This weekend we attended a well-run and thoroughly FUN archery event hosted by our local SCA barony. By the way, I’m not giving actual event names, places, or other specific details as it’s not mine to give… it’s not secret, as these things are posted on SCA Kingdom and Barony pages for those who are interested in finding out more and possibly participating… but I am keeping my sharing specific to our family activities. Anyway, this weekend’s event was a full day of archery goodness! The amount of prep work to set this thing up and host it must have been truly substantial! I was able to assist one afternoon, to help prep some targets, but that was such a tiny amount of help compared to those who ran around planning and setting things up, prepped the lunch and feast, etc., especially the autocrat and marshal-in-charge. Their hard work paid off and we really had a great time.
In the beginning, groups of brave adventurers headed out into the deep dark woods to rout out ravaging bands of monsters and fiends… they were accompanied by a young lady bard who, when not gathering treasures, like shells, shiny rocks, coconut shells and golf balls that she found along the path, recorded their deeds for history.
The deep dark woods were quite lovely.
Brian is confronted by an evil spider queen.
Dad’s got his back.
And it was mom who took out one of the vile little spider eggs.
And then, there were dragons!
Crafty beasts would hide behind trees and such, and we were required to shoot from set locations. (one foot had to be in contact with the marker stake at each target site).
Ah, a rare glimpse of our Miss Honor, as seen from the other side of the camera.
And Brian, without a bow attached to his face.
Honor took a lot of photos of trees and nature as she walked with us.
Some of the targets were quite challenging, hidden behind trees and branches. Sneaky beasts!
That branch will not save you!
Ok, maybe some branches might save you… many arrows were ricocheted, trapped, and snapped.
I totally got the sorceress in the head… okay, maybe just the left ear, but it was enough to slow her up so my team-mates could take her down.
In the meantime, nature was enjoyed and dandelions were puffed into the wind.
After lunch was the clout shoot, which is an old term that apparently means launching arrows at a target WAY, WAY, THE HECK OUT THERE. I am not sure how far away this one was, but we shot at this target from on top of the hill. Do you see it? Center of the photo? White rectangle peeking through the branches? Not the little t-shaped pole-thing up close, but look beyond that, over the land, over the first bit of water there, to the small outcrop of land in the distance. There it is. For scale… look for the people walking, lower left corner the water.
I didn’t hit the target (ha!) but I was quite pleased to have made the distance with 2 of the 3 arrows I shot. One landed to the left, one landed to the right. The first one went swimming, way short!
And this was another one of the more challenging targets. There were two hanging targets on a spinning base – and did they ever spin, and rock, and twirl! Each target had two sides… one bee, one mosquito. Hit the mosquito for two points, hit a bee and lose a point! (Protect the pollinators!) Brian and I got one mosquito each. This was hard! There was a potential for 12 points here. Brian and I managed 2 points each here, but as this was even difficult for the experienced archers, I was not ashamed of this score!
Brian spies an evil purple dinosaur lurking in the woods!
And then we had to climb a giant mountain (or maybe it was just a somewhat steep ridge) to fight the monsters on the hill top. Shooting at a slant was tricky.
It was also hard to shoot pictures without leaning!
Taking a breather before the downhill bit of the shoot. A rock monster had to be dispatched before we could descend again. At least there was a lovely breeze on top of the ridge!
Again… it was tricky getting good footing to shoot. And by the way, the backing of this target and a number of others on the course? Were our recycled UAB boxes from when we left Kuwait. Probably the most creative use we’ve ever had for them, but the double-walled cardboard was excellent for this!
Brian shows us how it’s done.
Downhill again… and what is this? Could it be? (ominous theme music builds in intensity)…
It’s a shark!
No worries. We fight those too.
At the end of the day, all the points were tallied and winners decided. Each target had a set number of points that could be achieved with a total possible of about 150. Brad, Brian and I all scored in the 40’s, but considering how tough some of these targets were, and how amazing some of the experienced archers were, I wasn’t surprised or disappointed. Honestly, I thought we did a darn good job! And we had fun - *grin*!
And where was Honor during most of this? Petting all the pups, of course. And swinging, and watching the birds, and boats, and hawks, and chatting, and looking for turtles, etc.
And helping to retrieve found things.
After dinner, the French and English navies had a fierce naval battle. The English won, but it was a battle of mutual destruction.
Honor explored more and took some photos of the darkening sky.
And the day was wrapped up with a fierce atlatl battle, to the last man standing (we used boxes as stand-ins, we didn’t actually throw spears at each other), and a friend of ours also walked us out to the woods again, by flashlight as we’d completely used up the day by this point, to show us some local plants, jack-in-the-pulpits, that we were completely unfamiliar with (being non-native Marylanders!) but by this time, the camera battery had died. Ah well.. next time!