Camp of Instruction Constants

(this ran in the 1999 March Regimental Dispatch.)

Specifics on Camp of Instruction

If you do not have all your equipment, this does not matter!!! You still need to come and just borrow what you need to from others in the group. You need to let someone know you need equipment to borrow prior to getting there. Contact your platoon leader.

1. There will be no modern tentage there this year so please just leave them home. The company will provide tents for the company members. The only tents to be used should be A frame or dog tents.

2. Bring what you need to keep Warm and Dry - sleeping bags, blankets, long underwear, woollies, poncho whatever it takes, you need to be prepared, it is March in Virginia. It could be 80 degrees; then again it could be 20. We will just have to see. Bring it all just in case, it is better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it. For the new men, bring some kind of hat to keep the sun or rain off.

3. Bring a Canteen. If you do not have a company approved one or have not purchased it yet, you can bring a modern canteen that can be strapped to your body some how. You will need water.

4. Haversack. You need something to carry your food in that can also be strapped to your body. We will be eating out of our haversacks on Saturday morning, Saturday noontime and Sunday noontime. You need to bring the food you want to eat for these meals. Supper Saturday night along with breakfast on Sunday morning will be provided. Bring ones to pay for your share of the meals. When packing food for the weekend, be practical about this, for the new people contact your platoon leader for ideas.

5. Eating utensils. If you do not have a plate, cup, fork, knife or spoon you better let your platoon leader know that too. You will need something to eat off of. There are usually a few extras in the company but don’t count on it, call.

6. Musket, accouterments and other equipment. If you do not have anything, you need to let your platoon leader know, now, what you need so that he can go through the membership and have some extra stuff available for you. Old timers, if you have extra stuff and do not mind lending it out, please bring it. We were all new at one time and appreciate the kindness of others.

7. Be prepared to learn how to be a soldier. Safety is a large part of what we teach. No one wants to get hurt out there. So pay attention and have a good time.

Bring all your stuff to the camp and stash it in the tent. This is one of the few times we have tents and they hide a bunch of stuff. Remember you will be sharing that space with others, so don’t go overboard. If you have camp stools, you can bring them too. It is nice to have somewhere to sit other than the ground.

After reading all this some of you may think, well I will just rush out and get all that stuff I need and I won’t have to borrow it. Rushing into something is not what you want to do. This hobby is expensive enough without rushing out purchasing substandard items and trying to use them. Everyone has a Soldier Handbook or New Member kit. Everything is laid out in there on what items are acceptable. Do not try to pull a fast one. Things that are worth doing are worth doing right the first time. This will also save you a lot of heartache when it does not meet the Company standards. Sure it may be an original piece documented all over the place, that is all well and good but if it is not in our standards we do not want to see it. Sure there are plenty of things out there that are correct, period and true to the Civil War, however, we have selected a standard list of items and are adhering to that list.

This is one of the things that make us different from other groups. This also gives us a uniform, military look about us. Sure, there are small nuances here and there, but still the general look remains a soldier of the Army of Northern Virginia that was supplied out of the Richmond quartermaster and depot system. Any changes to the company standards need to be presented to the Uniform committee for review. Bring your complete research, documentation, current source, price lists, availability and examples. That committee reviews the items and the Uniform Committee Chairman, Mr. Vice, will have the final say on what is approved and what is not.

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