Joining Goode’s Company

So. You’ve had a look through the website, browsed through the pictures, and you’re wondering if this is something you’d like to try.

Oh you fool, you fool.

Humor aside, that’s a good question. Below are answer some more frequently asked questions:

Are there dues or fees?

No. Membership in Goode’s Company is currently free. Remember that when it comes time to buy clothes.

What will be expected of me at first?

In the beginning, very little beyond enthusiasm and a willingness to learn. The driving philosophy behind our group is that you shouldn’t do it unless it’s fun. That said, we do expect people to come to scheduled pike and shot classes, and pay attention to the instructors. You won’t need any special clothing for these practices, especially as a new member; just come in your casual clothes. If you find that you enjoy being in the company and would like to go to public demo events, then you’ll need to assemble at least a minimum set of period clothing. While we have a small amount of loaner clothes, you’re better off buying your own. You can put together a passable minimalist outfit of your own for around $100 with a little work. We can help you with sources and advice. You will eventually want to get more and better gear, but our goal is to make joining Goode’s Company as painless as reasonably possible.

Your website says all the soldiers are men. Can women join?

Absolutely. The only stipulation is that if you want to be a soldier, you need to dress as a man. This is because there simply were no openly female soldiers at the time. We also have an associated contingent of camp followers—soldiers’ wives, soldiers’ not-wives, artisans, musicians, etc—who are under no such constraint.

Are the pikes heavy?

Not really. We currently use 12′ pike wasters rather than the 16′ ones that would have been proper. This makes for easier transport and allows even those with less-manly physiques to handle them. In addition, the pike postures we teach are designed to minimize muscular effort.

Can I shoot muskets?

Yes, eventually. We’re a little chary of who we hand explosives, so everyone starts as a pikeman first. Eventually, once you have been trained and we’ve decided that you’re unlikely to blow yourself up, you can train as a musketeer. Also, we only have so many guns.

Is there a minimum age?

We allow minors 16 or over on a case-by-case basis.

Do I have to buy a period tent if I want to camp at demo events?

Probably not. We may be able to find you space in someone’s tent, or there may be an out-of-site area in which you can pitch a modern tent. You’ll almost certainly want a tent of your own at some point, but when that time comes you will find that small ones are remarkably affordable.

I don’t want to be a soldier. What else can I do?

Goode’s Company is a good hook on which to hang your exploration of any number of subjects: historical camp cooking, sewing, spinning, singing, woodworking, leathercrafting, Elizabethan medicine, dance, and music are subjects that come readily to mind. What do you want to do?

Can I receive historical swordplay training through Goode’s Company?

Not directly for swordplay, no. For swordplay (as opposed to pole arms and musketry) we refer students to Academia della Spada/Salle Saint-George in Seattle, where you can get lessons in a wide variety of historical European martial arts, albeit for a fee. Many of us are also students at that school and can attest to its worth.

Still interested? Great! Skip on over to our contact form and drop us a note. Joining up is as simple as coming to class.