek until I read about it here.

Blaming the evil hardcores for the problems with this hobby is simply ridiculous and silly. The campaigners put on their own events, and generally they are fine things to attend, if you're willing to "buy in" to the script and the scenario. Those who are interested in experiencing a higher level of authenticity are generally welcome, and will not likely be disappointed. You'll be asked to do the things that CW soldiers did more often than at the average mainstream event, and you may have to do without some of the creature comforts you're used to (though Bill Watson taught me years ago that it's warmer sleeping on the "cold" ground than above ground on a chilly cot where there's no insulation from the cold, damp night air).

That having been said, "history-heavy" events aren't for everyone. If you're severely overweight, unwilling or unable to meet basic standards, or can't imagine standing a few hours of guard duty, then you probably won't enjoy yourself. But as Mr. Lilley, Bill Rodman, Schnapps, Josh Mordin, Fran Kiger, myself and others prove, today's streamer is tomorrow's "hardcore."

And the day-after-tomorrow's WW II reenactor. :lol:

JBW
04-24-2006, 07:28 PM
..........Fact is, campaigners don't spend a lot of time thinking about mainstreamers (or criticizing them, or all the other negative stuff that some of y'all imagine over here)........... So I hate to disappoint you, but you won't find many of us missing y'all.


Mr Cross,

I believe you are mistaken. I am a member on both forums and found the following with a simple search:

1 - Using the search terms "hardcore" , "stitch counter" (both terms used to degrade the users on the AC), I found 7 threads and 11 individual posts on this forum since the latest crash.

2 - Using the term "Farb" (and all its variations, "Farby", "Farbism", etc.) a search of the AC, for the same time period, returned 28 threads and 48 individual posts.

I stand by my earlier statement that a small vocal minority of people on the extremes of each side are the problem.

I mean no disrespect, I just disagree with your statement.
I invite your comments.

johnnyyank
04-24-2006, 07:38 PM
way over 30 here but fit...ref soccer,lacrosse etc...swim etc....my wife who is not in the hobby looks at some events and says "soldiers in 1863 were young,lean,and mean....not old & FAT!!! "...it's sad but true......the hobby really needs youngblood... :roll:

ca4penn
04-24-2006, 08:54 PM
Gas prices are over $3 per gallon here. Expect $4 by mid-summer.

This is a hobby and that's the bottom line. People have to live and make ends meet. Hobbies are entertainment. When times are tough you cut down on your entertainment.

But this may be a little moot for me this year. ARPERCEN (PERSCOM) has sent me emails.

Johnnyyank, you ever have any real military service like the Navy, Army or Marines?

flattop32355
04-25-2006, 01:25 AM
way over 30 here but fit...ref soccer,lacrosse etc...swim etc....my wife who is not in the hobby looks at some events and says "soldiers in 1863 were young,lean,and mean....not old & FAT!!! "...it's sad but true......the hobby really needs youngblood... :roll:

Obviously, every war we've ever had was a young man's war to fight.

But we aren't fighting a war....we are reenacting a period of our history that is important to us, old and young, fat and slim, fit and not so fit.

I had no money to do this hobby while in my teens and twenties. I do now, and it allows me to take part in this crazy hobby. I use that to my advantage to help others less well positioned to take part.

Yes, it would be great if enough young folk who actually look like soldiers would take part in this hobby. But the truth is, even if they could afford it, not enough of them give a rat's tee-heinie-boo about it to remember that they owe a debt to others who went before for what they have today.

So it's left to us old, fat, grey-haired SOB's to do a lot of the work of bringing it to the public as a reminder of who we are and what we were and how we got here. And I'll be damned if someone is going to tell me that I shouldn't do it because I'm no longer 22 years old and skinny as a rail. :evil: I have a job to do while participating in and enjoying this hobby, one I'm willing to do much more so than than many of those who "ought" to be doing it. And I'm not so sure that they "ought" to be doing it any more than I am. I care about it, and that counts for quite a bit in my book.

So, at least the cavalryman who's bigger than his horse is trying to do something positive. And the infantryman who's too old to keep up climbing the hill is trying to get up that hill. And the fellow who needs a cooler in his tent to keep his insulin from going bad should be applauded rather than ridiculed.

**** few of us fit the mold we've set, and most of those who do are only a shadow to the real boys who fought that war. This old man will meet you at the top of the hill or across the field, and still be ready to take questions from the public with answers that I know are correct, or be willing to give an honest "I don't know, let's see if we can find that out for you". I may have to suckdown some air first, but at least I'll be there to do it.

Curt-Heinrich Schmidt
04-25-2006, 11:30 AM
Hallo!

Odysseus to Achilles, War is young men dying and old men talking. You know this. Ignore the politics. -"Troy"
:-)
Curt-Heinrich Schmidt

Bill_Cross
04-25-2006, 11:43 AM
I believe you are mistaken.
That is not remarkable, it happens more often than I'd like. :lol:

I am a member on both forums and found the following with a simple search:
1 - Using the search terms "hardcore" , "stitch counter" (both terms used to degrade the users on the AC), I found 7 threads and 11 individual posts on this forum since the latest crash.
2 - Using the term "Farb" (and all its variations, "Farby", "Farbism", etc.) a search of the AC, for the same time period, returned 28 threads and 48 individual posts.
I don't dispute that both sides talk (often disparagingly) about each other, only that few of us on the campaigner side spend much time at it (I don't hang out at the AC Forum at all). Or wishing to convert y'all, or be welcomed back at your events, something you can't say for this forum: numerous posters say all the time "you hardcores shouldn't take your ball and go home, but come back and make a difference."

No, thanks. Been there, done that, gave away the t-shirt.

Do campaigners say nasty things about streamers? And vice versa. But keep in mind that campaigners use the term "farb" and "farby" on themselves and those who are members of the AC Forum. We argue all the time about definitions (it's what the marginalized and irrelevent do), including those who get all worked up about whether McDowell is the "hardcore national" or a "mainstream event."

I stand by my earlier statement that a small vocal minority of people on the extremes of each side are the problem.
I agree that both vocal minorities are annoying, but I'm unpersuaded they are keeping people out of the hobby. There is some evidence that the infighting within the CPH movement is chasing good people OUT of that wing and into WW II and Rev War (know instances for both). But I see no evidence that newbies are saying "boy, these CW guys are nuts, I'm going to go mountain biking instead."

The real problem is land, boys. Why do you think "Road to Goldsboro" was canceled, "New Market" and "War on the Chickahominy" never happened, and I'm not working to raise any Federal companies these days?

flattop32355
04-25-2006, 02:33 PM
Why do you think "Road to Goldsboro" was canceled...?

The word was that the ground was too saturated from heavy rains for it to dry out enough to be used. If you know more than what was offered, please be so kind as to inform us poor sojers of any additional truth.

Bill_Cross
04-25-2006, 03:07 PM
The word was that the ground was too saturated from heavy rains for it to dry out enough to be used. If you know more than what was offered, please be so kind as to inform us poor sojers of any additional truth.
You were correctly informed about "The Road to Goldsboro," and I did not mean to imply that there was some mystery or conspiracy. The plain fact of the matter is the ground we intended to use was/is under water, and there was little likelihood it would dry out in time for the event (scheduled for the beginning of this month).

The problem is that we didn't have an alternative site, and the whip for the event has been unable to find one, despite great effort. Since he's not interested in making site acquisition a full-time job, unless someone else comes forward with a WORKABLE plan, "The Road to Goldsboro" will join "New Market" and "War on the Chickahominy" (an EW version of "War on the James") as landless "might have beens."

The weakest link in event planning is securing suitable land. Few, if any non-LH events occur on original ground, since so much of it has been lost to developers, or is in the hands of an often hostile state or Federal parks administration. That Brandy Station allowed "Into the Wilderness" to be set there, or that Cedar Creek is so generous with the use of its ground should not be seen as typical.

We need more of y'all to step up and help out in securing reliable land.

But that's only the first step. The event organizers must have insurance; thankfully the Kearny Guards did, because otherwise "War on the James" would've been cancelled on the Friday it started when the landowner suddenly demanded the Rowdy Pards provide event insurance. Subsequent to that near-disaster, the RPs now have insurance, and know to have a supplemental certificate sent to the landowner in advance of any event we might host (a reasonable $25 administrative expense).

Of course, if you want horses, you will need to charge a bundle, since the cheapest horse insurance I've seen is $2,000 per event. Did you know that most cavalry (at least those on the CPH side) have no liability insurance, despite riding what is euphemistically called in the legal profession "an attractive nuisance"? That's what they call swimming pools, because they attract kids and lawsuits. Cavalry want to come free, get hay for their nags, but will leave you holding the bag if someone gets hurt by their mounts.

None of this is news to those of you who organize events, but you "poor sojers" deserve to know the real story.

FWL
04-25-2006, 04:53 PM
Its too bad Bill, I organized my first CW "van pool" of 6-8 smelly, food foraging, property plundering, ill tempered Yankees from Mass, NH, CT and ME (real ones to our friends down south), who were eager to drive all night to Goldsboro and carry on in the best tradition of Uncle Billy. We were going to use the affects of sleep deprivation in our impression. Had a long telephone talk with "he that shall not be named on this forum" and got the low down.

the will was there, for the right event a 30 hour RT drive was still ok

Frank Lilley
Detached Invalid Corps

Bill_Cross
04-25-2006, 05:13 PM
the will was there, for the right event a 30 hour RT drive was still ok.
Frank, there's a tremendous pool of intelligence and creativity in the CPH movement, but it's suffering because many of its senior people are burning out or otherwise leaving the hobby. I think we've been spoiled by dynamic individuals like Chris Anders, Bill Watson, David Culberson, Steve Pannier, John Cleaveland, Don Harrelson, the Trents, Bob Denton, Tim O'Neill and others who have invested large amounts of their own time, effort and often money into creating superlative experiences for the rest of us. Now that most of the people on that list are either pulling back or retired from event organizing, it has left a vacuum that is showing how thin the CPH movement really is just now. And forgive me if the list is limited to those I have worked with or whose events I admire. It's not meant to be exhaustive, because I simply don't know about every good CPH event over the past 5 years.

