Here are some guidelines for offering “Youth Friendly” classes at events and scholas.
**This information does not pertain to Martial Activities, as the Youth Chancellor office does not oversee Youth Martial activities.**
First, let’s review the current SCA policies pertaining to Youth Activities.
1. The SCA states that persons must be background checked & warranted to run youth activities, effective Feb 2008.
“Officials who are required to have background checks include, but are not limited to, youth activities officers at all levels, adults acting as youth marshals for any martial activity, persons organizing / in charge of youth activities for events.”
2. The SCA also has the 2 Deep Rule in effect, which states “For all SCA Youth Activities, a minimum of 2 adults (at or above the age of legal majority in the state, province or country in which the activity occurs) unrelated to one another by blood, marriage or relationship, must be present. This policy does not relieve parents of their primary responsibility for the welfare and behavior of their children.” excerpted from 5-19-2007 SCA Board Memorandum
3. The Sight/Sound Rule states “Parents or Guardians who bring minors to an event must ensure their children’s activities are compliant with SCA Governing Documents, Laws and Policies, and site rules-to include any Kingdom-or-event-rules regarding a requirement for minors 12 and under to be within sight/sound of a responsible parent/guardian at all times.” Parents must be present at all times with children under the age of 5 years.
As you can see the two main things are having a warranted youth officer present AND following the 2 Deep Rule. These are the hallmarks for running SCA youth activities.
So, how does this affect teachers and artisans who want to make their classes youth friendly, but are not background checked and warranted as a Youth Officer? First, determine what type of activity you are going to have. Is it more of a classroom/lecture style activity or a hands-on, interactive activity? Also, is the subject matter appropriate for all ages? And might this activity attract students aged 13-17? For the sake of discussion, I will assume that the class subject is appropriate for all ages, and that the teacher wants to open the class to youthful students.
Example A: A lecture class with discussion about period hats, materials and techniques might appeal to a variety of ages.”All ages are welcome to come– Attendees under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.” If you have a Youth Minister to proctor your class, you may change the age to “12.”
Example B: A techniques class where hats were being made would not necessarily be appropriate for very young students, due to sharp tools and dexterity issues. There would be an increased chance of students between the ages of 13-17. A warranted youth officer in attendance would be recommended. And I would also recommend to add this disclaimer to your course description “This class is suitable for students aged 8 and above. Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult.” You can change the “age ___ and above” to fit what you think is appropriate.
Example C: For a cooking class, with youth invited to participate, generally held in a kitchen area, the warranted youth officer should be running it in coordination with the teacher/artisan who is teaching it. I would recommend having 2 warranted youth officers in case of bathroom breaks, etc. (Remember, per SCA rules, the youth activity must stop if there is not a warranted youth officer present.) You will most likely have youth of all ages present, and parents must be within sight/sound for minors 12 and under and parents must be present for age 5 and under. It is not permitted to have a child “signed over” to the activity staff. The parents can assign a babysitter to attend with a child aged 6-12, but the babysitter must be 13 yrs or older. Here is your disclaimer for your class announcement, “All ages are welcome to come–parental supervision per the SCA guidelines is mandated.”
So, we have covered a few types of classes/activities, but what if you cannot get a warranted youth officer to assist you, or you are not sure if your subject would be acceptable to parents for their children, or you just do not want to deal with the logistics of it all? Simply use the disclaimer “All ages are welcome-minors under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult.”
In fact, it might be good for the Class-style event coordinators to put that disclaimer for all classes, unless the teacher has noted otherwise, or unless a designated youth track with warranted Youth Ministers proctoring has been arranged.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any additional questions or concerns about opening your class to the youth of our kingdom. If you need to coordinate with a Youth Officer, I can put you in touch with someone. Event stewards–I am also happy to be a resource to you!
Baroness Clarice Roan
Æthelmearc Youth Chancellor
01/05/2011, updated 1/19/2015