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Civil War Reenacting: Advice For New Recruits



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so there seems to be a kind of a new

wave of

new reenactors coming through the ranks

here recently and what we're going to

talk about today is specifically

what are we looking for in new

reenactors if you're new to the hobby if

you if you're curious on what we look

for have you

curious on what makes a good new

reenactor and kind of what the

expectations are

listen up this episode's for you

so we've all seen them whether we call

them the jonas or whoever

the people are that join a reenactment

group

and then they fail to actually make it

in that reenactment group

one of the things i think is important

for reenactors to know whether

you're good with social clues or if

you're not good with social cues or

whatever type of personality you have

there's a few criteria a few things that

every reenactment group is looking for

if you're a new reenactor

the following items are key to have to

be successful

in your new unit so those attributes are

the following 10 things

number one be on time number two have a

strong work ethic

put forth as much effort as you can the

body language that you exhibit during

the events means so much

have energy have a good attitude have

passion toward the hobby

and be coachable more importantly go the

extra mile

and always be prepared so let's talk

about each one of these

and see exactly what we're looking for

in new reenactors

so the first one is being on time and

this is honestly you can take all these

attributes

and take them to the real world for a

working environment as well

the first one of being on time and the

old adage of if you're not 15 minutes

early you're late is very true

as a new reenactor if you are not the

first in line

if you're not always dressing uh right

if you're not

what i mean dressing as in being in line

if you're not

always there first then you need to kind

of look at what you're doing

we always have excuses of why we're not

in line or why we're always the last in

line

but one thing you can kind of clue in

and kind of

to pay attention have good situational

awareness and think about

are you always the last to arrive at an

event

are you always the last to be in line

are you always the last

to form up during revelry or morning

call or whatever duty it is

are you always the last in everything

that you do and do you always have an

excuse for why you're last

uh obviously that doesn't go over real

well if you're last someone has to be

last that's okay

but if you're consistently last that is

not good you always need to be on time

if you're not 15 minutes early you're

late

number two have a strong work ethic uh

this is

can't be said enough uh you gotta have a

strong work ethic if you're

new you gotta show your group and your

unit that you're in it for the long haul

that you can work

take you know take more labor you know

cut some wood

be the one who starts the fires be the

one who offers the cook if that's how

your unit works

uh be the one who offers to actually put

some work in

and work more than anyone else in the

group you do that

and you're on your way to being a solid

participant in your unit

number four is body language uh when it

comes to body language you can't i mean

there's a lot to be said about body

language we have had some re-enactors

come in our group and

we've seen others at other units who

they just sit there and they corner

moping around or they you know every

time we say hey let's drill

like okay we'll drill again even though

it's boring

drilling is boring and the more you

drill the more you experience the

soldier's life

if you want to truly honor your

ancestors or if you want to truly

experience the souls

uh the the soldiers what they went

through however whatever reason you're

in the hobby

uh have good body language people feed

off that

and if you're an energetic new guy your

lead your unit will

feed off that you'll be encouraged they

will encourage you you will encourage

them

your body language is critical to being

a good participant in your unit

next one is energy very similar to body

language

but if you don't have energy if you're

sitting there every time and

you're always taking breaks you're

always having low energy

if you always are you know or

significant you say you're significantly

tired

uh we're all tired we all don't get

really you know good

sleep during these events i mean whether

you're on a pickup post or whether

you're at

whatever type of event you're at we

generally don't sleep very well and

energy generally is down but you got to

have that energy

i mean look at the original guys who you

know marched how many ever miles in the

middle of night to just attack in early

that next morning

you got to show that energy with that

passion that drive the energy

they all go hand in hand next one can't

say it enough

is your attitude your attitude for what

your unit stands for your attitude

for what they're asking you to do you

got to have a good attitude

we're going to go down here a little bit

talk about being able to receive

correction

but you got to have a good attitude of

what you're here for if you if you show

up to

every event and you always are

complaining if everything that comes out

of your mouth

is negative you might want to check

yourself

and understand that you rub off on

everyone okay

if you're negative that poor attitude is

not going to go well

honestly you're going to be considered a

jonah within your unit you're going to

be ostracized and kicked out

whether it's kicked out informally or

kicked out formally

you got to understand that your attitude

is is first and foremost

one of the best things that makes people

either accept you or not and even if you

don't feel like it

uh you got to have a strong energy and

that strong attitude

to participate with your unit uh and

you're there to have fun you're we're

here to reenact and experience history

um and you we all got to bring that

attitude we all got to bring the energy

and if we don't you're going to drag

people down along with you

next one is passion you we always know

we know those guys usually

the unit leaders or the really good ncos

and the units

that have that passion for the hobby and

that's one thing we always look for and

if you have passion you're gonna go up

the ranks pretty good

you gotta have that passion for the

hobby uh what is passion you know what

what exactly are we looking for and it's

that passion of

after hours how do i know if you have

passion is because the next the next

group

the next unit or the next event sorry

the next event we go to

if you have read and you've studied and

you know your drill

that tells me that you have passion

toward the hobby and that work ethic

that we talked about

before if you've been in the hobby for

10 years and you say

i've been in reenacting for 10 years for

15 years

and you still don't know your manual of

arms if you still don't know your drill

that should tell you something that

doesn't mean anything have that passion

have that drive and honestly for me how

my

my uh group shows me their passion is do

you study