If Rich Mountain is the only high-profile event on the radar screen this year, well, one event doesn't make for much of a season in my book, though I have no doubt it's going to be a good event.

TheQM
04-26-2006, 04:09 PM
Bill X,

There are a lot of good CPH events on the calendar this year. The A-C Forum is listing 13 events for just the summer season. Almost all of them are living histories, taking place at various historcial sites and NPS Battlefields. To the best of my knowledge; although, I'm sure there are others, only two battle reenactments, have been scheduled for this year, A "Fighting Withdrawl", that took place back in March; and "Rich Mountain", scheduled for July 14-16.

The emphasis on Living Histiry events on the CPH side of the Hobby may be due to the interest and desires of the participants, or because it's just too difficult to deal with the land and liability issues involved with putting on battle reenactments. I'll leave the answer to that question to smarter people than yours truly.

BTW, I am anything but hardcore. As you well know, I'm a confirmed and committed fence sitter. :roll:

Bill_Cross
04-26-2006, 04:23 PM
There are a lot of good CPH events on the calendar this year... Almost all of them are living histories... only two battle reenactments.
There are interesting CPH events this season (the RPs have a fine LH at Spangler's Spring in the Fall, but with only those two reenactments, I worry about recruitment to the "dark side." I think back to 2001 with McDowell, Pickett's Mill and Burkittsville nicely spread-out over the months from May through September. That was quite a year.

While good LHs are a staple of the authentic movement, it's no secret that the rank & file of both wings of the hobby like to burn a little powder. It's rare that a newbie has come to me and said "man, that LH you boys had was AWESOME, I want to join your group!" It happened once: Fran Kiger, met him for the first time at the 1st Minnesota LH at G'burg back when the Kearny Guards were new and going places. But Fran is a stand-out in many ways, and most add-ons to groups I've been in have come from immersion and semi-immersion campaigner events.

Much as we like to think of ourselves as serious historians, we're also 10 year-old boys playing soldier again. :P

Rob
04-26-2006, 05:03 PM
Much as we like to think of ourselves as serious historians, we're also 10 year-old boys playing soldier again. :P

Actually, Bill, if I never had to fire (or clean!) my piece again, I would be in hog heaven.

I find it much more satisfying to sit by the captain's tent and demonstrate the clerical side of the war. It lets folks know that back then, as now, the army ran on paperwork - and there were no typewriters, or even fountain pens. I like to give people a chance to write with steel pens and quills; then they can say they "did it". Then, when I'm done with that, I can show them how to make skillygallee and camp coffee.

(This also allows me to escape from so-called officers screaming "Load and Hold"...)

flattop32355
04-26-2006, 06:21 PM
(This also allows me to escape from so-called officers screaming "Load and Hold"...)

Then you'uns needs ta fin' yo'self some uthu offisuhs. :wink:

To my knowledge, I've never hear that particular command given in the field, though I do not doubt at all that it has been given. I got spoiled right at the beginning by having who I consider a very learned and competent officer in the 30th OVI. It's only been when I've listened to the commands of "higher ranking" officers at events that I've had to resort to the question, "WHAT?".

There's a niche for everyone in this hobby. Nice to see you've found yours and are using it to teach the great unwashed public about it.

Rob
04-26-2006, 08:38 PM
Then you'uns needs ta fin' yo'self some uthu offisuhs. :wink:
Amen to that, brother...

jda3rd
04-26-2006, 10:17 PM
Apathy.

Frank Brower

"It makes one anxious for the end of civilization as we know it." Horace Rumpole

cavsgt
04-28-2006, 11:08 PM
Bill
No more than it costs a cav unit to buy insurance for a year, why not require them to show proof of insurance. Our unit liabilty policy is peanuts compaired to the other costs. My personal liabilty policy for the farm costs as much as the policy for the unit.

In todays world everybody needs to C.Y.A.

Phill

Bill_Cross
04-29-2006, 11:15 AM
No more than it costs a cav unit to buy insurance for a year, why not require them to show proof of insurance.
Phill,

When we asked the troopers for "Road to Goldsboro" to show us their insurance coverage, we were told they have none. So we were going to foot the insurance bill ourselves. I mention this as a caveat for other event planners who might assume (as we did) that anyone riding around on a four-footed lawsuit-in-the-making would have their own liability insurance.

So you know what happens when we assume....

sbl
04-29-2006, 03:56 PM
"....... And I do not know why you assume. Because when you assume, you make an ass out of Uma Thurman."

Stuart Smalley

major
04-29-2006, 04:34 PM
Phill
Can you give me a contact phone or e-mail for the place to buy individual or group reenactor insurance?
Terry

cavsgt
04-30-2006, 12:56 AM
Terry

The Rielly Insurance Group
243 Church St.
Pemproke, Ma 02359

The insurance is called Re-enactement Club & Sporting Club Liability Policy.

I seem to remember having to provide x-amount of history, experience, & training(?).

Our present policy carrier is Lloyd's of London. A company whose name is well known.

Hope that this helps all.

Phill

cavsgt
04-30-2006, 01:05 AM
Bill

I think that we will see a time where ins. is a requirement at all public events. If my memory serves me, we had to get insurance before working on Park Service sites.

Any Cav. group that does not inc. and insure is really taking a chance. Your personal assets are really at risk.

The type of insurance that you priced is usually per event and as you said very expensive.
Phill

major
04-30-2006, 08:55 AM
Phill
Thanks, that is what I needed.
Terry

captdougofky
05-02-2006, 12:23 AM
Bob

I could not agree more, Thanks in less words than you did.

Doug
Lyons Battery CS
Kentucky

Bill_Cross
05-02-2006, 01:44 PM
I think that we will see a time where insurance is a requirement at all public events.
Sadly, I'm afraid you're right. Even birth defects are now cause for malpractice suits.

Any Cav. group that does not incorporate and insure is really taking a chance. Your personal assets are really at risk.
So I believed, but "Road to Goldsboro" taught me differently. If the cavalry were not an integral part of the scenario, we would've done without 'em. Evidently the independent campaigner has been taken up as a model by some in the cavalry, who have trailer, nag and gear, but no group (to incorporate) and no insurance.

When we asked the troopers to provide a certificate of insurance, their response was "we ain't comin' if you don't insure us."

cavsgt
05-03-2006, 01:07 AM
Bill
Sadly the problem with cav. is that too many people seem to want to go their own way. Our standard joke is new pick-up, two horse trailer, new cavalry group.

Seriously some of the demi-gods of the past have created an atmosphere where we tend to go our own way. The problem with this is poorly trained troopers and horses. At an event several years back I saw a unit try to dismount and fight on foot. When they linked the horses started to fight and they went through the crowd still linked at a run. These people were too good to practice with us earlier in the day.

The insurance cost is so minimal compared to the cost of playing that anybody who owns anything should look in to it. Most of your event insurance does not cover the horse owner just the producers. This leaves a trooper with his behind very exposed. If there was some way for a larger body to organize the cost of liabilty insurance would affordable for all.


Phill

bill watson
05-03-2006, 01:26 PM
There ya go again, talking sense. But jeez that would mean we'd have to give up our right to ... something. Wait. It will come to me. Well, never mind, I'm sure someone will be along in a bit to remind us all why a giant organization of reenactors that can couple economic benefits to high production values is a terrible idea that defeats the real reason we all do this. That idea also escapes me at the moment but must be really important because so far in the history of Civil War reenacting nobody has ever been able to create an organization of 75 people without seeing it split into two, three or more parts based on which end of the egg should be broken to make an omelet.

This hobby is all about broken eggs, not omelets. That's it. I knew it was in there somewhere. "I'd rather be a broken egg than an omelet."

tompritchett
05-03-2006, 04:06 PM
Seriously, why not have a large umbrella organization of individual, non-affiliated units that exists for the sole purpose of providing libability insurance for its members. Small membership fee to cover logistics and no politics over direction, command structure and such. Use email correspondence when discussing new bids and have the member units vote whenever a new policy is required - majority wins.

But maybe I have sniffed too many chemical fumes today.

Bill_Cross
05-03-2006, 04:46 PM
I'm sure someone will be along in a bit to remind us all why a giant organization of reenactors that can couple economic benefits to high production values is a terrible idea that defeats the real reason we all do this.
As the history of the Kearny Guards proves, good ideas don't always translate into a healthy group.

It usually seems to come down to people and personalities, which is why it's eminently easier to take one's ball and go start another, smaller team than work with someone we don't agree with. Over the past few years, I've seen large groups (the Liberty Rifles, Potomac Legion and Columbia Rifles) all grow and then wane for various reasons, but often because of the personalities of the leaders.

