Camp Chores & Descriptions


This guide spells out what will be expected of you when you sign up for camp chores.  By defining the camp jobs, we reduce the chances for friction that inevitably arise when people of different backgrounds, habits, standards, and housekeeping preferences set up a temporary home together.  The 1999 Pennsic Action Committee (PAC) put together these standards, and the populace of Barony agreed to follow them.  If you would like to see a change in the definition of one of these jobs, please contact a member of the PAC.

This guide will attempt to break down each of the chores listed below and define it according to the following:

  1. An overview of the job in question.
  2. When it must be done.  (Time of day.)
  3. How often it must be done.  (Times per day.)
  4. What constitutes “done.” (When is it complete and time for me to go play again?)

                                               Daily Camp Chores

These things must be attended to every day that the camp is operational.  This list doesn't include the Camp Master's job, the Kitchen Steward's job (head of the meal plan) or any one-time activities like set-up, tear-down, digging the water pit, etc.


  1. The person doing lights will have as many as four kinds of lights to manage: kerosene lanterns, oil lamps (tiki torches fall into this category), candle lanterns, and chemical lights (Cylume™ sticks and their generic equivalents).
    • Kerosene and oil lamps must be filled with the appropriate liquid and the exterior wiped clean.  Wicks must be checked and adjusted or replaced if necessary (plastic gloves are a necessity for this).
    • If supplies of fuel are low when you finish your rounds, tell the Camp Master by writing it on the whiteboard so more can be obtained before the next night.
    • Candle lanterns must be checked and burned out candles replaced.
    • The chemical lights (glow sticks) don't require any preparation, simply replacement as necessary.
  1. Lights may be prepped any time before dusk.  Camp lights should be lit at dusk and the chemical lights in each of “our” port-o-johns replaced when it becomes too dark inside to see easily.  (This may actually be a little before dusk.)
  2. This job is only done once per day, in two parts: prep and lighting.  They can be done separately or at the same time.
  3. Prep is done when all lights are ready to be lit.  The entire job is done when all the lights have been lit for the evening.


  1. Trash refers to the group trash receptacles in the kitchen area, dish-washing area, and baronial pavilion.  Each camper will be expected to take his or her own trash to the dumpster - that is not the responsibility of the person doing the camp trash.  The job consists of taking full trash bags to the dumpster and replacing the plastic bag with a fresh one. (Hint: Use a wagon—it's easier to haul two bags at once and save trips.)
  2. Trash should be checked periodically throughout the day and emptied when full.  The times just before or just after meals are the best as this is when demand for trash space will be highest.
  3. This is an as-needed task, but shouldn't require more than a few minutes three or four times in a day.
  4. When all of the full trashcans are empty and have new bags in them, the job is done.


  1. The Coopers recycle aluminum cans, and our camp will have a receptacle for them.  Monitor the receptacle and take a full bag to the recycling station as needed.
  2. Recycling should be checked periodically throughout the day and emptied when full.  The times just before or just after meals are the best as this is when the most cans tend to accumulate.
  3. This is an as-needed task, but shouldn't require more than a few minutes once or twice in a day.
  4. When all of the full can bags are taken to recycling and the container has a new bag, the job is done.


  1. There are two primary uses for the fire in camp.  The first is to cook the evening meal, and the second is for warmth and light during the evening social time.  Make sure there is enough wood to last through the evening, and alert the Camp Master if more is needed.  Rake the old coals flat and clean out any unburnable items to make a good bed for the new fire.
  2. Lay the fire for the cooks to use and have it all ready to light about one hour before dinner.  You should clean out and prepare the fire pit well ahead of the evening meal to allow time for good cooking coals to develop.  Be on hand to light and tend the fire for the cooks, and bank it well before leaving for evening revels.
  3. This is a once-per day job.  You are not responsible for keeping the fire burning throughout the evening revels, though you should make sure plenty of wood is on hand.  The last person to bed at the end of the night is responsible for banking or extinguishing the fire for safety.
  4. When the evening meal has been cooked and the fire made ready for the evening, the job is done.

Ice & Water

This is the most time-consuming, but arguably the most important, chore.  Because food preservation and safety depend on keeping perishables cold, and good health depends on proper hydration, this is a job that cannot be taken lightly.

Maintaining the ice and water are grouped together because they both involve taking camp money to the camp store and returning with something heavy.  It is easiest to combine these tasks into one for sign-up purposes.  This can be a two-person job, as ice and water are heavy, and so are coolers full of food and former ice.  There are several people in camp who have wagons they will allow to be used to bring back ice and water.

