Welcome to stromgard, a medieval kingdom in clark county the columbian apple cider vinegar health benefits mayo clinic

CAMAS — this may be southwest washington, but certain lords and ladies prefer dwelling within a mythical overlay known as the barony of stromgard.

Stromgard isn’t a secret, but it does take a special type to pledge fealty to the barony — and its international umbrella organization, the society for creative anachronism, which claims more than 30,000 members.

What type? Your unabashed history nerd with a passion for exploring, personally, lifestyles of the middle ages and renaissance. Roughly speaking, that’s the years 400 to 1600; the fun begins with the fall of the roman empire and continues until shakespeare is scribbling.

One hundred and forty subjects of stromgard turned out in costume on a recent saturday at the camas community center for the annual founding revel and stormmaker arts & sciences tournament — a busy, colorful party and feast as well as a display of the sort of ingenuity you needed to survive and thrive, long before you could start cooking by touching a stovetop button.Creative anachronism

To start cooking in stromgard, three stormmaker contestants (plus assistants) had to begin at the beginning, sparking a fire with flint and steel. Each team had to open a mystery box and quickly put to use a random assortment of edible ingredients and other stuff. Before that, they had to document and present two authentic historical projects — hand-making valuable items like mead, garments and sheepskin rugs.

Stromgard resident ronan mac an leagha, who goes by john paul when in clark county, showed off his smarts. He’d created a romantic, historical date night: glowing candle and wax-sealed parchment menu; cooked eggs, onions and bacon as the main course; apples, almonds and cinnamon for dessert; the gift of a seed necklace for his sweetie; and, for post-meal fun, a felt checkerboard and seed checkers.

“that’s clever,” admitted his competitor, helvi au gotland, aka robin wright. Her opinion mattered, because she has dibs on any date night with paul.Creative anachronism she’s his wife.

Wright’s own creations included juggling balls, a tightly stuffed meat sculpture she called “chicken of chicken with chicken,” and a tiny, ingenious, scalelike contraption fashioned from string and two halves of a boiled egg. Back in the day, an artistic presentation of food that signaled your royal court’s wealth was called a “subtlety.”

Her welcome is heartfelt. Her son, xavier the axe, is a shield bearer in stromgard. Her daughter, aradia, who has developmental delays, cerebral palsy and deafness, was mobbed by friends when she rolled into the room in her motorized chair.

“they do a wonderful job of including her,” said black, who has volunteered for the role of “silent herald,” translating the baron’s grand oration to his minions at the end of the evening into american sign language.

Baron stromgard, aka jerry barber, is a validation engineer, a computer hardware guy, who once noticed a society for creative anachronism poster in a colleague’s cubicle.Society creative “I thought, that looks like fun,” he said. Twenty-five years later, he said, he cannot get enough of donning the garments of history — especially the stromgardian crown. He’s midway through his second 3-year term as baron now. It’s a democratically filled office. That’s definitely different than actual history.

“this is how I get away from computers and unplug,” barber said. He and his girlfriend went camping with SCA friends 11 weekends last summer, they said. There are so many SCA people in the region, they said, it’s always possible to find summer weekend gatherings within a couple hours’ drive.

“we get to know each other really well,” said kerry beckett, aka thora. Beckett was a longtime tabletop gamer who moved to stromgard last august, she said. Now, she’s the barony’s official chatelaine — the newcomer contact and guide.

The role has helped her break out of an introverted shell. “I’m a nerd,” beckett said.Society creative “I’d be a little shy to get involved in something like this, but everybody is so friendly and welcoming. I’ve gotten into a lot of different activities,” especially weaving and a historical sewing technique called nalbinding. From weaving to weaponry, from science to song, beckett said, anyone can find a niche in stromgard.

“like anything you get interested in, you start to organize your life around it,” said roger stockton, who was a college student named david goldfeder when he found that SCA combat was a fun way to blow off steam. “you can travel, and there’s always a chapter to visit. If you do it enough, you know people everywhere,” he said.

Some fight, others frolic. Dance instructor penelope viollett, aka penny fritts, draws on english dance manuals from the 1400s and 1650s for her lessons. Her SCA connection began decades ago, she said, when she visited a leonardo da vinci exhibit at the oregon museum of science and industry and discovered people in historical costume there, boosting the atmosphere.Society creative anachronism fritts was hooked.

“I was really shy in my 20s,” but all she had to do to enjoy SCA was show up, she found. “I consider these people some of my best friends. It’s my chosen family.” humans, not hobbits

Note to tolkien lovers and dungeons & dragons gamers: while inclusive, the society for creative anachronism discriminates mercilessly against hobbits, giants, elves, orcs, dragons and other imaginary creatures that may seem to fit in — but don’t. This is history, not fantasy.

“we keep it as historical as possible,” said beckett. “we try not to have any mundane items” mixing in. Nary a cellphone (except to snap selfies) or modern utensil was in sight when the columbian visited. Eating was via knife or fingers.

“since I was young, I’ve been fascinated by central asia and attila the hun,” said baroness hlutwige wolfkiller, aka lois hale, who has even visited the nation of moldova to enjoy its folk art and to pick up the trail of the legendary conqueror there.Society creative anachronism

“loneliness” was her initial motivation for coming to stromgard, hale added. “I was extremely lonely. Then I met a group of people who showed me that, within blocks of my house, personal honor and courtesy and a ridiculous amount of fun could be had.”

The february revel was all about arts and sciences. In july, two stromgardian camping weekends are planned — one to select a new king for the whole pacific northwest region (the kingdom of an tir), the other for warriors from this and neighboring baronies to compete in archery, swordsmanship, thrown weapons and more. Meanwhile there are weekly, biweekly and monthly gatherings in stromgard to practice those skills in safety.

“mom always told me not to throw knives, so I throw knives,” said feradach the beardless, aka vern myers. “I only do stuff that would have gotten me in trouble.”