So far in the history of Civil War reenacting nobody has ever been able to create an organization of 75 people without seeing it split into two, three or more parts based on which end of the egg should be broken to make an omelet.
Of the three groups I've been a part of, there were usually one or two individuals with the "vision thing" who feel ****-bent to lead, and they either bring about great things, annoy the rank & file enough to leave, and sometimes both. I've felt that fever, so I speak from experience. And I know I have done things in a leadership role that I either regret, would do differently or both. But I've also seen impossible situations develop; in the KGs, we had a member who insisted that we adopt by-laws, then left because the by-laws were not to the suggester's liking. Hey, it's a hobby, so there's no reason to stay in a group you don't like. It's why I left my original, mainstream group. But this is not the only example I could offer of forces within groups that pull in opposite directions, often with unfortunate results.

The trick to longevity in hobby leadership seems to be having a laid-back nature that allows folks to do their thing enough that you can herd them a bit when things need to get done for the greater good. Of course, determining what that "greater good" is can be the reef upon which the whole enterprise founders. It's one reason I believe those who propose "reforming" mainstream event models are on a fool's errand: the leaders of the larger mainstream organizations know that they are mostly leaders by permission, not because of rank or anything else. If they supported rules that would limit what folks are accustomed to doing (driving into camp, having womenfolk on the company street, cots and coolers, etc.), their authority would vanish like a volley of black powder smoke on a windy day.

With campaigners, it's usually true that we've left at least one unit before. I'm on my third, so I don't say this to cast aspersions on anyone. Once you've voted with your feet, it's not unlikely you'll exercise that vote again if things don't go the way you want them.

hiplainsyank
05-06-2006, 04:29 PM
First of all, I wanted to say I enjoyed this discussion so far. Very good points have been made by all.

Another thing that I think has affected CW reenacting/living history that I haven't seen mentioned yet is the war in Iraq (since it is larger and using more reservists than Afghanistan, to my knowledge). Lots of people who either are reenactors, or would be recruits for the various wings of reenacting, are off serving in a real war zone.

Other than that, I think both economics (that wages among middle and working class people have not been keeping up with the gains in the stock market and among upper class people) and the movie/anniversary cycle being in a bit of a lull now are also big contributions to the situation. Remember also that there are more eras of reenacting to attract a history-minded person's interest these days--have not WW 1 and 2 been very fast growing areas? There are only so many people, dollars and weekends a year to go around.

As far as a positive things, I am a pastor and like many denominations mine is in a decline (for very many reasons). People will become a part of a congregation for many reasons, and growing congregations run the gamut--some very traditional, some very modern, even post-modern. I think one thing that I keep hearing over and over again about how to grow a church (besides having a sense of mission), is that a big part of it has to do with people. And hospitality.

Because both reenacting and church are volunteer associations, I see that this people/relationships/hospitality aspect is a common thing to growing both. I haven't read the article in CWH yet, and maybe this is what he says there. But it's also something that I think is common to successful recruiting in all the various camps of reenacting. Do group members all see themselves as recruiters? Because I suspect that more people join a reenacting group because a friend or family member first invited them, just like studies have shown for churches (something like over 85%) Do people go out of their way to be hospitable to a newbie, or just stay in their established groups? Do members have good relationships within their unit, and without it as well? It's not that everyone has to be buddy-buddy, but does everyone treat others with respect?

(As an aside, you eastern folks have it easy for drives to reenactments. Western theatre and trans-MS events very often take day long or two day drives ;o) )

Joanna Norris Grimshaw

bill watson
05-06-2006, 05:27 PM
"Do group members all see themselves as recruiters?"
No. Across the spectrum, quite a few see themselves as gatekeepers, one way or another, and they spend their time keeping people out.

"Do people go out of their way to be hospitable to a newbie?"
Some do, some do not.

"Do members have good relationships within their unit, and without it as well?"
This question reveals that you're pretty new to this, eh? :-)

"It's not that everyone has to be buddy-buddy, but does everyone treat others with respect?"
No.

TimKindred
05-06-2006, 06:11 PM
Well, for what it's worth, my own homeowner's insurance covers my physical property when i am at a reenactment. I checked with them recently, and they agree to cover my items, with the standard deductibles, of course.

To their minds, reenacting is no different than any other hobby, and whether it's my surgeon's kit or Jim's bass Boat or Fred's Camper, it's all the same to them.

As to liability insurance, well, that's another matter altogether and the best reason for a unit to incorporate and purchase a group policy, or to affiliate with a larger organization that offers such protection.

Respects,

tompritchett
05-06-2006, 06:58 PM
And Bill many of your answers may reflect why certain groups in the hobby are in decline while others grow. Unfortunately there are also some groups that are great at recruiting but lousy on retention, thus providing potential members for those groups that do not recruit newbies.

Brandon313
05-06-2006, 11:12 PM
everyone is arguing about so many things, but for me, i love this hobby. I always will, i will drive to one no matter how much gas is, and i will buy black powder no matter how much it costs, and i am young. So as long as there is a stream of young guys like me (problem is there arent that many) we should be fine. BUT i do not consider myself a "stitch counter" but i deffinately would like to see more authenticity, but let me tell you one thing about all those "stitch counters" and their trying to be "the most accurate on the field". He is probably one of the fattest guys on the field. Squashing himself like meat into a sausage skin he squeezes himself into a size 70 coat and 60 waist, and doesnt participate in the marching. YET he is the first one to waddle over to the new, young, skinny, 16 year old and tell him that he needs to spend $150 on a "period correct" cap pouch. As i have been there, it is NO FUN AT ALL to be in a group with people like that, where 75% of the guys are 40+, obese, and all around jerks. How many civil war soldiers were 40+? sure there were older brigades and such, but the mainstay was young men. How many guys were bigger than a size 30 waist? probably not very many, if not any!
So basically my rant is about, how its no fun for new comers to be bashed by the "period correct" stitchcounters who have their period correct macdonalds in their haversack.
This hobby will survive based on whether or not the new generation picks up on it. I did, but i was lucky to get thrown in with a great group of guys who feel the exact same way about this. With no more younger interest, there is no more hobby, PERIOD.

This hobby is about fun, and alot of people forget that.



and for all of you people looking to be "more authentic" save the hundreds of dollars you are going to spend defarbing your musket and go lose some weight.

FWL
05-07-2006, 11:36 AM
and for all of you people looking to be "more authentic" save the hundreds of dollars you are going to spend defarbing your musket and go lose some weight.


Hey Brandon how about both! you should sign your name more credibilty that way.

PS I spent about $80 defarbing my musket and I have never commented on someones kit unless asked. Even then I try to do it out of ear shot of others.

regards

dustyswb
05-07-2006, 04:28 PM
The Stonewall Brigade just "celebrated" it's 25th year as a standing organization. In that 25 years, I know of only one group that left (5th VA, now SGLHA) and both groups have continued independent of the other, working together on several occasions.

It can be done. In my 12 years, we've had 4 brigade commanders, which I think is good turnover. We get 5 to 7 new guys in the brigade annually and most stick with us. We have insurance and have one or two events that each company (6) will attend together, but individual companies put together their own events each year.

We are about 80 strong this year. I've seen us at 150 strong and down to about 70. In any given year, we number about 90 on average.

It can be done.

I also have to agree with Bill X when he says that most folks that complain about "hardcore" events have never been to one. I know this first hand.

The biggest threat to the hobby, in my opinion, is the lack of individual thinking. Go outside your "group" to an event that sounds interesting to YOU!

hiplainsyank
05-07-2006, 05:43 PM
"Do members have good relationships within their unit, and without it as well?"
This question reveals that you're pretty new to this, eh? :-)


Actually, I've been doing this with the limited time allowed by working weekends for 7 years. And I've been ordained for ten years, and have seen plently of examples of the dysfunctional that church communities breed.

My purpose in these questions was to lay out hypotheticals that spell out some characteristics of healthy groups. I am aware that groups can split when they have strong personalities that fight rather than compromise for the good of the group. Is it a perhaps a symptom of our society recently that compromise is seen as a weakness and domination and disrespect seen as laudable goals? I am also aware personally of splits, sqabbles and fights that have not furthered CW reenacting.

Again, I was attempting to describe some characteristics of a healthier group.

Another thing is that groups fearful for their existence tend to focus inward, which always magnifies the faults and fights; whereas groups that focus outward on their purpose more easily overlook those faults and fights.

I know this isn't really very prescriptive, but descriptive, and the hardest thing is to get from "here" to "there", wherever that is. ;o)

bill watson
05-07-2006, 09:31 PM
"So basically my rant is about, how its no fun for new comers to be bashed by the "period correct" stitchcounters who have their period correct macdonalds in their haversack."

Brandon,

What about bashing by period correct stitchcounters who don't have McDonalds in their haversacks? That suit you?

Brandon313
05-07-2006, 10:37 PM
haha the macdonalds quote was a little much, sorry fellas i got a little carried away, i just remember how it was to start out and have guys like that butcher me. And when you are new, its just no incentive to stay with the hobby. i reread my post, and it does seem a little harsh, i didnt mean to offend anybody. Like i said i just remember being talked down to by very overweight guys, who were "period authentic" in everything except their wieght. and i remember thinking, "wow thats really mean, i understand constructive criticism and trying to help someone out, but thats just plain mean". And i think that can really turn possible newcomers away from reenacting.

once again, sorry if my comment offended you, i have nothing against bigger guys, just bigger guys with attitudes.

Brandon gadwah

Eric Tipton
05-07-2006, 11:31 PM
Biggest threat to the hobby????

Threads about the biggest threat to the hobby....

bill watson
05-08-2006, 08:44 AM
"I am aware that groups can split when they have strong personalities that fight rather than compromise for the good of the group. Is it a perhaps a symptom of our society recently that compromise is seen as a weakness and domination and disrespect seen as laudable goals? I am also aware personally of splits, sqabbles and fights that have not furthered CW reenacting."

