How to Start a Park

Ok, so you want to start an Amtgard park, and you have some idea of what you should do, but you aren't exactly sure all the steps. This page contains my suggestions on how to grow a healthy, thriving park.

1. Get a copy of the rulebook. The very most important thing. Read it. I'm serious. Get a working knowledge of the game and how it is run.


Promoting Your Park
Maintaining Your Park

2. Get together at least five of your friends who are willing to start a park with you. These people should be as excited about the game as you are, and be able to show up to your park with you every week. Then, amongst you, decide how you are going to divvy up positions. This is going to be only for six months, which isn't that much time. Monarch and PM are the most important jobs, monarch being the overall administrator, and PM (prime minister) being the one who keeps track of credits and dues. Buy a trapper keeper and keep sign in sheets and dues in there. Throw a rulebook in it too.

3. Find a location. This is a very important step. I find these factors to be very important when considering this, and this is just in the order that it comes to mind:

-Closeness to member's housing, and closeness to highway for visitors.

-Space to fight and variety of terrain.

-Amenities, such as a pavilion to sit under, bathrooms, water and electricity. Picnic tables are nice as well.

-Second and third options at the same park for when the park is crowded.

4. Play! Get as many people out as you can to fight, and make sure your weapons are all legal and that at least some of you at this point are wearing garb. Make sure the rules are being held to, and no one is just deciding what happens without the will of the people who are playing. Get garb, get good weapons and keep the officers doing their jobs.

5. Get a contract. Fill it out and send it into the Burning Lands BOD.

6. Think about where in the country you are located, and seriously consider joining the Kingdom nearest you. Download and make sure you follow the corpora that they use. It will give you far more structure in how you work. Joining a kingdom means that you have even more people to hit, and a large campout to attend at least every three months, as well as the possibility for higher level awards and just plain meeting people who are interested in beating each other with sticks as you are. There are people there in your kingdom who are willing to help you, and want to help your park grow. Xenophobia happens in small isolated groups, and those groups have a tendency to fail in the long run. Meet people. Amtgard is a society, become a part of it. Here is a listing of all the amtgard groups.

7. Promote and maintain your group. Don't become lazy just because you have 15 people showing up this week. In six months those 15 could be 3. Or they could be 50. It's all about their happiness in the group. Hold tournaments where the goal is to get the most people out for a three month period. Winner who gets most of his friends out gets a prize. Find local high schools and colleges, comic book shops and gaming shops, any sort of public board to put your fliers on. Print out business cards and keep them on your person to give out when you meet someone who would be interested. Become friends with these people and ask them to try out the game. Hold a newbie day, where the more experienced people can show the newbies how to play, bring them to the ditch field, bring them to the battlegame, bring them to the arts and sciences, bring them to the society that is amtgard. Demos at conventions, walks in parades and newspaper and television reports have all been methods of getting word that amtgard is out there.

8. Get your park known. Figure out your heraldry (I'd be happy to help, contact me if you need any help ) Create an amtwiki page for your group, keep your records on the Amtgard Online Record Keeper. Go, meet people, be happy!