Devils Den asked me to describe some of my experiences as a reenacting family when I did my introduction post. Well here it is.
My daughter and I have only been with the guys for just over a year now. Our first event was the Battle of Pea Ridge in Bentonville,AR. We did not camp out but the husband and sons did. Us ladies did not have our tent at the time and we live close by so we just went out during the day. I found that everyone acts differently when they put that uniform on.
Now the first time we camped in civilian camp was last year at the Battle of Westport in Kansas City,MO. We were not ready to spend the day without the men and since we did not yet have out cooking gear we had to go to the vendors for lunch. I found that the camps are very far apart and I also discovered muscles in my legs that I had not known where there from the mile walk to the military camp. Our first night was not the best as I was not used to all the noises at night but was not afraid since we had met our neighbors. The men on the other hand had a enemy in the camp area that was not nice called ticks yuck. When we went to see them in the morning and have breakfast with them they told us to becareful and watch for them as everyone was covered by them when they were sleeping. The funny thing is is that at the civilian camp we had none of these pests. When we got home I had them shower and check good for some of these unwanted guests before they even sat down at the house. It was a nice event though for my daughter who met and spent time with a young artillary man from the area. It was funny though watch the guys in the unit give him the once over like a bunch of uncles. He did pass inspection which I thought was funny.
Now when we go to events and camp us ladies do the cooking for the guys since they seem to love 'Christina bread'. My daughter makes some wonderful homemade bread that the men love so that is what it is called now. Just the mention of it will bring the men to any event.
My favorite thing to do though is the living histories. I like them because when married men are thinking about joining the unit they can see that the ladies can get involved as well and see all 5 of us together as a family enjoying ourselves. Even at living histories my camp is away from the military camp just like at a battle but not as far away.
I have met some wonderful people doing this hobby. It feels like a big family reunion everytime we go somewhere since we see all the friends we have made over the past couple of years. We even email and call each other through out the year to see if we will be at events together.
The reenactment community is wonderful no matter if you are union or confederate. To me we are a family keeping history alive and that is what counts.
My husband and I even do all the planning for a living history in our hometown that is during the annual town festival and last year we had more men show up for it in fact we had the best numbers for any event on our calendar for last year. That made me feel great.
Now I am ready to do something else like maybe plan on renewing my wedding vows during a event. That would be something I think anyways.
So now I am done....who else wants to tell us about their experiences weather it be with the family or if you do this just with the unit.
Sunnylady408 - how wonderful. I, too, am a lady civilian reenactor and have attended many events with my family (husband, teenage son and daughter). We love it. It's like living another life so different from the daily one. In our unit we all camp together. My husband and I share a wall tent and my kids have an A. There is another family in our unit and like you, we ladies churn butter, cook in camp, mend torn clothes and really have a great time. My daughter sometimes dons a uniform (we are Federal) and goes out in the field as a private. She's pretty darn handy out there. I like a family unit because, like you said, it allows for the whole family to be involved. Although there are many units out there who don't allow families - and that's fine - it's just not for me or my "boys". They like having us with them. Food's better!
I do not mind that we camp differently from the men. It give me and my daughter time to ourselves which is hard to do when we are home. Now if my husband would allow her to she would be out there with the men. I am still learning what the ladies do at events but as long as I am there and the unit appreciates it to me that is all that counts.
Enjoy the season...we are off to a living history the 7-8 of March and I cannot wait!