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Editors note: There is currently a policy in the Society Seneschal’s handbook (Section X, subsection 3) that all minors be within sight and sound of their parent or guardian.  While there is a Board of Directors meeting this weekend (July 20th), the Pennsic Staff and Seneschal Team urged the Society Seneschal to grant a variance in advance for Pennsic to give more warning to affected families.

Mike Watkins
Society Seneschal
Issued July 14th, 2019


  1. Parents are responsible for the monitoring and knowing the location of their minor children under the age of 18 at all times.
  2. Parents are responsible for the behavior of their minor children at all times regardless of their location or activity.
  3. Minors under the age of 12 must be directly supervised by their parents within sight or sound at all times unless the parents arrange with someone to watch their minor children for a specified time or place. That is a private agreement between the parents and the supervising person. The supervisor must have the ability to contact the parents at all times. The SCA is not a part of that arrangement or agreement at any time.
  4. After sunrise and before sunset, Parents who have minor children 12 years of age or older do not need to be in line-of-sight of their minor children, however, they are still fully responsible for maintaining contact and knowing the location of their children.
  5. After 10 pm local time and before sunrise, Parents are required to keep their minor children under the age of 16 within sight or sound at all times or arrange for a responsible trusted person to maintain supervision in their absence. The Supervisor must have the ability to contact the parents at all times. The SCA is not a part of that arrangement or agreement at any time.

Interpretation: The term “sight”  or ”sound”  means that a parent or supervisor must have sufficient proximity to effectively supervise the minor children.  In practice, this is the “the short distance in which a parent can exert command and control” over their minor children. That can be anywhere in camp or in their immediate vicinity which allows them to respond quickly for safety or control issues.

Per The Pennsic Mayor, regarding the change in free-range age for Pennsic:


July 9 – I was informed that there was a line in the revised Society Seneschal Handbook that would greatly impact the activities of children and youth at Pennsic as it stated that minors, 17 and under, would need to be in sight and sound of parent or guardian. Involved seneschals, youth officers and Mayor’s office scrambled and try to figure out if we can affect that rule for this Pennsic. Originally we are informed that changes are coming and we should wait until after the BOD meeting on July 21st. Being that it is only 5 days before Pennsic opens and definitely not enough time for people to scramble and make new plans; we apply for a variance to continue using the age of 10 as stated in our printed site rules.

July 12 – We are granted a variance which places the age at below 12 needing to be in sight and sound but needs clarification on a number of issues as it would have cancelled any teen evening events of which numerous are planned.

July 16 – Final wording on a variance is clarified and released as generally as possible as soon as we could. We will have an addendum to the book available at Troll. If you wish to learn more about why the original guideline of 17 was developed or what changes may come out of the coming BOD meeting we would suggest contacting the Society Seneschal or BOD directly.

From Mistress Leonete D’Angely, Youth Activities & Family Point Coordinator for Pennsic War 48:

As per the Society Seneschal’s Variance, the following changes will be made for activities run by the family activities department:

-All teen/tween evening lounges will be 12+, and those under 16 will be asked to leave to head back to camps at 9:45

-10 and 11 year olds will need supervision as per the policy in YouthU and Family Point classes.

Thank you,

For comments about the current policy or the variance issued:

Society Seneschal: Baron Aylwin Watkyns, OP (Mike Watkins), seneschal@sca.org

Board President: Duke John the Bearkiller (John Fulton), president@sca.org

Ombudsman for the East Kingdom: Dan Watson (Sir Bartholomew Hightower), dwatson@director.sca.org

Comments directly to all the SCA, Inc. Board of Directors: directors@sca.org