The trait of not caring what people think is what allows us to dress up in funny clothes and devote time and money to a pursuit that the vast majority of people find incomprehensible, silly and/or vaguely troubling. That same trait, not caring what people think, empowers splits along what appear to be, to a non-reenactor, almost invisible fault lines.
The big fault line is rather more visible, though. On one side are those who think we ought to treat reenacting much as an art form, a participatory art form done for the sake of the art. The ultimate goal is to create an experience as indistinguishable as possible from the real thing. On the other are those who see reenacting as an activity that fulfills needs not related to the reenacting -- social bonding, family activity, building a successful organization, providing an arena for unfilled leadership potential. Historical recreation is merely the theme. Those two groups have difficulty communicating. Want to guess which division has the most success in achieving cohesion? Hint: There's an event coming up that at least one young man is not attending because it's an 1862 event and organizers have not barred 1863 Springfields. That one thing ruins the event for him. But others find discrepancies in other things at other events -- and the more you know, having studied to get your art right, the more likely you are to find something wrong.
Cohesion under those circumstances is pretty much defined right out of the equation. So the biggest threat to the hobby depends on which part of the hobby you're in.

BobWerner
05-08-2006, 11:49 AM
Okay, this seems simple enough. What is the biggest threat to the hobby? Let's start with this: What, exactly, IS "The Hobby"? What universal standards or definitions apply?

bill watson
05-08-2006, 12:03 PM
Now you've done it.

johnnyyank
05-08-2006, 06:51 PM
old fat overweight guys...

Brandon313
05-08-2006, 08:23 PM
haha there ya go, not necessarily a threat....but just kind of a pet peave

bill watson
05-08-2006, 08:52 PM
Hey, my pet peave is people who can't spell peeve.

Brandon, will I have an opportunity to walk you into the ground this year at an event like Rich Mountain?

flattop32355
05-08-2006, 11:30 PM
old fat overweight guys...

...who, by the way, make up a goodly portion of those involved in this hobby, and do good work presenting history to others. Not to mention that we tend not to jump to other periods of reenacting as fast as our slimmer, younger, shorter-attention-span brethren.

Just thought you ought to know. ;)

flattop32355
05-08-2006, 11:47 PM
[QUOTE=bill watsonHint: There's an event coming up that at least one young man is not attending because it's an 1862 event and organizers have not barred 1863 Springfields. That one thing ruins the event for him. [/QUOTE]

Seems like a case of straining at gnats, if not also swallowing camels...

There are just SO MANY things we can choose to be pissy about. Wouldn't it be nicer if we decided to enjoy the hobby and concentrate on self improvement rather than on what the other guy is or isn't doing?

When the demands of a hobby (check the definition in a dictionary, if necessary) become so strict that they surpass the demands of the life that needed the hobby to begin with, somewhere priorities have gotten out of sync, and the tail begins to wag the dog.

Lee Ragan
05-09-2006, 11:57 AM
Seems like a case of straining at gnats, if not also swallowing camels...

There are just SO MANY things we can choose to be pissy about. Wouldn't it be nicer if we decided to enjoy the hobby and concentrate on self improvement rather than on what the other guy is or isn't doing?

When the demands of a hobby (check the definition in a dictionary, if necessary) become so strict that they surpass the demands of the life that needed the hobby to begin with, somewhere priorities have gotten out of sync, and the tail begins to wag the dog.
Very well said sir! I just try & do my impression as best I can & not worry about what anyone else does or how they look. That makes life easier for me. I've got a **** of a lot more important things to worry & fret about than what another guy @ a reenactment is or isn't wearing or using.

Brandon313
05-09-2006, 03:13 PM
Hey, my pet peave is people who can't spell peeve.

Brandon, will I have an opportunity to walk you into the ground this year at an event like Rich Mountain?


haha I dont think so Bill! If i see you, im goin all day and all night! :p

jbrown
05-09-2006, 03:17 PM
If you are a member of the US Equestrian Foundation (www.usef.org) you are automatically provided with a $1,000,000 liability coverage that will cover you for ANY horse-related activity. Adult membership dues are $40 per year. This coverage is provided in addition to any other liability coverage you may have.

Red Brown
2nd US Cav Co H

FWL
05-09-2006, 04:40 PM
If you are a member of the US Equestrian Foundation (www.usef.org) you are automatically provided with a $1,000,000 liability coverage that will cover you for ANY horse-related activity. Adult membership dues are $40 per year. This coverage is provided in addition to any other liability coverage you may have.

Red Brown
2nd US Cav Co H


Red that may be all well and good but will the particluar event organizers recognize this insurance? At certain events I've seen they may turn a unit away because they don't have the kind of insurance that the umbrella group recognizes. But that may be a whole other can of worms. Or at least another thread.

ley74
05-16-2006, 10:17 PM
Some of your names should be on this list. Some of the problems would evaporate.

http://www.authentic-campaigner.com/forum/showthread.php?t=17122&page=1&pp=10

PvtHinds
05-16-2006, 10:46 PM
Exactly what is that list?

Bigby H

ley74
05-17-2006, 10:14 PM
Yes. That is the answer.

All you have to do is be mentioned on the list. The link works. I just verified that it works. Come now, squint, turn your head sideways, read, comprehend and think. You can do it. Take note that I accomplished this with little effort (okay, some effort).

All you have to do is get your name on this list and most of the threats to the hobby will evaporate. Seriously.

Wild Rover
05-18-2006, 01:26 PM
Funny how that works.

Bill_Cross
05-19-2006, 11:19 AM
Come now, squint, turn your head sideways, read, comprehend and think.
Funny, I thought the instruction was "turn your head sideways and cough."

TeamsterPhil
05-19-2006, 01:55 PM
Funny, I thought the instruction was "turn your head sideways and cough."
Too bad many think getting on that list is about as enjoyable as that. Sometime/somewhere in the last few months, I posted a nice, simple step-by-step set of instructions for getting your name on that list.

Phil Campbell

RJSamp
05-19-2006, 02:40 PM
Phil:
and the reason that the likes of Dom Dal Bello, Coley Adair, Tom Klas, David Gerow, Will Eichler are not on that list is???

Let me know if you want another couple of dozen names.

Bill_Cross
05-19-2006, 04:43 PM
Too bad many think getting on that list is about as enjoyable as that. Sometime/somewhere in the last few months, I posted a nice, simple step-by-step set of instructions for getting your name on that list.
With all due respect, Phil, that list isn't the "be all and end all" of things.

There are people whose names are NOT on that list who have raised money for preservation, organized events that all of us consider excellent, or who have provided research to the hobby for those who want to learn. Attendance at events is influenced by a great many factors, probably the least of which is trying to get on some campaigner-version of the "best dressed list."

My poor attempt at humor was to show that this is the sort of "kewl kids club" that does nothing to further authenticity, gives campaigners a bad name, and is patently ridiculous. Publishing it to serve as some badge of superiority is just plain stupid in my opinion.

ley74
05-19-2006, 10:07 PM
Bill:

I saw your hair move on this one. The question of the greatest threat to the hobby is the one in play. Sorry, it is not about who raises the most money, who's kit is the best or the "kewl kids club". (The door is always open if you want to join, however;) The fact that you missed the point speaks volumes.

Think what you wish. When I read Phil's instructions, followed them and made the list, my eyes were opened and all those agonizing mainstream/quasi-mainstream issues evaporated. Is life perfect, heck no. Is it much better, heck yes. Depends on what you are looking for. As one of the preeminent officials in Longstreet's Corps informed me "Enjoy your hobby". Yep.

Now don't stew or raise a ruckus. Life is too short.

Phil - I believe your instructions were posted on the AC. Since this forum now looks so similar to the AC, I often find myself reporting posts without names attached. Since 85% of the folks over hear do not choose to show their faces, it should have been a tip off. Not that the contents are any indication.

Bill_Cross
05-19-2006, 11:07 PM
The question of the greatest threat to the hobby is the one in play. Sorry, it is not about who raises the most money, who's kit is the best or the "kewl kids club". (The door is always open if you want to join, however;) The fact that you missed the point speaks volumes.
The fact that you missed mine says quite a bit, too.

I'm glad you made the list. I really am. I remember when the fire of the newly converted burned in my breast. Enjoy it as long as you can.

We could, of course, have dueling lists. Were you on the one for "The Immortal 600"? How 'bout "War on the James"? "Pickett's Mill 2001"? "Berkeley Hundred"? The original "Red River"? What about "Gettysburg 125"? Agincourt? The original "Band of Brothers"?

I don't know if it's the greatest threat to the hobby, but this kind of silly one-upsmanship and "kewl kids club" nonsense is certainly what has crippled the CPH movement. Instead of seeing more and more people come over from the mainstream to "our" side, we can't even replace those who're burning out and leaving the hobby.

Anyone know where I can buy a good Schmeisser machine pistol and a coal shovel helmet? I speak fluent German. That would be something of a novelty in WW II reenacting. I could do Chinese Volunteers when Korean War reenacting comes around, since I speak that language, too. Yawn.

ley74
05-19-2006, 11:48 PM
Yep, one-upsmanship. You still do not get it. Keep trying though.

Why are you so angry?

Burp, pardon me.

tompritchett
05-20-2006, 12:25 AM
Might I suggest that the two of you take this discussion private now.

