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Keeping up Appearances
[09/12/2002] [Arcana Le Elfriche]

We all enjoy attending events. I attended Feast of Fools Labor day weekend, and it was an awesome event. It was a great example of the good we can do when we come together and help out. A little over 4,000 dollars was raised for Cystic Fibrosis. But, like all events, there is always a lot of clean up to do. I think it would go much easier if people would just throw away their own trash.

I know it's a petty issue in Amtgard, but cleaning up after ourselves at our public meeting places and where we hold events is of the utmost importance. Why? So that we can retain usage of the park where we meet and the site where we hold our events. Even if it's not your event, it's important to help with clean-up. For example, at Feast of Fools, some members of our Barony went outside to do a site check. Keep in mind this wasn't our event. Does this mean our Barony is some incredible group because we did something beyond our call of duty? No. It simply means that we understand that things get done faster when a lot of people help out versus a few.

When you're a guest somewhere, in your own park, or at events, it's your duty to clean up after yourself. It's nice if you can also help out with further clean up. We teach this to our newcomers and it's something we actively engage in. I was sitting and talking with some of our new members and was very pleased when one of them pulled out a white plastic trash bag and started picking up their beer bottles. He wasn't doing this at the end of the event, but keeping things tidy as the event went on. It may seem like a silly thing to be proud of, but it said a lot about his character.

Honor is not always on the battlefield and taking your shots. Sometimes it's doing the dirty work that no one else wants to do. Part of becoming an adult is realizing that you're parents didn't enjoy doing dishes and yardwork, but did it because it had to be done. Amtgard has a lot of stuff that isn't glorious and will gain you nothing, but it still needs to be done. Even if it's something little like throwing away some garbage someone else left behind.

Most places won't care if you're doing some weird stuff with swords if after you rent their site everything is nice and clean and nothing is damaged. They will remember that you respected their property and will be more inclined to rent the site to you in the future.

We have park clean-up days when our group goes out and cleans up the entire park whether we made the mess or not. It's an attempt to make a good impression. It's in our best interest to have a good rapport with the locals and the community we are active in. I have heard people make comments about not caring what people think and doing what they want whether people like it or not. It's a sentiment I've had myself, but soon realised doesn't work when you have to deal with the public in order to keep your park or site.

If you go to an event somewhere, don't forgot your little white trash bags. It's only good manners to clean up after yourself. It would also be nice if everyone would lend a hand with cleanup at an event. Sure, you're tired and have a long drive ahead of you. Guess what? So does everyone else. If more people helped out, then maybe site cleanup would only take an hour versus five or six.

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