Sign up to do this job on a day when you know you will be in camp frequently and for at least 20 or 30 minutes each time.

  1. You are only responsible for the Baronial ice and water supply.  If you are going up to the store and choose to ask if anyone else wants water or ice, you may do so, but it is not a required part of the job.
    • Kitchen Coolers should be drained of cold water before new ice is added.  Be especially vigilant when dumping the coolers to ensure that all the food remains in sealed containers.  This will help prevent contamination in our coolers.
    • The Kitchen Steward will let you know how much ice and water to get for the kitchen coolers.
  1. This job will need to be done throughout the day.  Check the supply of ice in the baronial kitchen coolers and the drink dispensers, as well as the supply of drinking water, first thing in the morning, and at least two more times during the day and evening.
  2. How often this job has to be done depends on many factors.  If it is very hot and a lot of people are in camp, opening the coolers and drinking the water, we will go through a lot more water and ice than we will on a cool, cloudy day when everyone is out in the woods.  For that reason, this job has to be done on an “as needed basis.”
  3. This job is done when the ice and water are fully stocked, and done for the day when there is enough ice and water to last until morning.

 Daily Meal Plan Chores

Only people who are participating in the Meal Plan are required to cook.  Meal Plan participants fend for themselves for breakfast and lunch; cooking refers only to the evening meal.

  1. The job of cooking the meal consists of four parts:

o    The first step to completing this task is to set up the dish washing station so you can clean items you'll need to reuse during the cooking.  Note: You are not expected to clean up after dinner; just clean as you need to.

o    The second step is to make sure that all of the necessary components of the meal you are preparing are on hand. This means making sure you let the Kitchen Steward know well ahead of the day you plan to cook what you need, so it can be purchased in time.  (What we want to avoid are last-minute trips off-site.)

o    The third step is to cook the meal.  The Kitchen Steward will know how many people have signed up for the meal plan, and you are expected to provide at least one generous helping per person.  The Kitchen Steward also has a list of people's special food considerations, so if you plan to cook a meal, meet with her in advance to plan your meal!

This job is often performed by teams of people.  There are many of us who don't feel up to managing a meal by ourselves who will be happy to chop, wash, and peel for the people who do take on the responsibility for the meal.

o    The fourth step is to put away or dispose of the leftovers after dinner.

  1. It is camp custom to serve the evening meal when the sun touches the horizon.  This allows everyone plenty of time to finish eating and have enough light to properly accomplish the clean-up.
  2. This is a once-per day job, with the exception of the night of Atlantian court and the last Saturday of Pennsic, when the kitchen usually has been packed up, so we order pizza!
  3. When the evening meal has been cooked, people have eaten, and the leftovers are stored or disposed of as appropriate, the job is done.


Only people who are participating in the Meal Plan are required to do the dishes used to cook the evening meal.  The dish washing task refers only to dinner, and then only to the “community” dishes.  Each person is individually responsible for washing up the utensils used in the preparation of their own breakfast or lunch and the plates, bowls, mugs and silverware used during the evening meal.  Luckily, we have an excellent dish washing station which helps by making the job easier to do, and easier to do right.

  1. The task involves checking the dish washing station in the morning to make sure there are cleaning supplies.  Notify the Kitchen Steward if we need more.  Other than that, this task is performed after the evening meal.  The person doing the dishes should wash all pots, pans, serving containers and utensils used during the preparation, cooking, and serving of dinner.
    • This may seem obvious to some, but you cannot clean the dishes if you're washing them in water that's filled with grease and food.  Change the water if you need to!  It's easy to change, and if you aren't sure how just ask! 
    • If you need to wash cast iron, consult with the owner on the preferred way of cleaning it, or consult the Kitchen Steward.
  1. This job is done after supper, though it is possible to get a jump on it by washing the preparation dishes during the cooking.  Usually, the community dishes are washed after all the leftovers are put away, allowing individuals to wash their own dishes first.
  2. Except for the quick supply check in the morning, this job is only done once per day.
  3. When all of the community dishes are clean and are air-drying and the dish washing station is clean and ready for the late individuals who want to clean their own dishes, the job is done.  “Clean” is defined as: free of food residue including oil and grease, scrubbed in hot soapy water and rinsed in very hot water with a disinfecting agent added (bleach is commonly used) and ready to be used again.