Thomas H. Pritchett
Moderator

ley74
05-20-2006, 07:54 AM
Tom:

Thank you for your kind observation. In actuality, there is no need for the discussion.

Bill_Cross
05-23-2006, 10:50 AM
Might I suggest that the two of you take this discussion private now.Thomas H. Pritchett
Moderator
As the young man notes, there is no discussion. Discussion involves an exchange of ideas; the list-mongering is all about who's is longer.

The sad thing for the campaigner movement is the amount of energy that has been expended on dueling events. The concept of "deconfliction" was flogged in the past, but it was mostly "deconflict with MY event." I won't go into specifics here, it's simply not interesting.

Am I angry? Yes. There's no reason why the campaigner movement shouldn't be growing steadily, especially given the dissatisfaction with the larger mainstream events. Yet the burn-out rate is enormous, and we're seeing falling numbers at most events. There's plenty of blame to be passed around, and no one's ******************** doesn't stink. Personality problems have been the undoing of the CPH movement.

It could even be argued that there is no CPH movement, only some small, alternative events and a lot of Internet yakking.

Wild Rover
05-23-2006, 11:53 AM
Bill,

You know I respect you, and value your opinions, but have to disagree that there is no CPH movement.

Look at the move towards larger events, like Summer of 62, McDowell, Shenandoah 1862, Rich Mountain, To the Gates of Washington and so on.

Put money on the 145h McDowell next year, and the 145th South Mountain and being yet another feather in the cap for the "movement" as such.

The events are different from each other, but also the more the same in that there are light years beyond what ws the debacles of the 135-140th cycle.

All events with larger attendance, run by "progressive" folks.

Of course the Payne's Farm, Burkittsville and Pickett's Mill Style events will never grow beyond 500 folks, because there are not 500 folks interested in such an experience.

So dare I say it- purist ebufu events will stay the same level, with folks filtering in and out, but the steady march of folks to better larger EBUFU events continues, and that is where the real movement is.

CPH Purists may decry them, but if there has been a real success story in the past few years these events have been that.

I am sure this post will create interesting conversations!

Pards,

tompritchett
05-23-2006, 12:16 PM
CPH Purists may decry them,

And you have just made Bill's point. I do not remember whether it was here or on another forum, where McDowell was called a progressive mainstream event rather than a campaigner event and I am sure you have painfully memories how your Summer of 62 event was brutally attacked for advertising itself as a campaigner event when, in the eyes of the attackers, it was not. I am not agreeing with either sets of attacks (in fact I am attending Summer of 42) but merely using the fact of those attacks to make a point.

RJSamp
05-23-2006, 12:26 PM
I've stated this before.....but these are exactly what I thought Mainstream events were going to be when I signed on in 1997. I recall the first event where a car was parked adjacent to a tent.....and seeing cots, pop tarts, stainless steel, etc. so much for mainstream..... Antietam 2002 was just a bummer, especially after my eye opening event of A135.

Count me in on the more 'progressive' mainstream events like Morgan's Raid II, NSA Perryville, McDowell.....

they definitely aren't campaigner EBUFU events but they aren't your family theme camping Battle and Ball local events neither.

RJ Samp

Bill_Cross
05-23-2006, 12:27 PM
Look at the move towards larger events, like Summer of 62, McDowell, Shenandoah 1862, Rich Mountain, To the Gates of Washington and so on.
I did not say or mean to imply there are no CPH events going on. They come and go. But the CPH movement, as such, is mostly a shell in my opinion. So many good people have left....

Put money on the 145h McDowell next year, and the 145th South Mountain and being yet another feather in the cap for the "movement" as such.
Sadly, there are those in the CPH movement who piss all over McDowell as "just a mainstream event." So, feather in which cap?

In the interest of full disclosure, I have supported the last three McDowells, including raising "Dutch" companies for the past two, and turned down a larger Federal role for the last one that eventually went to a much better-suited candidate, so I am "down" with McDowell. I'm looking forward to supporting it in gray with the rest of the RPs (we've done Federal three out of four McDowells, so it's our turn to wear gray). McDowell is a wonderful experience, and the effort to "keep it fresh" is part of the reason attendance has stayed fairly consistent over the past few years as attendance at other CPH events has fallen off. There are those who think the carping about McDowell is jealousy, but I'll let you make up your own mind on that subject.

McDowell exists, however, primarily because of the tremendous efforts of a handful of folks AND the Highland County government, tourism, Historical Society, etc. Without the staff and on-site help of the residents, I bet Bobby Denton and his band of merry tricksters would've hung up their organizing spurs long ago, as has happened to too many others.

The events are different from each other, but also the more the same in that there are light years beyond what ws the debacles of the 135-140th cycle.
Chris, I believe the expression is "damning with faint praise." I did not attend "Gates," and cannot get off for "Shenandoah," and I'm sure they are both fine events, though neither was intended to be a campaigner event-- you pitched "Gates" originally as what mainstream events are supposed to be: lighter requirements with enforced regulations. While an improvement over commercial events, I don't think most campaigners would see them as a basis for a movement. If it's true that only 500 of us want a "Pickett's Mill" experience, then we need more than one or two campaigner events each season.

Of course the Payne's Farm, Burkittsville and Pickett's Mill Style events will never grow beyond 500 folks, because there are not 500 folks interested in such an experience.
Am I the only one in the hobby who has noticed how these events have lost support each time they were repeated (excepting "Payne's Farm," which was a "one off," but hardly broke attendance records)? My goal here isn't to slam anyone's event; ********************, I'm not sure we'd have set any records if "Road to Goldsboro" had come off. My point is simple:

The campaigner movement has devoured itself with infighting and the idiocy of a kind characterized by the "holy list" of people who are signed up to attend an event that someone on the Internet has dubbed "kewl." Folks, I've seen it work in "my" favor and against events I've worked on. The point is that it fosters hard feelings and an unwillingness to cooperate. The failure of "deconfliction" is that it was being pushed by people with their own agenda ("don't conflict with MY event, but I don't give a ******************** about YOUR event").

Of course, some event organizers prefer NOT to list event attendees for security reasons (do you want to advertise to the world that you won't be home that weekend?).

Are your "bridge" events a good thing? Yes. But they can't save the campaigner movement from itself, nor substitute for the intensive immersion in the period that led most campaigners to leave the mainstream wing in the first place.

TeamsterPhil
05-23-2006, 03:53 PM
Wow, I'm glad someone told me that deconfliction is dead. It must have been a coincidence that several small to medium local/regional events have been calendrically moved anywhere from a week or two to an entire year (or even postponed indefinitely) due to close calendric proximity to events such as Payne's Farm or Red River'07. With this news, I can breathe a sigh of relief.

Now, If I can just convice a few more people that road trips of over 3 hours can result in valuable (and fun) learning experiences, I can retire from the hobby and migrate to Span-Am reenacting.

My agenda? Maximization of resources on both sides of the high scary moutains.

Phil
I'm looking forward to the 150ths

dustyswb
05-23-2006, 05:12 PM
Payne's Farm requested only 300 participants. We got about 320 on paper and about 275 in the field.

We weren't going for any records, attendance or any other............

Wild Rover
05-23-2006, 06:53 PM
Never said PF was ion the quest of numbers, those type of events cannot do so, as it would water down the key focus and object of the event.

Annd only aobut 500 hobbiests nationwide are looking for such an experience. With those numbers I would say PF was an sounding success, to get that many folks in one place with those regs and goals.

There are different goals for events, and different, say, levels of desired participation. But I bet no one can say they are not all EBUFU and far beyond the norm.

Pards,

TheQM
05-23-2006, 06:54 PM
Wow,

I'm not on the list. I figured that two McDowells, The War on the James, Paynes Farm, various LH's, and a registration for Rich Mountain would get me listed with the kool kids.

I'll be going to the bathroom now to slit my wrists.

Bill Rodman
King of Prussia, PA
wrodman1@aol.com

madisontigers
05-23-2006, 08:22 PM
I would like to add my .02 to this discussion. I fgeel there are amultitude of possibilities involved here, and a good bit are economically related. Below are some of the reasons I feel the younger crowd isn't seen( at least at mega-events) as much anymore.

I. A good chunk of the younger gentleman are hitting the fields of NPS living histories, along with more authentically oriented events( Mr. Anders already hit the nail on the head here). Many younger folks are simply tired of the same old.... cowboy & Indian ....shoot ....em up's.Younger folks simply want to add to their experiences at new events.

II. MONEY. With the amount of $ gas is right now,and has been for the last 2 years, many have been faced into working extra hours which make getting weekends off next to impossible.

III. Real War.I feel that the real decrease in numbers after 9/11, as well as the war in Iraq; have contributed to a decrease in numbers of reenactors. God Bless those men in active service now, without them we would have nothing.

IV.Time: Kind of ties in with #II, as many of us younger folks are having to work extra to pay for tuition, gas, rent,and other living expenses. We are just now starting our careers off at the bottom of the totem pole( so to speak).

V. Yes, and I love what Mr. Anders said. Many of the younger folks are hitting the NPS sites and delivering remarkable living history programs to help educate the public. I feel that reenacting is taking a run with the C/P/H mindset. More and more units are switching over to the campaigner methods, thus making the mainstream way obsolete.I feel the days of the mega events are coming to an end. Reenactors are growing tired of shelling out hard earned money for registration fees for megaevents, events which only offer the same horrible and unrealistic scenarios offered year after year. I have seen several units grow in authenticity over the last 2-3 years, so this is the basis for my opinion as stated above.

