How to Join a Reenactment Group
A reenactor is a special breed of person. Reenactors put themselves in the shoes of those from an earlier time where food was scarce, disease was rampant, and a good nights sleep might mean sleeping in the mud. Reenactors sacrifice immense amounts of time, effort, and money to recreate history. If you've gotten this far then hopefully you've put some thought into this endeavor. How to join a reenactment group is not the hardest part of this journey, it's just the beginning.
How Expensive is Reenacting
By now you are probably wondering, "how much is all of this going to cost me? Typical costs for reenacting might include the following.
- Unit Dues - Unit dues are typically the cheapest of all expenses. These can range anywhere from $5 a month to $25 a month. The dues are an important aspect of keeping reenactment groups operating.
- Event Dues - This can really depend on the event and what is provided with the fee.
- Gear - How much a reenactor spends on their gear is a product of individual means, love for the hobby, and type of unit. A typical period correct firearm will cost upwards of $1000. The gear does not stop at just a firearm either. Many reenactors are completely outfitted with clothing, packs, gear, and vehicles their typical persona would carry.
How to Find a Reenactment Group
Finding a reenactment group isn't as easy as looking at a map and finding the unit closest to you. To take part in high quality reenactments a reenactor should expect to drive at least a day for quality events. Aside from physical distance, a reenactor needs to take into consideration a few factors.
- Family Friendly Units - If reenacting is to become your next family adventure, you're going to have to find a family friendly unit. Not all organizations allow family's along for the ride. Be sure to look into this.
- Unit Type - Not all organizations are the same. A Civil War Reenactment will have various units such as artillery, cavalry, or infantry units. Each unit has a different function and will provide a much different experience.
When looking through our list of reenactment groups, be sure to really think about what is important to you. Not all reenactment groups will offer the same experiences.
Reenacting Age Restrictions
The future of reenacting rests on the shoulders of younger generations. Oftentimes, a young person will find themselves interested in living history but struggle to get involved. Typically, the age restriction for most events is 16 years old to carry a musket/rifle. The age restriction on handling firearms does not prevent one from taking part in the hobby. A few options to consider.
- Many organizations, particularly Civil War, offer family friendly scenarios. These organizations will often have a camp life where young ones can partake in 1860's life styles.
- Learn fife or drum. Children as young as 8 have been seen at many reenactments partaking in field music. Learning an instrument is typically the easiest way for children to get involved.
Finding an organization for a child to partake in is not difficult. The important thing to remember is the child still needs adult supervision. Most organization will not watch your 10 year old kid all day. The easiest way for children to get involved in reenacting is to do it as a family.