You are not required to pay a membership before you attend an event, however, members do receive discounts on event fees. Paid membership is a requirement for receiving knightly rank, holding an office, and voting privileges to name a few. In some chapters you must have a membership in order to take part in demonstrations where Realms incurs additional cost to participate. Additionally, membership fees help support the Realms infrastructure, including liability coverage for our chapters, and the ability to maintain consistent rules and standards throughout the organization.
A full Participating Membership is only $20.00 per year! A great price for all the fun, learning and comradery you’ll get by joining. Membership forms are on the Library page, or simply click HERE
We welcome you to come to our meetings and events! For events, we do ask that you wear clothing appropriate to the time in history, or at least a basic attempt at one, such as a plain-colored long skirt and peasant type blouse, or plain trousers and an untucked tunic-style shirt.
Many chapters have a new guest/member contact called a “hospitaller” whose job it is to help you find your way in the Realm. They can provide you with information about meetings and activities, and may have loaner clothing you may borrow for your first couple of events.
Participate to the extent you feel comfortable.
Realms is a participatory organization. Where are your interests and abilities? Keep your eyes and ears open to what people are doing. Give yourself time to develop your interests. You needn't rush into things the first few months. If you can choose a name, great. If you are interested in a particular time in history, fine. There is so much to do and so many things to explore that it is allowable to take your time and enjoy the journey. Experienced members are generally more than willing to point out resources. You get out of Realms what you put into it!
Getting Ready for Your First Event
what you’ll need to bring, what to expect at the event
You’ve got your outfit, you’re excited and ready for your first event but are you? What else might you need while at the event, what should you bring…
Always look at what, where and when the event is. Tournaments you’ll want to have something to sit on, a blanket, chair, bench or even your ice chest with a blanket or sheet thrown over it. Only have a modern folding chair… no worries grab a sheet or blanket and toss it over the chair. Sometimes convenience and comfort take precedence over historically accurate.
Always be sure to bring some form of drinking vessel and at the least some water. You never know if there will be vendors selling drinks, water fountains or even other members selling drinks.
Don’t forget, amidst all the excitement once your onsite, to go sign in and pay any site fees there might be. This is a great time to meet and greet with other members and to ask about the day’s activities.
Court is usually held at the beginning of the event to announce what activities there will be, any announcements on upcoming events and in some chapters introductions to the populace of any guests or new members.
How to Recreate Without Breaking the Bank
Something to wear if you can’t sew
Barter for it
This, and paying for other people to make it for you, is probably the best way to go when getting garb. There are lots of things you can do in exchange for someone's sewing skills and time. If you want something garb-related to do to help them, you could always come over and iron or keep them company while they're sewing.
Pay someone in the chapter for it
Find an experienced seamstress in your chapter and ask him or her to make you something. Generally, prices will be very reasonable, depending on what you want made. Keep in mind, though, that unless they have extra fabric floating around, they will probably want you to pay for your own material. You could also ask people if you can buy some of their used garb. Don't worry about how it looks if you're still new, just get it to have something to wear. You can worry about fashion later, when you have money. (Hand me downs are period!)
Something to keep your hands busy
Embroidery: If you love sewing, but can't afford the fabric, try embroidery.
Talk to people: Try talking to other people who are engaged in the arts you want to try. They will often have good suggestions for where you can get cheap materials, or how to do things in a more efficient way.
Borrow, don't buy: If you're just getting started, see if you can borrow someone's materials to try them out. It's no use buying a calligraphy pen only to realize you don't like scroll-making after all. It would probably be easier to find an accomplished scribe and ask him or her to borrow an old pen.
The general method for bartering:
Some people might be thinking in too small a scope when they hear "barter." Certainly, if you have a recreators skill like sewing or carpentry, you are well on your way to having successful items to barter. This is especially true if your skill is something needed (like making clothes) or unusual (candle making or soap making, for instance).
However, you can still barter, even if you don't have one of these sought-after skills. How? You already have skills that you're probably not acknowledging. Can you babysit for an overworked parent, perhaps even at an event? What about washing someone's dishes for the next camping event or feast you go to? If you're looking for help with armor-making, how about helping that fighter carry his armor to practice or around events? If you can cook, you can offer to help someone cook at events or even cook a few meals for them.
I'm sure you have other ideas for things you can do, even if you don't have a re-creator’s skill. Just asking some people whether they would accept a service instead of money is usually a good way to broach the subject, and you'll be surprised how many people will say "yes." They might even have suggestions for things you can do. Besides, barter is definitely period!