VI. C/P/H events are offering more challenges, goals, and interpretation oppurtunities. The younger reenacting generation has come to the table with a goal to challenge themselves, along with the membersof their units to set high standards of authenticity, interpretation, and dedication.

All in all I feel that reenacting numbers are dwindling. Many of the 20-30 year reenactors are retiring. Also, many of the people who cant adapt to the C/P/H methods are simpy burning out, quitting, or going underground.

Thanks,
David lONG

madisontigers
05-23-2006, 08:26 PM
[QUOTE=captdougofky]"I think the biggest threat is by a few individuals that either be hardcore or just want to be in charge of something. Somehow they seem to have put themself in a position where they can tell the rest of us what to do. I think based on my ten plus years reenacting that there is enough room on the battlefeild for everyone no matter what you would like others to look like. This is a hobbie and not everyone will veiw it in the same light. Everyone needs to look this as public service not a personal crusade. Nobodys right or wrong in this hobby but unless we learn how to get along those less informed will suffer."


I see it both ways. Mainstreamers can be just as hostile as campaigners.I tend to just ignore the troublemakers, As if they were a fly on a dung hill.

flattop32355
05-23-2006, 10:17 PM
...There's no reason why the campaigner movement shouldn't be growing steadily, especially given the dissatisfaction with the larger mainstream events. Yet the burn-out rate is enormous, and we're seeing falling numbers at most events....Personality problems have been the undoing of the CPH movement.

The theoretical lifespan of any level CW reenactor is supposedly five years. While CPH's likely last longer than the average, they are not immune from the same forces that affect any other reenactor.

I'll go out on a limb, here, and wonder whether the average CPH rises up from the ranks of the mainstream or is born a fully grown campaigner. I'd hazard that the former is true. In that case, it would make sense that it will take longer to tire of the hobby, as there is a wider range of interesting things to keep the person coming back, until there's no where else to go or new things to try.

But what happens when that person hits the "end" of the trail? When even the most "authentic" events become the Samo-samo? While some folk can nestle themselves into the idea that this is as real as it gets, some others may begin to experience the same feelings of repetition seen at lower levels.

I can't say that this happens, but it seems to me to be a distinct possibility for some folk who might well burn out at ANY level. Then add on to that the behavioral/personality quirks and individualistic natures of many who make it to the CPH level, where the concentration of such folk is greater due to lesser numbers, and is it any wonder why some of what happens there happens?

It's possible that I'm totally incorrect on this. But maybe not, at least in part.

Trimmings
05-23-2006, 10:46 PM
Apathy.

Ray Prosten

Wild Rover
05-24-2006, 09:45 AM
For the most part mainstreamers have longer life spans in the hobby, as most cph'ers tend to get all worked up and tight, get too darn serious and burn themselves out in a year or two, and then go WWII'ing or just hang out on forums becoming virtual reenactors.

Turn over is much higher on the cph side, and although we are growng rapidly, we have to stop eating our own.

Pre-Web there were authentic units, amny, and they did not suffer from the silly "mines bigger" attitude the keyboard creates.

Some folks just won't admit they are in the same boat together, and others have way too much time on their hands and an overwhelming desire to be "kewl"

Pards,

hanktrent
05-24-2006, 09:57 AM
the most "authentic" events

I'd like to see one of those.

There's a long way to go before we can even start to think about seeing the end of the trail. Some people get bored on the way, some people get satisfied, some people get frustrated because improvement is too slow, but if continual improvement is what you want, the hobby is no where near done.

Hank Trent
hanktrent@voyager.net

Bill_Cross
05-24-2006, 12:08 PM
There's a long way to go before we can even start to think about seeing the end of the trail. Some people get bored on the way, some people get satisfied, some people get frustrated because improvement is too slow, but if continual improvement is what you want, the hobby is no where near done.
Amen!

There are many good ideas for events that have been used infrequently or not at all. The "dead" company, first used (to my knowledge) at "Pickett's Mill 2001," whereby the Federal "casualties" of the Saturday battle spent the night apart from the "survivors," who then had time to reflect on the loss of their comrades. The "survivors" returned the next AM as reinforcements. Very clever, and we stole the idea for "War on the James," having the dead and wounded from the Saturday battle come back after dusk as a different unit.

And the list goes on.

Chris said it best: we have to stop eating our young. The list of burned-out leaders in this hobby is sad and long. It's not just the normal "arc" when people tell me "I'm sick of the bullshit from (fill in the blank for name, forum, unit, etc.)."

If someone wants to tell me that the CPH movement is stronger now than 3-5 years ago, I say "please give me some of what you're smokin', 'cause you're high!"

Chuck A Luck
05-24-2006, 02:00 PM
Wow,

I'm not on the list. I figured that two McDowells, The War on the James, Paynes Farm, various LH's, and a registration for Rich Mountain would get me listed with the kool kids.

I'll be going to the bathroom now to slit my wrists.
Heh! I'm with you, Bill. Recon III, McDowell, LH with PL at Petersburg NMP, Boys of 62, Burkittsville, Paynes Farm... Been there done that, loved every minute. Perhaps if it was known one had ever attended a mainstream event one was banished from the list of "kewl guys." ;)

dustyswb
05-24-2006, 03:11 PM
The list is a collection of registration lists from 2006 events that have been advertised on the A/C forum.

Past results don't guarantee future performance.

Let's move on................

Bill_Cross
05-24-2006, 03:29 PM
The list is a collection of registration lists from 2006 events that have been advertised on the A/C forum.
With all due respect, Dusty, this is the kind of thing that gives the AC Forum a black eye, even among some of us campaigners. You can see how it was mis-used here on this forum as some kind of badge of kewlness. "I've seen Jesus!" is better shouted out in church and not on a CW forum.

Let's move on....
Excellent suggestion.

Here are three ideas for the leaders of the so-called CPH movement to ponder:

1.) At the next event held in VA, TN or KY, everyone north of the Mason-Dixon line must participate in gray; south of the line must come in blue. Would solve your problems of "grayback-itis" in a jot. And why should the members of the Potomac Legion only attend events in blue, or the Stonewall Brigade only in gray?

2.) As a matter of policy, require all groups attending an event to have and use a dual impression. Aren't single-impression campaigner groups are just mainstreamers in good kit? You could give everyone a year to get the second kit.

3.) Set up an "incubator mess" for every event, actively encouraging those who've never attended a campaigner event to do so. Standards will be minimal, but enforced, with loaner gear available. Anyone who pisses on the event over the Internet is banned from attending. The judgement of the organizers is final.

Not to pick on our friends in gray, but why is it that gray CPH groups have told me they won't attend an event with a knapsack inspection? And if the If the 2134th VA Fusilears refuse to wear anything except gray, then let them attend other events. Yielding on this matter is no better than turning a blind eye to standards and rules violations in the interest of getting your numbers up. And since the problem is always having too many Cornfeds, we'd actually be better off to ban the single-impression groups, right?

Let the fuming begin....

bill watson
05-24-2006, 03:34 PM
"The list is a collection of registration lists from 2006 events that have been advertised on the A/C forum."

If so, it's incomplete. Edited? Hm?

dustyswb
05-24-2006, 03:43 PM
With all due respect, Dusty, this is the kind of thing that gives the AC Forum a black eye, even among some of us campaigners. You can see how it was mis-used here on this forum as some kind of badge of kewlness. "I've seen Jesus!" is better shouted out in church and not on a CW forum.

Bill X, who cares? I would venture to guess that the list was created to get under the skin of some folks. The only reason it works is the target takes the bait. I'm not on the list. I don't care.



Excellent suggestion.

Here are three ideas for the leaders of the so-called CPH movement to ponder:

1.) At the next event held in VA, TN or KY, everyone north of the Mason-Dixon line must participate in gray; south of the line must come in blue. Would solve your problems of "grayback-itis" in a jot. And why should the members of the Potomac Legion only attend events in blue, or the Stonewall Brigade only in gray?

I've never bought into the whole "dual is cool" argument. The SWB is set up as an all CS unit 25 years ago. We've done alright for that long. Some have a Fed kit, but "telling" all the guys they must have a Fed kit is not something the leadership is going to do. The CR's have a CS impression, as far as I know.


2.) As a matter of policy, require all groups attending an event to have and use a dual impression. Aren't single-impression campaigner groups are just mainstreamers in good kit? You could give everyone a year to get the second kit.

No, single-impression folks aren't mainstreamers. Mainstream is a mentality, not the color of your uniform. Events can get ratios right, if they want. Rich Mountain, for instance.


3.) Set up an "incubator mess" for every event, actively encouraging those who've never attended a campaigner event to do so. Standards will be minimal, but enforced, with loaner gear available. Anyone who pisses on the event over the Internet is banned from attending. The judgement of the organizers is final.

Events are set up. Go if you want. "Dumbing it down" is not the answer.


Not to pick on our friends in gray, but why is it that gray CPH groups have told me they won't attend an event with a knapsack inspection?

The WIG did this at Shaker Village in 2004 when I was there. No complaints from the three companies of CS that were in attendance.


And if the If the 2134th VA Fusilears refuse to wear anything except gray, then let them attend other events. Yielding on this matter is no better than turning a blind eye to standards and rules violations in the interest of getting your numbers up. And since the problem is always having too many Cornfeds, we'd actually be better off to ban the single-impression groups, right?

Again, "banning" people is not the answer. Set realistic numbers of participants, open registration for each side, close when the number is reached, adjust if necessary. If you create a good event, folks will come.

This seems like a departure from the philosophy you were pushing earlier in the thread.