off hours we meet once a month you got a

whole month

to at least read a couple articles

couple pages maybe a few drills in the

manual

know what you're talking about that's

how you show passion

next one arguably is the most important

especially as a new guy

be coachable we all don't like to take

criticism even the experienced

guys we sometimes even experienced guys

get the manual wrong it's hard to really

if you're not in it every single day

it's hard to really memorize

the drill and even if you know the drill

is a private those of you who have

leadership positions

once you actually start calling the

shots on the field and you even though

you know the drill

at home calling the drill orders in the

field

a little bit different and so you got to

be coachable when someone comes up to

you with a good attitude and says hey

you know

you got you're really good at this but

you got to work on this if they try to

you know

help them help you improve your

impression um you know be coachable

don't take offense to it

there are some guys out there that come

across very abrasive they may come

across really rude

honestly ignore the rudeness look

through what their

what their uh how their delivery is and

try to take what they're saying is what

they're saying good important

useful or is it not but the biggest

thing is be coachable

don't take offense if someone you know

calls you out on your drill

calls you out on how you do things in

the field or calls you out

on your uniform i mean me myself i've

only been a hobby a short amount of time

and there's you know they're still guys

actually at the 155th gettysburg

a couple weeks ago you know there's guys

who who called me out and you know i

knew

i knew i was doing as soon as they said

i was like ah you're right

um but you know be coachable you know

don't take offense when people try to

help you improve your impression

next thing is do extra this goes back to

energy passion and work ethic

anytime there's an opportunity to

volunteer for something

volunteer even if it's the horrible

sucky

uh you know like latrine duty or

whatever it is

always volunteer to do something do

extra go the extra mile we have guys

that they've you know self self braided

hemp rope or

they've come into our unit learned a

skill whether it's a specific type of

sewing ski

specific type of leather work or they

they know they have the time and the

effort

to do something may not maybe not the

money but the time the effort or maybe

the money

and not the time uh you know we work

together well and we go above and beyond

we do that extra thing

so when it comes to again i mean this is

the second to last thing that we're

talking about as far as the 10 things to

to be a good new re-enactor in your unit

go the extra mile find those things that

you know that you can do that you can

volunteer for

and i don't mean you know big things i'm

talking small things like one of the

things that just stood out with me we

had one of our one of our new members

we were going to going over to a big

eastern event driving 30

hours okay and every time we stopped for

gas

he got out and he uh squeegeed the

windows

okay has nothing to do with reenacting

has nothing to do

with uh history in general but we as a

unit when we get out we know that you

know one guy fills the truck up one guy

does this one guy goes gets drinks

uh and he we never asked him to do this

but every time

he got out he scrubbed the windows

cleaned them you know windexed them

he went the extra mile without us having

to tell him

that was impressive it's stuff like that

that

we enjoy and stuff like that that your

unit leaders enjoy to see your drive and

passion

come out the last one number 10 is

be prepared always be

prepared when in doubt do it

for instance when you have a question of

should i wear my saber belt should i

bring

my uniform should i wear my uniform are

we doing full dress are we going just

just belt and no no carbine or what are

we doing

uh when in doubt i know it's a it's a

bad decision we all sometimes want to

take shortcuts

but when in doubt be prepared if you

don't know whether we're bringing

carbings if we're just doing saber bells

for a certain impression

bring your carbine be prepared we have a

guy in our in our group

uh or that kind of rides with us that we

call them comes ready

why that guy comes and as soon as he

steps out of that trailer the dude is

saddled

uniformed tacked up ready to go ready to

go i mean

talking bed roll great coat everything

is out there

did he need his bed roll a great coat

for this specific event

no no we're not doing really anything to

do that

as far as campaigning but he brought it

because it doesn't matter he comes

ready same thing if you are last in line

last in formation if you're fiddling

with the the gear your equipment if

you're fiddling with the shell trap if

you're always the last person

to uh to tear down your camper always

the last person

to set up your camp you've got to have

good stage good situational awareness

you always got to be prepared bring your

gear bring your equipment

and if you're not prepared try not going

around

letting everyone know you're not

prepared suffer with what you didn't

bring

suffer with your lack of preparedness

and just deal with it

for the most part okay and there's some

you guys are probably going to yell at

me for saying that

but be prepared if you show up and

you're

last doing everything you're not really

prepared you don't have the right stuff

and you all say this is uh you know if

you don't communicate with your

unit and you just show up and you're you

know someone was supposed to bring you

something or you're supposed to hook up

in a certain town and then ride with

them the rest of the way

and you don't communicate you know

that's not take the initiative

right you got to take the initiative so

basically that's it

when it comes to having a good work

ethic being on time

putting forth the best effort you can

during the weekend

having good body language good energy an

awesome positive attitude

you got to be coachable doing extra go

the extra mile

and again always be prepared if you take

those 10

attributes and 10 aspects to heart

you're going to be covered

make sure you know if you have any

questions feel free to message me

private message me on facebook or make a

comment below on on youtube

i'll be happy to help you guys out but i

just know we've had a couple new

recruits

and they're asking and i'm telling them

other units i'm sure they're you know

looking for the same thing

if you want to be a good new member to

your unit those 10 things

are what we're looking for okay always

be prepared

have passion do your work do your

research

and like i said the last thing to kind

of check yourself if you've been a

reenactor

for 5 10 15 plus years and you don't

know the manual of arms

if you don't know certain terminology

and certain words

and certain maneuvers in the field that

should be considered fundamental

that tells you you probably need to pick

up your game

so again thank you for watching the 11th

ovc appreciate it

ring the bell subscribe to our youtube

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see you again

ride hard

you