SRS events offer an opportunity for like-minded enthusiasts to gather in a full immersion environment to practice their craft. Here, members of many different groups can come together to learn from each other's experience. These events provide a venue in which to put into practice what we collectively, as reenactors, have learned; a laboratory to test those hypotheses and concepts suggested by our research.
The most important feature of an SRS event is that it is open to members of different reenactment units, and relies heavily on participation of those units for its success.
Many of these groups focus their energy and presentation around participation in Renaissance Faires or Celtic Festivals. Although fulfilling to be a part of, these types of events can fall short of the full immersion type of reenacting that an SRS event can provide. Since an SRS event combines all aspects of military activity: infantry, cavalry and camp, it provides for a unique reenactment experience.
An SRS event is typified by:
- Adherence to a military camp schedule
- A centralized command structure
- A camp laid out in accordance with historically based principles
- Scheduled time for drill and training
- Adherence to military pomp and ritual
- Assignment of watch and ward duties
- Adherence to, and respect for, the military chain of command
As in an actual military camp, care must be given to render full respect to, and follow the commands and instructions from, your superior officers. This is important from a reenactment point of view, but also critical for personal safety and event efficiency. All SRS officers report through the chain of command to the event organizer and ranking officer, and must be obeyed.
For organizational purposes, leaders or officers of individual groups or guilds will be advised and consulted, but any ranks
which may be held within those groups are irrelevant during the event, as only officers commissioned by the SRS will be recognized. On the field or in camp, all participants will willing defer to event officers. Event officers are selected from among the attending groups based on their technical skills and leadership qualities.
Unlike a Renaissance Fair or Celtic Festival, participants at an SRS event:
- Remain in costume for the duration of the event
- Must have clothing suitable to protect them in cold or rainy weather
- Must have period appropriate eating and cooking accessories
- Must have (individually or as a group) period appropriate shelter
- Must have camping gear (modern gear is acceptable if kept out of sight, but period appropriate equipment is desirable)
- Will probably acquire a much more complete kit, including tables, chairs lanterns, craft items, etc.
- Will form into ranks and files (those participating as soldiers) and train in motions and combined arms exercises under the command of designated SRS officers
- Will set aside theatrical fair scenarios and fictions and seamlessly integrate with other participant groups to create a unified company, under a single command
This implies that honoring your guild or group ranks, or the performance of ceremonies, skits and staged combat
used for public fairs may not be appropriate at an SRS event.