Bill_Cross
05-24-2006, 03:55 PM
Bill X, who cares? I would venture to guess that the list was created to get under the skin of some folks. The only reason it works is the target takes the bait. I'm not on the list. I don't care.
I have always admired your dedication to preservation and your personal honesty, Dusty. I once said publicly that when I grow up, I want to be Dusty Chapman. I don't know that I'm going to make it, but I still admire you. If I didn't, I wouldn't tell you I think that list hurts the AC Forum, just as threads on older incarnations of this forum that allowed discussions to turn into food fights hurt this place.

And trust me, I'm not baited, I don't care whether I'm on the "kewl" list or not. But there's no question that this kind of **** annoys people, good people who aren't as bullet-proof as you and I are.

"Telling" all the guys they must have a Fed kit is not something the leadership is going to do.
No, I'm sure not.

Events can get ratios right, if they want. Rich Mountain, for instance.
Yes, events CAN get the ratios right, and I applaud those that try.

Events are set up. Go if you want. "Dumbing it down" is not the answer.
I'm not sure that we "dumb down" an event by bringing others into the group. The alternative is to have "bridge" events like McDowell, only then they get pissed on as dumbing down the CPH movement.

The WIG did this at Shaker Village in 2004 when I was there. No complaints from the three companies of CS that were in attendance.
If you tell folks in advance there will be an inspection, and you do it, then bully. I have been told by several leaders of single-impression gray groups that they would not work with me on an event if their members were going to be inspected. Something about a gentleman's honor. Must be a Southern thang.

This seems like a departure from the philosophy you were pushing earlier in the thread.
In what way? I'm for moving folks out of the mainstream side and into something more "history heavy" (to use Bill Watson's phrase).

dustyswb
05-24-2006, 04:03 PM
If you tell folks in advance there will be an inspection, and you do it, then bully. I have been told by several leaders of single-impression gray groups that they would not work with me on an event if their members were going to be inspected. Something about a gentleman's honor. Must be a Southern thang.

Sounds like it is time to loose that number, Riki.


In what way? I'm for moving folks out of the mainstream side and into something more "history heavy" (to use Bill Watson's phrase).

I was getting the impression that you wanted everyone to stop the infighting. Doing some of the things you suggested above wouldn't help this to happen, IMO.

Wild Rover
05-24-2006, 04:03 PM
I have to agree with Bill that one color impressions reek of a mainstream mindset.

Even Dusty's (and you know I respect you) comment that "we've been doing that for years" reaks of mainstreamspeak.

If folks won't do both kits, then perhaps it is time that they pay more to come to events.

As it makes the organizers and coordinators work harder to facilitate good force ratios.

$15 to attend, with a $20 premium for a prefered impression sounds about right.

Pards,

Bill_Cross
05-24-2006, 04:10 PM
I was getting the impression that you wanted everyone to stop the infighting. Doing some of the things you suggested above wouldn't help this to happen, IMO.
Stopping the infighting will only come when the most outspoken troublemakers leave the scene. Some of that has happened already.

It's possible that by insisting on inspections for both sides, force ratios and reasonable, if not fanatical kit requirements, we could build up the campaigner movement again. I'm somewhat skeptical because it seems to require strong personalities to hold campaigner groups together, and when those personalities leave the scene or pull back, the leadership vacuum is not immediately filled. No one has come along, for example, to replace John Cleaveland and his manic energy. If Chris Anders ever runs out of Energizer Bunny Batteries, then I think you'll see a big drop in numbers at certain events. Fran Kiger's now doing WW II and the Kearny Guards are apparently moribund. The list goes on, and I don't want to piss anyone else off by presuming to talk about their situation, since my information is sometimes hearsay.

The biggest threat to the campaigner movement is the lack of recognizably campaigner events. As Hank Trent has pointed out, we've hardly come to the ne plus ultra of authentic events, yet it seems as though the sand has run out of the hourglass.

And to take Chris' idea one step further: $5 to attend in blue, $30 to attend in gray. Would make acquiring that blue suit almost pay for itself in a few years....

madisontigers
05-24-2006, 05:41 PM
[QUOTE=Wild Rover]"I have to agree with Bill that one color impressions reek of a mainstream mindset."

Chris. This is the first area I have ever seemed to disagree with you. Some folks just have no interest to represent CS or US. I'm not talking about the " my ggg grandpappy would roll over in his grave" theory, but those that are just interested in doing one side more than the other.All this would do is kill CS numbers due to a presumption of predjudice( even though this isn't the case).

"Even Dusty's (and you know I respect you) comment that "we've been doing that for years" reaks of mainstreamspeak."

If a man has a killer CS impression, and only does CS, yet does it professionally, I see no mainstream in that at all.

"If folks won't do both kits, then perhaps it is time that they pay more to come to events."

This will only add to the difficulties of increasing registration fees at events, whether they be C/P/H oriented...or mainstream.



"As it makes the organizers and coordinators work harder to facilitate good force ratios."

Yes, this is true, but what about the good CS troops that you may loose to this proposed idea? This seems to be a good idea at heart, but to me it seems as if it would only hinder reenactors who dont have both kits.

$15 to attend, with a $20 premium for a prefered impression sounds about right.


I currently do not have a complete Federal impression. I am working on obtaining one, but in the past I have decided to take the extra chunk of change needed for a quality Fed kit, and instead invested that into additional items to upgrade my CS kit with otyher impressions.I am from NC, but I by no means, am one of those: "my 3x grandfather would roll over in his grave... if he saw me wearing blue." I simply have no peeked interest in maintaining a Fed kit. I see many mainstream units who continually galvanize.

Respectfully,
David Long

madisontigers
05-24-2006, 05:44 PM
I feel that folks will simply do whatever imprdssion they want, whether it be mainstream or Campaigner. Stringent uniform guidelines have been working I feel, as many mainstream units are no longer being invited to these events. They eventually realize that they either improve their impressions, or they simply loose invitations to units that have better impressions.

David Long

cblodg
05-24-2006, 06:24 PM
I have to agree with Bill that one color impressions reek of a mainstream mindset.

Even Dusty's (and you know I respect you) comment that "we've been doing that for years" reaks of mainstreamspeak.

If folks won't do both kits, then perhaps it is time that they pay more to come to events.

As it makes the organizers and coordinators work harder to facilitate good force ratios.

$15 to attend, with a $20 premium for a prefered impression sounds about right.

Pards,

Sorry Chris, but I too must disagree with you (not that it means much). Just because units don't have a dual impression doesn't mean they are mainstreamer. Personally I take it to mean they are trying to focus on getting one impression right. Granted some can't even do that. But that one impression allows all the resources and energies in that group to focus on one common goal.

In the 6th NH (co. E) we have a guy that does do both CS and US. Now does that mean he is better than the rest, maybe, maybe not. I'd love to put together a top rate Confederate kit, but I'm still trying to improve my federal kit, and have neither the time, nor the money to do so.

You only open the door to farbosity if you make it mandatory for all groups to have a dual impression.

I've had knapsack inspections, and gladly passed every single one of them.

Chris

dustyswb
05-24-2006, 09:19 PM
I have to agree with Bill that one color impressions reek of a mainstream mindset.

Even Dusty's (and you know I respect you) comment that "we've been doing that for years" reaks of mainstreamspeak.

If folks won't do both kits, then perhaps it is time that they pay more to come to events.

As it makes the organizers and coordinators work harder to facilitate good force ratios.

$15 to attend, with a $20 premium for a prefered impression sounds about right.

Pards,

I hope you are not serious...............

Wild Rover
05-25-2006, 07:39 AM
Dusty,

It would raise more money for preservation, would it not?

What would it hurt?

dustyswb
05-25-2006, 08:44 AM
Chris,

No one wants to feel like they are "inferior" and have to pay more to attend the same event, getting the same wood, water, and toilets, just because they don't have two uniforms?

Makes no logical sense to me.

Instead, prior to an event, pitch it to groups that you would like to attend and have them buy in before the effort is made on planning the event.

captdougofky
05-25-2006, 08:45 AM
To All

I just finished the Battle of Sacramento Kentucky, the numbers are down in respect to the reenactors that showed up. Artillery was there in numbers but that reflects the older folks. This event is usually one of the largest in the state unless there is something going on at Perryville, which will be a national this Oct. I was told by informed people that at Perryville this year the AoT would be part of command but that the park itself would set the standards so as not to cause problems with getting reenactors back after the National is over. Here in the west Aot is not the big dog anymore they have turned many away from mega events with the command structure and rules. I know many will get hot about setting standards getting things perfect in respect to uniforms etc. but here in the west the reenactors have a different mind set than you all in the east. I hear very little about hardcore or farby at the events I go to, Maybe we are both there and have learned to get along. Something I see little of in the east based on comments by some of the threads. I see many problems with reenactments like we all do but, gas may be our biggest problem this year. Numbers were down and the weather was perfect.

Doug
Lyons Battery
Kentucky

bill watson
05-25-2006, 09:09 AM
The dual impression thing matters more in some places than others, but it's probably useful to understand why some folks see it as a signal of other issues.

It is a huge issue when 90 percent of the people in a given area have Confederate impressions and don't really care that the history portrayed with a 90-10 force ratio, with the 10 winning, makes a mockery of history. Under those conditions, refusal to help solve the problem is linked to "what I personally want to do is more important than depicting history." And that's an attitude associated with farbism. So the dual impression is associated with folks who are concerned about the history.

The alternate solution -- Confederate registration is capped until Federal registration rises to a certain proportion of total registrations -- means the potential pool of participants is willing to accept the likelihood that they will be attending fewer events as the price they'll pay for not galvanizing. That's sure a horse of a different color, more self sacrifice than selfish.

