Grandma Dottie’s Medieval Camp was this year’s theme. The little boys chose it. They are enthralled with that period of knights and castles and kingdoms and battles.
www.bard.org Utah Shakespeare Festival
I decided the perfect venue for such a camp would be i n Cedar City during the Shakespearean Festival and on the weekend of the Midsummer Renaissance Faire held in Main Street Park in Cedar City with it’s medieval looking tents for booths and characters dressed up in costumes of that period.
www.bard.org. Here you can order Mulled Cider, Fruit Tarts, and other refreshments you might find at an English Country Fair. Or you may wait until they come around calling out their wares for sale.
And we could all attend the Green Show, which is entertainment held every evening before the plays begin, with performers that look like they stepped right out of Renaissance England with their accents and attitudes creating the atmosphere. It is such an enchanting scene! The first time I took my youngest to this festival when she was 12, she stepped into the Theater area with the actors in costume, the wares being hawked by cockney-speaking peasants, the music, the tarts and humbugs, and she said, “Is there a major in Shakespearean times? I love this!” She was fell in love with Shakespeare, literature, and history all in a moment. So I wanted my grandchildren to experience it too.
Of course, if we were going to take the trip back in time with this kind of culture surrounding us all, the children needed to be in costume too. So I looked for some simple patterns on Pinterest that would be fairly simple for me–and by me, you know I mean my daughters- to make. (My days of sewing are over, as are my days of pulling off Grandma’s Camp by myself. it is now a family effort.)
The little boys had a tunic with a Celtic cross on it and a belt that could hold their sword. The girls each had a velvet dress with the cascading sleeves. As my kids,–the parents–started helping, enthusiasm was in the air. The little grand kids could hardly wait as their costumes were tried on for the right fit. We decided even the babies would have costumes. This was going to be fun and festive!
This is a dress for one of the babies. The sleeves are short in front with long trailing sleeves in back.
Our little seven month old Lady of the Kingdom
We found these leather crowns at the Renaissance Faire. Each of the kids had $5.00 to spend. Three of them spent their money on these crowns. They are actually made as hat bands.
And look at this! You can wear them with the crown points up or down. So cool! I hope they have them there next year. I want to buy more for a Book of Mormon Camp. They would be perfect for Nephi and Captain Moroni!
The Date is Set–this is often the hardest part.
I looked on the Festival City USA website for the date of The Utah Midsummer Renaissance Faire, and that became the date for Grandma’s Camp. Two days was all we could work out for the whole family to be together, so we had just two days to conquer the world!
We were short two families this year which meant we were missing three knights and three Lady Knights, but as I mention in my home page, it is important to be able to adapt. The other four families arrived on that early August day, and the activities started.
First up was donning costumes, and as part of the costumes, swords were handed out to each child, including the girls. Because we were going to have the Round Table and there were not enough boys–and besides, no matter that there was no such thing as gender equality back then, we have a firm belief in it now and the girls did not want to be “damsels in distress.”
In the background of this picture is another version of the headpiece options for the Lady Knights framed by our two newest adorable babies! Aren’t babies “divinity?” (from Little Women)
The Knights’ Code
I found this knight’s code online under King Arthur’s Knights. It was a great website–very serious about the history of King Arthur–and I would like to have used more of it, but we had so much to conquer in our shortish time, that I never can do as much as I plan, but the code was a great idea for our Camp.
The Knights were men of courage, bravery, honor, dignity, courtesy, and nobleness.
They protected ladies and damsels, honored and fought for kings, and undertook dangerous quests.
The children, of course, knew how to act with Courage and Bravery and Honor. But Courtesy part of the code was on sort of an ebb and flow basis, however, look at this cute little act of courtesy by the four year old Princess helping another little Lady out of the tunnel on the final quest. And you’ve got to love her Medieval dress with pink cowboy boots! Ahh! Kids are the cutest!!
The first activity, after donning costumes, was to make our shields. Grandpa had cut our various shapes from cardboard so they could choose the shield that they wanted. We had paint, markers, beads, and jewels to create their own coat of arms on the shield.
I think it might be a good idea to have tin foil and scrap-booking paper they can glue on or Mod Podge, but we worked with what I had remembered to bring along. And they LOVED making their shields and were so proud of them. The shields have a very sturdy duct tape handle on the back of them that held tight through all of their battles.
All for One and One for All!
(I know I’m mixing up time periods with all these references of medieval knights, renaissance, Three Musketeers, but the goal is fun, so mixed up it is!)
And so it was decreed that the girls would be knighted (here comes artistic license again as I’m forced to change history as we apply it in 2013) as part of the Round Table.As for the damsel in distress thing–Their Grandma Dottie has set the example for the girls–that is I am one who expects to be rescued whenever there is distress–I gave up wanting to be independent long ago, but we have a new generation of independents and so female knights it is!Actually it was only the nine year old lady that demanded equality. The four year old was totally satisfied with being a princess. She claims full and sometimes solitary right to the title as well as the royal power to command. However she wanted to be part of the knighting ceremony. So we adapt.
Midsummer’s Renaissance Faire
As soon as the shields were made we went to the Renaissance Faire held in Cedar City’s Main Street Park. There were booths, bounce houses, face painting, entertainers, balloons, and games.
The Renaissance Faire in Cedar City Park.
It might be good to note here that part of the code of a knight requires them to not take payment for their services and daring deeds, so sometimes their pants are holey, and sometimes their shoes are worn to simple straps, but both are comfortable for battle and other daring deeds like talking one of the vendors to come down on his price of shirts so he could buy one for him and one for his brother. Yeah, he’s a daredevil, but one with brotherly love!
“OFF WITH THEIR HEADS”
Top picture–This bean bag game was played by everyone. You aim at the wives of Henry VIII. If you hit one, her head falls back. It was a cute concept and fun to play.
Bottom picture–I gave them each $5.00, and they went shopping to the booths throughout the park. This booth is called “Another Realm” where they bought their leather “crowns.” There are bounce houses, face painting, rides, food, and entertainment there all day long.
The most fun this for our 18 month princess was trying to take care of Moki as she models her Renaissance dress. You can see that Moki doesn’t like to obey babies, even royal ones.
KNIGHTHOOD TRAINING BEGINS
Quest #1 Strength and Endurance
Quest #2 Archery
Quest #3 Sword fighting–ready for duels or battles