Continuing with our Pennsic Theme, Baroness Leonete D’Angely tells us a little bit about the East Kingdom Teen Party and how it began:
It was April 2003, and Leonete D’Angely, then 16 and known as Nicola Angelini, was the only person under the age of 25 at the Speckled Trout Inn, an event in Northern Vermont. Chancellor Minor, Ardenia aRuadh was there as well, and they started talking about the lack of activities for teenagers in the SCA, specifically at Pennsic.
Children had the Children’s Fete, Youth Point classes geared at them, and many parents would coordinate play dates. Adults could attend a party any night of the week. But teenagers were relegated to youth combat or hanging out in camp. By the end of their conversation, the idea to throw a party at Pennsic specifically for teenagers was born. The two spent the next few months putting their plans in motion. Ardenia asked Their Majesties for permission to host the party in East Kingdom Royal, and sent out letters to Walmart and Giant Eagle asking for food donations, while Leonete got some of her friends together to set up and staff the party, created flyers, and trekked throughout Pennsic to distribute them.
Four months later, the first East Kingdom Teen Party was held in EK Royal. About 50 teenagers showed up, and the next year, most of them returned, with friends. Throughout its life, the party has fluctuated between dates, often being held on the Sunday of middle weekend, but stretching as late as the Thursday of War Week. The size of the party has grown to almost 150 teens in its biggest year.
The team putting the party together experimented early on with performances, activities, and structure, but found over the years that what the teenagers of the SCA really want is some space, some snacks, and a chance to socialize with each other in peace. The year that Leonete got all knights to chaperone was a big hit, however, with avid youth fighters asking question after question about style, technique, and how exactly to throw that wrap shot. Another year, future arts and science aficionados gathered around a chaperone who had brought her embroidery to the party.
This year’s party will be held on Monday, July 29th, in East Kingdom Royal, from 7-10pm. All gentles at Pennsic between the ages of 13-17 are welcome to attend.