Dave Grieves
05-25-2006, 09:18 AM
You folks are funny.

As the president of an all-blue organization, I hereby throw in the towel. We are mainstreamers. We have only been attending good events to fool people into... uh... something.

Do we need more rebs so badly that we'll call single impression campagners - I shudder to even type the word - mainstreamers, as if somehow attached to my federal haversack is a cooler full of beer and my JT Martin fatigue blouse came complete with kids in period costume carrying cookie trays.

I seriously resent the insinuation that one cannot have a campaigner attitude without two uniforms.

I remember the distant past when, on THIS forum, there were discussions about details of proper equipment construction, how to sew a correct buttonhole, &c. Those days are long gone. Now this place seems to be a place to cry about what might have been, what's wrong with this or that. Your perception of the strength of the CPH movement is based on the earlier on-line enthusiasm of new blood, who came here, asked good questions and got good answers. Your perception of the demise of the hobby is based upon the stagnation of on-line research sharing, here and elsewhere. It's not real.

cblodg
05-25-2006, 09:25 AM
The dual impression thing matters more in some places than others, but it's probably useful to understand why some folks see it as a signal of other issues.

It is a huge issue when 90 percent of the people in a given area have Confederate impressions and don't really care that the history portrayed with a 90-10 force ratio, with the 10 winning, makes a mockery of history. Under those conditions, refusal to help solve the problem is linked to "what I personally want to do is more important than depicting history." And that's an attitude associated with farbism. So the dual impression is associated with folks who are concerned about the history.

The alternate solution -- Confederate registration is capped until Federal registration rises to a certain proportion of total registrations -- means the potential pool of participants is willing to accept the likelihood that they will be attending fewer events as the price they'll pay for not galvanizing. That's sure a horse of a different color, more self sacrifice than selfish.

Bill;

I can understand wanting to convey the history properly. But you are splitting hairs here. You say that you want people to attend quality events, and have the proper proportions, yet your events will suffer because of those units that choose not to portray both CS and US. Well then you open the door to the farby units that try to have both impressions, yet fail miserably at one of them.

You can't have it both ways my friend. The only way you'll see more units start galvanizing is if the following happens: gas prices drop significantly, higher shelf sutler prices come down, and the return [possibly] of the EFUBU.

most humbly;
Chris

Bill_Cross
05-25-2006, 09:30 AM
As the president of an all-blue organization, I hereby throw in the towel. We are mainstreamers. We have only been attending good events to fool people into... uh... something.... I seriously resent the insinuation that one cannot have a campaigner attitude without two uniforms.
The problem (except at local battles in the North) isn't a lack of gray, and that's the elephant in the room when it comes to single-impression groups. The problem is force ratios. In the old days, if Chris Anders and the LRs didn't come in blue, there was usually no way to have a balance that reflected the history of the battle.


Now this place seems to be a place to cry about what might have been, what's wrong with this or that. Your perception of the strength of the CPH movement is based on the earlier on-line enthusiasm of new blood, who came here, asked good questions and got good answers. Your perception of the demise of the hobby is based upon the stagnation of on-line research sharing, here and elsewhere. It's not real.
I respectfully disagree. While the Internet has always given certain individuals more weight and influence than was born out by reality (including myself, organizer of virtual Federal companies and regiments), we're not talking about enthusiasm or energy or even good questions. The hobby is not demising, and will go on as long as there are folks willing to put on events. But the campaigner movement certainly is losing numbers. In 2001, we were able to field large numbers at three EBUFU events I attended (McDowell, Pickett's Mill and Burkittsville). I doubt you could equal those numbers today.

Worse, though, is seeing some of the energizer Bunnies of the campaigner movement leave. Some of that is a natural attrition of age and circumstance. But some of it isn't. We all know it's true, we all speak about it off-line and in private emails. We've hurt ourselves and it's showing.

Dave Grieves
05-25-2006, 09:42 AM
The problem (except at local battles in the North) isn't a lack of gray, and that's the elephant in the room when it comes to single-impression groups. The problem is force ratios. In the old days, if Chris Anders and the LRs didn't come in blue, there was usually no way to have a balance that reflected the history of the battle.

That's pretty much what I said. The problem was not enough blue. We don't need more gray. So I'm farby for sticking to blue. I'm okay with that. I still resent the insinuation. (My "mainstream" unit doesn't do local battles in the north; they're farby beyond belief and have NO shortage of gray.)


In 2001, we were able to field large numbers at three EBUFU events I attended (McDowell, Pickett's Mill and Burkittsville). I doubt you could equal those numbers today.

Rich Mountain has more people registered than any of the three you mention. Can we field those numbers for three quality events? It's rhetorical, since there are not three events of that scope on the schedule, but I'd say yes.

Bill_Cross
05-25-2006, 10:10 AM
Can we field those numbers for three quality events? It's rhetorical, since there are not three events of that scope on the schedule, but I'd say yes.
Ah, now you've hit the nail on the head (I knew there was a reason I've always liked you)!

We need more events. And events require manpower and cooperation. You'd think with my proven ability to raise troops (at least in blue) I'd be working regularly on campaigner events. Problem is, the turf wars of the part few years have resulted in a vacuum of leadership at the event organizational level.

"War on the Chickahominy" (the EW son of "War on the James") died because we couldn't get the land. "New Market" died because we couldn't get the land. "Road to Goldsboro" is dead because we can't get alternate land.

I'm restless and eager to work on new, creative events. Problem is: I live just outside NYC. Not too many CW battles happened in New Jersey.

Some of the most energetic event planners are no longer active. We need some new fellers to step up and deal.

bill watson
05-25-2006, 11:23 AM
"You say that you want people to attend quality events,"

Well, let me split that hair: That particular post, and my posts in general, do not presume to tell anyone where to go or what to do. While I'm glad to make opportunities available for folks who want to try out history-heavy experiences, there's no advocacy on my part other than putting the information out there when opportunities are available. What I think is: Wanting to do it is half the battle, and it's the most important half. The event model I favor is the one where every single person in the field is there to help make the event happen. That pretty much takes care of the problem you outlined, because units not the least bit curious about how to survive without Colemans and coolers are simply not going to want to be there.

It might help to know I'm a compulsive analyzer rather than a compulsive organizer.....

tompritchett
05-25-2006, 12:03 PM
We need some new fellers to step up and deal.

And we need to stop eating them alive over the various forums because their events do not always meet some idealistic standard set up by one or two individuals.

Chuck A Luck
05-25-2006, 01:01 PM
And we need to stop eating them alive over the various forums because their events do not always meet some idealistic standard set up by one or two individuals.

Hear! Hear! Very well put. I have witnessed some of that behaviour and it almost makes me ill. Nuf' said.

Union Navy
05-25-2006, 01:01 PM
How long folks last in our "diversion" may have much to do with why they got in in the first place. If it's a personal quest to relate to the boys who fought and what they experienced, that's good. I've had a few of those (sleeping in a Sibley at Shiloh on the actual ground they fought on, being kept awake by cold and owls and coyotes and snores, awakening early to a fog-shrouded camp). Others may enter to try and fill the vast vacuum of information present in the average visitor.
For those on a personal quest, they may indeed get to the point where they have experienced what they came to experience (saw the elephant) and see no need to continue. Some of these are very committed to authenticity, and want the most high quality experience, as close as possible to the original. After they percieve they have achieved it (or got reasonably close), it's time for a different experience quest in some other hobby.
For those looking to fill the vacuum, their job will never be done. There's always more ignorance to take the place of that you recently dispelled. My association with Union Navy reeacting especially reveals the depth of this ignorance, where our most common first question is "There was a Navy in the Civil War?" If the story is to be told, it seems that we must do it, and that job never ends.
So, do you look inward or outward, or some combination thereof? And how long will that motivation sustain you?

tompritchett
05-25-2006, 02:14 PM
Might I suggest that we open up some new threads to continue the discussion. This thread is starting to get very large, to the point that not all posts can be displayed in the threaded view, and will likely be closed soon by the Provost. There currently seems to be two discussions running and I would ask that the next reply in either be used to open a new thread to continue that discussion. Thanks (I know, I could have done that this morning but I just wasn't thinking.)

Thomas H. Pritchett
Moderator

FWL
05-25-2006, 08:43 PM
Bill;

I can understand wanting to convey the history properly. But you are splitting hairs here. You say that you want people to attend quality events, and have the proper proportions, yet your events will suffer because of those units that choose not to portray both CS and US. Well then you open the door to the farby units that try to have both impressions, yet fail miserably at one of them.

You can't have it both ways my friend. The only way you'll see more units start galvanizing is if the following happens: gas prices drop significantly, higher shelf sutler prices come down, and the return [possibly] of the EFUBU.

most humbly;
Chris

Chris with all due respect what are you talking about? If there is ever one person that does'nt want it both ways its Bill W. Maybe I want it both ways but not Bill (actually that sounds bad). The events Bill is talking about do not suffer, do not fail and are great events to go to. So you have to drive so what. I'd rather drive 16 hours RT to EFUBU event (Rich Mountain, Shennandoah 62, McDowell, Recon3, A2003 to name just a few) than attend a farby event in New England that's an hour away. The events Bill is talking about that fail are further south. Registration caps work and work well. Enforcing regulations work too. If I was restricted to the mainstream events here in NE you can be sure there would be some quality equipment for sale. There are two hobbies. I do one and don't really worry about the other.

regards