What to expect when you first join a group

  1. Making Contact When you get in touch with a group, you will most likely hear back from the group leader.
    Tip:If you don’t hear back within a week or so you can try using the contact page https://www.vikingsonline.org.uk/Contact-Us and asking for some help.
  2. Your first meeting: You’ll be invited to a group training or crafting session. If it’s Spring or Summer, you might be invited to come along to a show to observe. You’ll meet several members of the group and some of the group officers.
    Tip: Talk to as many people as you can about the hobby, why they love it and how the society works. Group members can give you ideas for activities which might be of interest to you.
  3. What to bring If you are going to join in with a combat training, bring some thick padded gloves, perhaps bike gloves or cricket gloves if you have them. Bring a water bottle. Check what surface the training will be held on and pick footwear to suit. If you already have any kit, you might like to bring it along to see it its suitable.
  4. Tip: Don’t buy anything specially. You will be loaned all the things you need to join in.
  5. Guest Membership: You’ll be asked to sign a guest membership form and to pay a small nominal fee. This covers you for the training activity and your payment is usually deducted from your membership fee.
  6. Tip: Don’t feel under any pressure to become a full member until you feel you have got to know everyone and that enjoy the hobby.
  7. Children: Children are very welcome to participate. There are lots of opportunities for children in the society, depending on their age. Children usually attend with their parents/carers, who are responsible for them at all times.
    Tip: Talk to other parents/carers in the group and ask them about their experiences of involving their children.
  8. Full Membership: Once you’ve been to a few sessions and feel comfortable and happy with your group you can choose to become a full member. Different groups have different procedures on accepting new members, so ask about this when you feel ready. There are over 50 groups in the society. If you aren’t quite sure, do ask about another group which might be more aligned with your interests.
    Tip: Make sure you are a full member before thinking about taking combat or craft qualifications.
  9. Buying Kit: Tempting as it might be, don’t rush out and buy kit without checking that it is suitable. Your Group Authenticity Officer or Group Leader will be able to help you with this.
    Tip: Be careful not to waste your money.
  10. Keeping in touch: Your group might have a ‘Friends of’ page which you can join before you become a full member. If you become a full member, you’ll be given access to lots of websites, email lists and forums which you can choose to join, to gather all the information you need. You’ll also receive our society newsletter, the Runestaff. These are all really good ways to find out about what is going on in the wider society.
    Tip: ‘Friends of’ forums are a good place to ask questions and hear about events between meetings.
  11. Reenactor Markets: Ask if there are markets coming up and whether group members are going. You might arrange to go with someone so they can advise you.
    Tip: As well as markets like TORM and ARM, there are often traders at events.
  12. Progressing: If you want to, you can ask about progression and gaining recognition for your skills in the wider society.
    Tip: Go at your own pace and ask for help from existing group members, who will be able to point you in the right direction.

We look forward to meeting you as you make your first steps into the exciting world of Viking re-enactment. If you have any concerns as you start your journey email concerned@vikingsonline.org.uk