Monday, 18 May 2015

Potential Problems for Youth Activities at Pennsic this Year [Updated]

Changes in legislation in the State of Pennsylvania will have an impact on how attendees under the age of 18 may participate. Through their Keep Kids Safe website, Pennsylvania has announced that:

Beginning July 1, 2015, an adult applying for an unpaid position as a volunteer responsible for the welfare of a child or having direct contact with children will need clearances.

This new law states that anyone responsible for the "supervision, guidance or control of children or [who has] routine interaction with children" must go through a clearance process that may include a finger print check by the FBI.

With this new law, there is speculation across Social Media as to whether youth will be able to participate in armoured combat, or even youth combat, if all the marshals have not gone through this clearance process. Under this legislation, it might also be impossible for seventeen year olds to freely wander about the Pennsic site since they will have interaction with security and other event volunteers who have not gone through the clearance process.

The Ealdormere Gazette has reached out to Baroness Briatiz D’Andrade, Pennsic War 44's Media Liaison, and we hope to hear from her soon.

For more information, read the FAQ about this legislation.

[Edit: We have been informed that this issue is being investigated by the Pennsic Mayor and the Seneschals of the three Pennsic kingdoms.]


  1. Why did you post this without any research into the matter? "Might", "might"? If you don't know, go find out and then post. And why would you bother going to the Media Liaison - does she have Youth Combat or some relevant legal experience?

    1. As the Gazette is media, we went to the Media Liaison. I'm sorry we didn't seem to carry out as much research on the matter as you expected.

  2. Thank you so much for posting this. I heard rumblings about something like this after war practice. I am glad to hear the facts and that it is being addressed instead of just the rumours. I look forward to hearing how this progresses.

  3. For many organizations this is already a requirement, especially for groups that receive State Funding (which the SCA does not). Even to volunteer as a camp counselor or a Sunday School teacher I have to go through one of these background checks annually.

    As long as there are enough Marshals who have passed the background check to run practice. The FBI fingerprint background check applies only to people who have not been a resident of Penn for 10 years.

    Otherwise, it's $76.25 to get the full background check that lasts for 3 years.

    This is a hurdle, but it is not a Make-Or-Break issue.